Developments towards Field-specific Research in Architecture and Design: On Doctoral Studies in Scandinavia since the 1970s
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Architectural and design research, especially in the context of doctoral studies, has been pursued in Scandinavia for over forty years. This article sketches how the field of architecture and design has developed over several decades with regard to its three constituent components: professional practice, teaching, and research. The components of practice, teaching, and research acted first as separate, then even as opposite, but later on moved closer together in order to, most recently, synergistically permeate each other.
In the decades prior to the mid-1970s, design scholarship relied mostly on mature practitioners who reflected on their life’s work. Teachers were practitioners. The period between the mid-1970s and 1990 brought about an uncritical dialogue with academia, while looking for theoretical and methodological frameworks in established academic disciplines. A polarization between practitioners and researchers emerged. In the 1990s and in the beginning of the new century, a stronger intellectual self-confidence developed among design scholars. Practice, teaching, and research came closer to each other.
Most recent years have shown an even stronger movement towards field-specific research. It coincides with a growing awareness of a continuum from creative practice to scientific research, of the potential of research by art and by design, and of inter- and transdisciplinarity which recognize designerly ways of thinking. A kind of “permeability” between various kinds of practices of architecture and design has been observed.
permeability of creative practices
field-specific modes of research