Architectural design and the problem of practice-based research
This article considers the existence of a sub-group of academic research that is particular to areas of design practice: practice-based research [PbR]. This sub-group is widely recognized in Europe but is less well recognized elsewhere. PbR has raised a number of discussions about the best way of approaching the outcomes that are considered, within the dominant models of academic research, to be non-traditional. One question that is debated asks whether academic research in areas of design practice is in some way different from the existent models of academic research. This is a matter of the understanding that a community has about traditional research criteria in terms of their potential for satisfying the needs that are expressed in the areas of design practice. It is also a matter of the nature of design practice and the particular concepts that are adopted in these areas. The context in which PbR finds grounds for these discussions is one in which the needs and requirements of the academy are pervasive. The article therefore presents the concepts of academic research and design practice in order to introduce the problem that PbR represents. This problem is discussed in terms of contextual understandings that are specific to different nations and academic communities.