Research Methods for Architecture

By Raymond Lucas

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  • Paperback
  • 200 color illustrations
  • 208 pages
  • 9¾ x 6⅞ ins
  • ISBN 9781780677538
  • Published January 2016

While fundamentally a design discipline, architectural education requires an element of history and theory, grouped under the term "research." However, many students struggle with this part of their course. This practical handbook provides the necessary grounding in this subject, addressing essential questions about what research in architecture can be.

The first part of the book is a general guide to the fundamentals of how to do research, from assembling a literature review to conducting an interview. The second section presents a selection of case studies dealing with such topics as environmental psychology, the politics of space, ethnographic research, and mapping.

The range of methods explored illustrates the variety of possible approaches, with authoritative guidance on how best to deploy a research framework.

About the Author

Ray Lucas is Head of Architecture at University of Manchester. His interests include ongoing research into the field of anthropology and its applicability to architecture. His work has been published in numerous academic journals.

Customer Reviews

Very useful for students, practitioners and architectural researchers Review by Selma
This is a good textbook for new researchers or practice-based architects wishing to reflect and engage in academic research. Its practical approach demistifies the academic research terminology and methods. It also adressess the paths of cross-disciplinarity, a frequent necessary method for developing an architectural theory. As a demonstration, the author includes example of own field research and case studies. Well illustrated, with good balance of graphic and text, it is a welcome companion to students of architecture, new researchers and architectural historians. (Posted on 3/17/16)

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Introduction: What is architectural research?

Part 1: Fundamentals of Architectural Research

Chapter 1: Defining your research question

Chapter 2: Defining your research methodology

Chapter 3: Building your literature review

Chapter 4: Cross-disciplinary working and collaboration

Chapter 5: Conducting and documenting fieldwork

Chapter 6: Conducting interviews and communication

Chapter 7: Writing up

Part 2: Practical Applications and Case Studies

Chapter 8: Material culture

Chapter 9: Environmental psychology

Chapter 10: Architectural histories

Chapter 11: The politics of space

Chapter 12: Philosophy, phenomenology and the experience of space

Chapter 13: Ethnographic research

Chapter 14: Drawing, diagrams and maps

Chapter 15: Conclusion: Theory and practice