Operating a studio within a research culture: the urban heart surgery design research forum
Rollo, John 2003, Operating a studio within a research culture: the urban heart surgery design research forum, in Design + Research project based research in architecture, Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 1-9.
The question of whether or not design can be considered research has perplexed schools of architecture ever since they were first introduced into universities. It was at the center of the Oxbridge union debates in the early 1900s. It formed one of the corner stones of the Oxford conference on education organized by the RIBA in 1958 (Martin 1958) and came under scrutiny again in the UK with the introduction of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) in 1992. While the arguments both for and against are considerable1, “in order to understand the questions and the possibilities of architectural research and to respond to the difficulties that confront us now, we have to have a model which acknowledges what schools of architecture really are, and could be, and then work with that” 2. Drawing on professionally oriented research models, such as qualitative ‘clinical research’, from Medicine and the Health Sciences - where the processes of exploration, observation, investigation, recording and communication are conducted in-situ by the ‘practitioner-as-researcher’ 3 - the following paper outlines an initiative introduced in 1999, referred to as the ‘Urban Heart Surgery’ 4. The program actively integrates students entering their second degree program into a studio based design research culture and allows them to engage in critical discourse by working on high profile strategic design projects in three areas significant to Victoria’s future growth: Metropolitan Urbanism, Urbanism on the Periphery, and Regional Urbanism. With a growing core of industrial and community based partnerships, including: four regional councils (Bendigo, Ballarat, Geelong and Warrnambool) and three metropolitan municipalities (Melbourne City, Port Phillip and Wyndham), the forum actively facilitates a graduate/practice research agenda through the ARC linkage grant program.
Field of Research
120105 Architecture Management
Socio Economic Objective
970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
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