Architectural research in hybrid mode: Combining diverse methods within design-based architectural research inquiry
Journal article, 2021

With the rapid increase in architectural research activities over recent years, the repertoire of research methods has grown and matured. This essay takes a closer look at the methods that rely upon explorative design as the central activity of knowledge creation. Its first aim is to provide a comparative overview and critical examination of the available methodological typologies to enable their future development. The second aim of the essay is to employ these design-based methods to devise a framework for architectural research as a ‘hybrid method’. This framework promotes the simultaneous application of differently composed amalgams of design-based research methods based upon analyses and insights taken from a specific architectural research project led by the author. The purpose of elaborating on the idea of the hybrid methodological mode is to help establish it as a part of the current repertoire of architectural research methods – today often framed from a ‘mixed method’ perspective that generally categorizes methodologies into either qualitative or quantitative. The essay proposes that the ‘hybrid method’ discussed herein covers a different typology of approaches, beyond this qualitative/quantitative distinction, and that its application in design-based research presents valuable opportunities for knowledge production and communication that should not be overlooked in the future development of architectural research methods.

mixed methods

scientific research

research by design

hybrid methods

artistic research

Architectural research methodology


Malgorzata Zboinska

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

ARENA Journal of Architectural Research

2397-0820 (eISSN)

Vol. 6 1 7

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