Academicized Architecture: Politics and Practices of “Design Research” in the USA and UK
Until recently, university-based architecture was regarded as a discipline with professionally oriented design education at its core. Architectural research was conducted in fields such as the social and engineering sciences. However, since the 1990s, more and more architects have begun conducting “design research,”and a growing number of Master’s and Ph.D.programs offer research-based design education.
Read against this background, this project ethnographically examines cultures of design research in architecture in the USA and UK. The aim is to compare how design research is practiced and taught at different schools. The project further asks how such research cultures are related to academic policy making. Studying this political dimension is imperative, because design research is gaining attention in the context of a growing economization of western universities, one characterized by the creation of markets for science, in which high research outputs are viewed as a competitive advantage.
Bernhard Böhm’s interests include research cultures in art and architecture. He received a B.A.in Sociology and an M.A.in Science and Technology Studies from the University of Vienna. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the ETH Zurich. His dissertation is a comparative ethnography of the politics and practices of “Design Research” at four different architecture schools in the USA and UK. Since 2018, he has been a member of the Intercom Publishing House Zurich, a platform dedicated to the design, development, and implementation of independent publication and education projects in the humanities and social sciences. From 2007 to 2015, Böhm worked in various positions at the Linz-based media, art, and culture institution Ars Electronica—most recently in its research and development department, the Ars Electronica Futurelab.
gem. mit Anna Hipp, „Forschung in der Architekturausbildung. Sozialwissenschaftliche Methoden in der Entwurfslehre an zwei Architekturschulen in Großbritannien und der Schweiz“, in: Carola Ebert, Eva Maria Froschauer, Christiane Salge (Hg.), Vom Baumeister zum Master. Formen der Architekturlehre vom 19. bis ins 21. Jahrhundert, Berlin 2019, S. 70–87; “From heterogeneity to hybridity? Working and living in arts-based research”, in: Philippe Sormani, Guelfo Carbone, Priska Giesler. (Hg.), Practicing Art/Science. Experiments in an Emerging Field, New York 2018, pp. 125–141.
Seit einigen Jahren gewinnt das Thema des „Design Research“ in der Architektur an Bedeutung. Dabei wird das Entwerfen in die Nähe von wissenschaftlicher Forschung gerückt oder gar selbst als solche verstanden. Wie Design Research praktiziert wird und was die Zunahme dieser Forschung mit Wissenschaftspolitik zu tun hat, zeigt Bernhard Böhm in seinem Vortrag.