Paula Cadima, Mark Cousins, Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Marina Lathouri, Michael Weinstock, Simos Yannas, chaired by Mark Morris

What is PhD by Design?

Series: PhD by Design event
Date: Friday 26 January 2018
Time: 14:00
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 140 mins

Across fields, doctoral research conventionally culminates in the format of a text-based dissertation. Within the architectural discourse, a variety of institutions have started to acknowledge the relevance of integrating non-written components into doctoral dissertations in architectural design. A new kind of doctoral programme is therefore in development – often called a PhD by Design. Within the AA, doctoral students can pursue their research either through the traditional route of the written dissertation or combine writing with design research for the studio-based PhD in architectural design. However, there is presently a lack of consensus within the AA regarding what a PhD by Design actually means. The convoluted understanding of the non-written component necessitates an open conversation between doctoral supervisors and students. How can one find common ground in comparing different approaches to a PhD by Design?


Chaired by Mark Morris, Head of Teaching and Learning at the AA, the event seeks to mirror a student’s initial entry into doctoral research itself: in response to a given topic formulated as a PhD by Design proposal, doctoral supervisors are asked to submit a research proposal comprising 500 words and non-written components (ie, two to three images) – to be included in a publication following the symposium – and present and discuss their individual. This format can allow for a comparative overview of different approaches to a PhD by design.


The invited speakers will respond to the following topic and subject matter:


An ever widening range of political, economic or ecological causes for displacement have forced humankind to rethink the notion of social integration and permanence in the built environment. In any way imaginable, the research proposal shall frame and deal with the problematic and relevance of the relation between the built environment and different the protagonists of displacement; commuters, expats, migrants and refugees.



All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.


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