Fragments from proceedings (‘paper submission’)’:
(*) refer to suppressed names for the sake of anonymity. Initially, (*) are conferences at which architects were invited to unveil and tell the story of their working documents. These short conferences are followed by a conversation with a panel of critics, architects, editors and academics.
Recently, a first book was published about (the design process of) a house designed by (*). The text dissects the genesis of a project, it shares the doubts, it extracts the mechanisms that lead to choices and it discovers the intuitions that make poetry.
This paper explores the methodology inherent to the making of the book. The book makes the objective account of an architect’s erring towards a remarkable outcome. In essence, it is not a critical review of the project, as it dives in the objectivity of the produced documents. It is not a holistic interpretation, as the focus is on the local changes in perception and understandings. It is not a contextualization of a practice situating it in a field, as the appearing references relate to design decisions rather than to the designed object.
The result combines text, illustrations, photographs and layout into an irreducible, objective and observable whole explicating the ins and outs of a particular design process, to which can be referred in a more comprehensive research in the concerned practice or in other researches (on design processes for example).
research by design; design process; publication; methodology
This book is a precedent that can be engaged in different perspectives. We are now planning to continue the series with four similar books. The future will tell to which extent the books will diverge or follow a similar track. Very different contexts and interests will probably result in a variation of approaches.
We would like to propose a similar exercise to researchers who engage their professional practice at the heart of their doctoral research. This exercise is probably slightly different because it would frame in ongoing researches which have their own agenda.
This precedent will also be engaged as a pedagogic tool in a master dissertation studio at the KU Leuven, in which the students will be invited to compile work documents following similar (probably adapted) procedures. This growing body of work will open up to further speculation and observation, on an epistemological level, on the level of individual practices and on the level of pedagogics.