DSGN09003 2013 Architectural Research Methods

General Details

Full Title
Architectural Research Methods
Transcript Title
Architectural Research Method
N/A %
Subject Area
DSGN - Design
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
09 - NFQ Level 9
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Bernadette Donohoe, Maeliosa O'Brien, Michael Roulston, Emmet O'Doherty, Cliona Brady, Peter Scanlon, Rowan Watson
Programme Membership
SG_DINTE_M09 201100 Master of Arts in Interior Architecture SG_DINTE_M09 201300 Master of Arts in Interior Architecture

This module is designed to cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary to define a research topic and research question. The module will introduce students to a range of data collection, analysis and design research methods. Student’s will access and interact with a selection of literature relevant to the field of interior architecture. This module will culminate in the design of a proposal for their dissertation.

The module aims to:

  • Introduce students to the principles and conventions of communication in research.
  • Introduce students to relevant research methods and techniques.
  • Cultivate student familiarity and dexterity in accessing and engaging with a range of literature and data pertaining to interior architecture.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Demonstrate awareness of the different typologies of architectural research methods and their limitations


Demonstrate the ability to conduct a thorough literature search utilising a range of both print and electronic sources


Prepare a dissertation proposal aligned to the vision points of the programme

Module Assessment Strategies

Formative and summative assessment modes using a range of techniques which includes individual work, mainly essays, projects, tests presentations, and debate

Indicative Syllabus

Session 1: Sourcing, using and generating information:

  • Use of library, data bases, archives and other methods of data collection.
  • Reading and writing- techniques and conventions

 Sessions 2-4: Theoretical frameworks/systems of enquiry  and  Research methods

This section introduces students to a selection of case studies of architectural and design research and the methods and assumptions that underpin them, as well as to the scale and type of study appropriate for their dissertations. These sessions will also introduce the relationship between systems of enquiry and related ethical issues of data collection and analysis/interpretation techniques.

 Sessions 5-9:Literature Review

Research draws on the ability to derive new implications from existing positions and knowledge. These sessions will focus on cultivating students’ capacity to engage with some of the extant literature, so that they become more familiar with the literature pertaining to the field of interior architecture, gain dexterity in reacting to it and, through exposure and analysis, refine a topic/ question of interest for their dissertation. During lectures and class tasks, they will also practice the conventions associated with academic writing.

Case studies and student exercises will introduce the following;-

  •         Analysing and critiquing literature
  •         Using literature review to understand the current conceptual landscape.
  •         Using literature review to understand an idea’s genetic roots
  •         Using literature to focus a topic of enquiry 

Session 10-12: Presentation

Students will deliver oral and visual presentations outlining their topic(s) of interest, research question and suggested research methodology.

At the summation of the module, students will submit a formal dissertation proposal.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Research Proposal Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 100 % OnGoing 1,2,3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Architectural Studio Architectural Research Proposal 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Self directed 5 Weekly 5.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Groat and Wang (2001) Architectural Research methods, Wiley, London

 MHRA (1996) MHRA Style Book: Notes for Authors, Editors and Writers of Theses, MHRA, London

Kliment. S (1998) Writing for Design Professionals. W.W. Norton & Co., London

Lange, A. (2012) Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities, Princeton Architectural Press, New York

Spector, T. & Damron, R. (2013) How Architects Write, Routledge, London

Wiseman, C. (2013) Writing Architecture, Trinity University Press, San Antonio

Other Resources
Additional Information