Architectural Research as an Autopoietic System: Shifting the Focus from Actors and Identities to Systems
Source TitleTHIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 September 7-8 Working Papers
University of Melbourne Author/sRaisbeck, Peter
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsRaisbeck, P. (2020). Architectural Research as an Autopoietic System: Shifting the Focus from Actors and Identities to Systems. THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 September 7-8 Working Papers, ARCOM.
Access StatusOpen Access
This research describes and examines how an association of small Australian architects undertook a self-initiated research project. This project involved a collaboration between the association, represented through its governing board and a university researcher. The group of architects developed a project that asked if architect-designed house renovations improved capital gains in an inner-city property market. This research question was the result of concerned within the group of how its members could better communicate to their potential client base. Hence, the group sought quantitative research that would act to shape public narratives about the value of architects. Notably, the study was funded through an innovative crowdfunding arrangement. Consequently, the research process itself became more interesting in its own right and reflecting on it indicates how the architect's approach and think about research methodologies and methods. A limited literature review of prevailing design as research and professional identity research is presented. Employing an ethnographic method, the way the community of architects formulated, developed, implemented and analysed the research project is described. By employing an Autopoietic framework, the architectural association can be described as a self-organising system shaped by design thinking. Architects need to abandon the idea that research is akin to design thinking and understands that research is not necessarily a creative design pilgrimage in search of idealised solutions.
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