About Architecture and Design
Key scholarship principles
The strategic direction for our School is underpinned by three guiding scholarship principles: scholarship-of-change; curated and vertically integrated design scholarship; and tri-polar scholarship.
We aim to address compelling, contemporary issues such as climate change, globalization and rapid urbanization in ways that facilitate cultural change through design. Our scholars, (students, lecturers and researchers), are risk-takers in the sense that they endeavor to bring about change both in design practice and by practicing design. These changes are pursued through refinement, criticism and experimentation and within an ethical framework of social justice and human rights. The Scholarship-of-change principle provides criteria for the appointment of staff and Adjunct Professors and in the appointment of practitioners to sessional teaching positions.
Curated and vertically integrated design scholarship
We encourage staff to be actively involved in designing, as designers themselves or through critical engagement with designing. Our research is based on the activity of designing. The courses offered by our school are largely delivered in studio mode. These studios are curated according to our tri-polar model. In them staff, students and (in many cases) practitioners explore design research projects. In this way our students operate as empowered studio collaborators in the pursuit of emergent design knowledge and skills.
Our ambition is to sustain three contested areas of scholarship endeavour across the school. We believe that holding multiple, articulated positions leads to a productive scholarship environment. We understand these three poles as points of intensity within a dynamic constellational structure rather than as fixed points.
These three poles provide a focus for curating our design studios, research and the careers of our alumni. Staff and students make clear and deliberate choices in selecting studios and positioning their work in relation to these three scholarship poles. These can be positions of alignment or opposition or transmogrification.
The three poles provide a critical framework through which we actively curate the careers of our alumni and other exemplar practitioners.
The three poles are not exclusive. The poles interact and overlap and are always in question. Over time they are challenged and change.
Currently the three poles include the Expanded Field, Urban Environments and Advanced Technologies. The Expanded Field deals with issues of ethics and sustainability, regimes of care, art and public space, social needs and the ephemeral. Urban Environments has as its focus a concern for precedent, type, and the pragmatics of infrastructure and the urban scale, including civic consciousness and hence civic narratives. Advanced Technologies deals with the pursuit of rule generated processes in design that allow for the utilisation of new digital and biological technologies.
The tri-polar model provides criteria for the appointment of new staff and Adjunct Professors and in the appointment of practitioners to sessional teaching positions.
Professor Richard Blythe
Head of School, Architecture and Design