Publisher: Architectural Research European Network Association   (Total: 1 journals)   [Sort by number of followers]

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Arena J. of Architectural Research     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
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Arena Journal of Architectural Research
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2397-0820
Published by Architectural Research European Network Association Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Girl with Maquette: A Memoir of Prefigurative Imaginaries at Work

    • Abstract: Prefigurative politics are “world-making” events. They enact alternative ways of being, knowing and doing in spaces of resistance and experimentation. What insights does prefiguration in design(ing) hold for the politics of prefiguration' In exploring this affinity, I dive into a photograph of my twenty-year-old self that pivots around the maquette of the “Constellation.” In this memoir I delve into my experience of prefiguration as an architecture student and member of a counterculture in Greece in the mid-1980s. The maquette performs a double prefigurative: Like every design prototype, it acts in the present tense while it also signals a future desired change. Yet the project also manifests a prefigurative function via its particular countercultural affiliation, even if its political goals remained elusive. The courses of action encountered in this memoir defy the entrenched dualities of collectivity/individuality, embodiment/language, users/designers, futures/presents. The memoir contributes to the study of prefigurative politics by underscoring the assembling of matter into form as a capacitor of the prefigurative imaginary at work. Published on 2022-07-14 00:00:00
       
  • Political Dimensions of Research by Design

    • Abstract: In this overview essay, which also introduces the other contributions to the AJAR Special Collection about the Erasmus+-funded research project on ‘Mapping, Reflecting and Developing PhD-by-Design Programs’, we as the guest editors venture from a situated position based on our experiences of that collaborative process. From that stance, and as part of the dynamics sprouting from the Mapping/Reflecting/Developing project, we focus here on one specific characteristic of research-by-design – that of the inherently political dimension in positioning such research. It is a dimension which often seems to be ignored or under-articulated within discussions about Research-by-Design projects and PhD-by-Design programs. To counteract that deficiency, the notion of the ‘political’ is connected in this introductory essay to the realms of architecture, architectural practice, and architectural design research, on multiple levels. For the other essays which make up this Special Collection, this essay presents what we call the ‘agonistic table’. Published on 2022-03-11 11:06:31
       
  • Wicked Problems in Architectural Research: The Role of Research by Design

    • Abstract: PhD students working in the field of architectural design often miss the reference to a consistent theoretical framework and a proper system of inquiry while working with the research design of their projects. Simultaneously, some of the architectural research questions and hypotheses are formulated as addressing wicked problems which causes methodological challenges. The aim of the paper is to put research by design approaches in the broader context of systems of inquiry and to emphasize their possible role to examine and resolve wicked problems.The paper first reviews some of the underlying assumptions of architectural research versus the assumptions behind different research paradigms characteristic for other fields. Then, the approaches and the methods in architectural research relevant to the chosen ontological, epistemological, and axiological assumptions are discussed. The theory of wicked problems is recalled as a relevant one for the complex, uncertain, projective tasks of architectural research. Research by design is seen as a method suitable for the investigation of wicked problems. It can reduce the epistemic uncertainty. Approaches of research by design are becoming more acknowledged in third cycle education in architecture. Two examples of recent PhD theses are briefly discussed in the paper in relation to the wicked aspects of their research/design problems, the research paradigm adopted and the role of research by design methodology. More conscious delineations and elaborations of a proper system of inquiry and the conscious use of research by design methodology can help in developing academic rigor of research studies addressing complex societal challenges. Published on 2022-02-09 10:52:50
       
  • ‘Making is Thinking’: From Design Fixation to Provocative
           Competence

    • Abstract: To prepare our students for an unfamiliar future and unknown challenges, it is important that they are experienced in methods and strategies that equip them to manoeuvre in, and find solutions to, complex and unpredictable situations. However, there seems to be a tendency that many students incline towards ‘safe’ and well-proven paths of professional training and instrumental learning and are reluctant to explore fields of uncertainty.The ‘Making is Thinking’ initiative aligns theoretical insights and development with methodologies of implementation that prepare students to pass through the barriers to their own learning. All activities revolve around hands-on experience, developed in actions where architecture cross-pollinates with other creative disciplines. We strive to achieve real impact by actively contributing to urban development by making live interventions, with actual stakeholders and engaging with the public. In this learning environment mistakes are acknowledged as a necessary and productive condition for the creative processes. A precondition for this is to establish trust.In sum, our approaches and methodologies aim to challenge preconceptions of calculated patterns, causality and linearity in the learning process. Instead, learners are offered the affordances of uncertainty and liminality as a fertile learning space to be embraced rather than be feared. The purpose is to create and identify productive moments, and to develop a provocative competence, through moving from fixed to open ontologies. To facilitate this, we apply the methodology of ‘strange-making’, through working with a theatre company.The article concludes with reflections on the pedagogical value of liminal spaces as fertile condition for creativity. Published on 2022-02-08 09:58:17
       
  • Design Research: The Next 500 Years

    • Abstract: In contemporary discourse and practice it is familiar to discuss design research as if it is new to architecture. But this is to ignore the history of the architect. The Architectural Design doctorate is a comparatively new qualification; the first such programme in the United Kingdom was established at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, in the mid-1990s. But the methods and means of design research are not new. Indeed, they have been invaluable to the architect for over 500 years. Studying the history of practice as well as the history of architecture allows us to appreciate that architecture is not made by architects alone. The contemporary relevance of interdisciplinary research, which occurs within, between and across disciplines, indicates that the profession is but one model of practice and implies that others may be more rewarding. In this sense, the architectural design doctorate is a means to investigate and develop alternative models of practice and discourse, acknowledging an interdependent network of diverse – new and old – procedures, not simply because they are useful but because they have social and cultural value. Published on 2022-02-04 12:49:33
       
  • Curricular Culture in PhD by Design: Perspectives Gained from the Aarhus
           School of Architecture

    • Abstract: Research by Design has grown in relevance in the field of architecture over the last decades, addressing research problems that are located at the core of design practice. This design research essay investigates European PhD by Design programmes in architectural schools from a curricular perspective. Through an evaluation of in-depth interviews, it opens up larger discussions on Research by Design by drawing upon the practical experience of PhD students, supervisors and the programme leader at the Aarhus School of Architecture. Based on the perspectives of situatedness, mindset and competency, the essay discusses the PhD programme as a curricular culture in which the research process unfolds. The term ‘curricular culture’ refers to the idea of cultivating the framework or space of emergence within which the PhD and its process of navigating the unknown takes place. The essay discusses how infrastructures and situated conversations within the framework of the Aarhus School and its wider network establish a dynamic and engaged research environment that is strongly connected to the school’s specific identity. Published on 2021-12-09 10:04:35
       
  • Acts of Spatial Violation: The Politics of Space-Making inside the
           Palestinian Refugee Camp

    • Abstract: Refugee camps have been, and continue to be, highly polemical spaces to inhabit and study. Notions such as temporality, permanence, exception and camp-cities are used in academic publications in an attempt to understand the continued existence of these spaces. Scholars nonetheless have fallen short of presenting a historical narrative, or convincing argument, as to why and how these camps can ensure their continued operation within often violent and complex host geographies.Refugee camps are not merely humanitarian spaces relegated to international aid programmes. On the contrary, due to their common protracted nature, they have evolved into some of the most dynamic and vital forms of built environment. The fundamental element which guarantees this vitalism, in socio-economic and political terms, is space and space-making. This essay, based on long-term fieldwork research in two Palestinian refugee camps – Baqa’a in Jordan and Burj el Barajneh in Lebanon –showcases the specific ingenious acts of space-making developed by Palestinian refugees throughout 73 years of forced displacement.Furthermore, the essay introduces the notion of ‘spatial violations’ to describe the political act of space-making adopted by Palestinian refugees to overcome modes of ‘management and control’ by host governments and the United Nations. Scenarios of violence and economic development triggered by these acts of ‘spatial violation’ will also be illustrated, as will some spatial interventions designed and built inside these two Palestinian camps as part of this research project. The installations were designed as experiential architectural devices to provoke conversation around space and space-making across Palestinian camps. Published on 2021-11-16 11:22:08
       
  • Architectural Research in Hybrid Mode: Combining Diverse Methods within
           Design-Based Architectural Research Inquiry

    • Abstract: 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. Published on 2021-11-10 11:00:04
       
  • Overwriting the Memory of a Modern Ruin in Chile: From UNCTAD III to GAM

    • Abstract: Located in central Santiago, the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre (GAM) is in fact the latest renovation of a building that embodies several historical shifts affecting Chile since 1972. Originally conceived as an emblem of modernisation during Salvador Allende’s presidency, it became the headquarters of the Pinochet military junta after the 1973 coup d’etat. In present times, due to the October 2019 social protest movement, the building has been transformed by activists into an impromptu platform for protest art. This essay explores the discursive and spatial relationships between the latest renovation of the GAM building and past events through an analysis of the renovation’s design, its socio-political and cultural context, and its impact upon Chilean collective memory.Archival research for the essay encompasses governmental documents, press releases, and architectural drawings – in conjunction with newspaper articles and television clips. Furthermore, three figures involved in the renovation were interviewed: Christian Yutronic, one of the architects responsible for the redesign; Felipe Mella, the current director of GAM; and Caiozzama, a prominent protest artist who has transformed the building’s façade. This study reveals the links between architectural form and collective memory in contemporary Chile, interweaving topics such as remembrance and erasure, the conservation of ‘difficult’ heritage, and the role played by ideology within current architectural discourse. Published on 2021-08-24 10:38:30
       
  • Correction: Dissecting the Archipelago: PhD by Design Concepts in the
           Fields of Architecture and Urban Design

    • Abstract: This article details a correction to: Van Reusel, H., Michels, C and Schoonjans, Y., Dissecting the Archipelago: PhD by Design Concepts in the Fields of Architecture and Urban Design. ARENA Journal of Architectural Research. 2021; 6(1): p.4.
      DOI : https://doi.org/10.5334/ajar.255. Published on 2021-08-03 10:10:29
       
 
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