University of Technology Sydney

11504 Practice: Research Cultures

6cp; 3hpw (2hr lecture, 1hr tutorial)
Requisite(s): 11551c Masters Architectural Design Studio 1 OR 11552c Masters Architectural Design Studio 2
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


Research produces knowledge. This subject examines the myriad of ways in which architects perform research, from examining archives, to visiting a site, to exploring environments, to deploying artificial intelligence. Architecture firms have initiated research departments to understand climate dynamics, or energy systems, or modes for community engagement – as a means, that is, to both refine their design practice and to prepare for the future.

Research produces the future. It clarifies a project – not just what is being studied, explored, or examined, but why, to what end, with what stakes, with what possible costs and benefits. The architectural project emerges not just from client needs and refined design sensibility, but also through targeted research and the development of expertise.

The focus of the course is three-fold: First, to develop specific research skills that prepare students to perform research in a range of professional, scholarly, and cultural contexts. Students are expected to excel in this skill development and use these skills to not only understand how research produces the future, but also what future we want to produce. As a second focus, students are also expected to use the subject to explore possible career trajectories – to identify a realm of research and a project that allows them to move forward in the articulation of their own disciplinary trajectory.

Does research produce equality? It can – as a project and a process, research frames the ethical and speculative ambitions of architectural practice. Who is a practice for? Who benefits from architectural research and design intervention? A third focus of the course is refining collective research strategies towards building an architectural discipline that strives for a more equitable world.

Typical availability

Autumn session, City campus

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.