Collective Evaluation of Design Driven Doctoral Training

The Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership CA²RE+ develops a collective learning environment through Evaluation of Design Driven Doctoral Training. Design Driven Doctoral research (DDDr) is taken as a multidisciplinary example of an experiential learning-through-evaluation model, appropriate for identification and promoting relevance of research singularity, its transparency and recognition, to award excellence in doctoral training for creative and culturally rooted solutions of contemporary design driven developments. The CA²RE+ project starts in September 2019, finishes in August 2022 and represents a trigger of the CA²RE Conference developments.


The CA²RE+ explicates the transformative and innovative power of highly individual strategies in artistic research, the diversity of research traditions and the integrative nature of architectural design research, able to face the contemporary knowledge fragmentation from humanities, social sciences and technology. It explicates the interdisciplinary relevance of convergent thinking, mastering wicked problems, open-ended processes, resilience and risk, as well as orientation to future, all present in Design Driven Doctoral Research (DDDr). It explicates the didactic relevance of DDDr for training creative professionals how to use the integrative power of design thinking to master open-ended processes while solving contemporary spatial dilemmas (sociological, climate-change related, political…).

In the arts, architecture and design, understanding of reality aims to future creations, however convincing, remains based on a personal and creative aspect, where the relevance of singularity of particular cases plays the key role in research strategies and evaluation. The evaluation of this type of relevance requires explication of tacit knowledge and research impact evidence, including non-written production. These needs have been identified by the CA²RE Community through its biannual CA²RE Conferences on Artistic and Architectural Research as a follow-up of the ADAPT-r project (Architecture, Design and Art Practice Training-research / EU ITN).


The CA²RE+ advances the doctoral training from being a support to an experimental collective evaluation training environment for DDDr. It critically transfers the traditional design studio learning model from the master to the doctoral level: learners at different stages of their process learn collectively with evaluators in an iterative way. The project objectives are achieved iteratively through the main project steps from observation and sharing, comparison and reflection to reformulation and recommendation:

  • to identify the DDDr STRATEGIES, to explicate the DDDr EVALUATION process and to prepare the DDDr FRAMEWORK and
  • to disseminate the CA²RE+ learning-through-evaluation model and its framework.


The public database on DDDr EXPERIENCES offers the CA²RE+ multimedia courseware for learning from raw evaluation data. It evidences the case studies/strategies of tacit knowledge explication on DDDr examples and its evaluation experiences to further develop research strategies. The open-access book series on DDDr STRATEGIES, DDDr EVALUATION and DDDr FRAMEWORK offers a set of interpretations, recommendations and guidelines for implementation of evaluation of DDDr related doctoral programmes, the development of the starting points for DDDr and the relevance of findings for humanities and social sciences.  


Long-term benefits are expected for doctoral researchers, creative practitioners, evaluators, multidisciplinary course/programme developers, education policy makers, aiming at a creative refreshment of qualitative research. Sharing and comparing doctoral training across research traditions and cultures within the core areas, dealing with creativity and culture, leads to transparency and recognition of tacit skills and qualifications. The development of collective evaluation courses contributes to promoting and rewarding excellence in teaching and skills development. The explication of tacit knowledge from evaluation experience through a multimedia database contributes to consolidation and improving evidence-building on higher education.

The project has received a Slovene national award from the Ministry of Education and the national agency CMEPIUS