Design Research Symposium and Exhibition 2017

This annual one-day symposium and exhibition, held on Thursday 4 May 2017, was dedicated to contemporary investigations in design research. It was convened within the Centre for Architecture and Built Environment Research at UWE Bristol.

Design Research Symposium and Exhibition overview

An exhibition of postgraduate Design Research module work from the Master of Architecture and PhD programmes was launched at the symposium. The event showcased innovative projects that use design as a research method, and brought together leading practitioners and academics with internal academics and students. The symposium also provided an opportunity for exchange and exploration of the rapidly evolving field of design research.

This year, the symposium explored the notion of authorship in the design-research process. The presented projects  examined a range of ways in which design can be authored – by a single sovereign designer, by an algorithm generated via parametric processes, by a chance operation, through to a collaborative process of co-creation, by experts or by amateurs.

An investigation into authorship explored the role of the architect or designer as simultaneously researcher and creative agent, and implied consideration of interfaces between roles and of where that agency lies. Aligned to the idea of agency was a question of power and control. Who (or what) ultimately has the right to make design or research decisions and who (or what) controls the process? Simultaneously, the investigation questioned the degree to which design decisions and steps in the process of research are evident, potentially repeatable by others, or embedded within the design output and obscure to those beyond the author/s, and how, in each case, the process of design research can be effectively communicated.

The keynote address entitled ‘Making sense of practice-based research’ was given by Professor Ruth Morrow, Professor of Architecture and Director of Impact in the School of the Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast.

Speaker details

View details of the schedule, including speakers, topics and abstracts.

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