Research Methods in the History and Theory of Architecture

Doctoral Seminar (064-0014-21)
Organizer: Doctoral Program
Lecturers: Dr. Irina Davidovici
Time: HS20, Thursdays, 13.45–15.30
Location: ONLINE (Meeting ID: 91211064788)



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Course description
The seminar aims to prepare the doctoral students for their Research
Plan submission at the end of their first year, offering a forum for
exchanges, presentations and peer reviews of research strategies. The
format allows for weekly group discussions on a variety of topics.
Students are encouraged to consider the course readings not only in
terms of their content, but also as illustrations of formatting,
structuring and argumentation methods, and thus as research models.
There are four types of seminar classes. Toolkit classes focus on the
individual components of the Research Plan: abstract, hypothesis,
literature survey, research structure etc. Method classes cover
research strategies and disciplinary traditions relevant for doctoral
studies in the history and theory of architecture. Theory seminars
focus on specific intellectual traditions and their comparison. The
Review sessions, leading up to the end-of-semester doctoral crits,
comprise work-in-progress presentations and peer-review appraisals in
formal and informal settings.

Aims and Objectives
The course will train skills of critical analysis and interpretation – of
architecture and scholarship in equal measure, connecting buildings
and architectural representations to theoretical productions. The study
texts illustrate foundational models for architectural research and
related disciplines in the humanities, including history, sociology,
critical theory and material culture studies. The seminars are
specifically aimed at the preparation of research plans, honing
analytical and interpretative skills.

General Readings
  • Linda Groat and David Wang, Architectural Research Methods, 2013
  • John Creswell and Cheryl Poth, Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing among Five Approaches, 2018


WEEK 1 (February 25 2021) Introduction and course overview

WEEK 2 (March 04 2021) Method: Historical research and strategies

WEEK 3 (March 11 2021) Toolkit: Hypotheses and research questions

WEEK 4 (March 18 2021) Theory: Actors and networks (ANT)

WEEK 5 (April 01 2021) Toolkit: Methodology

WEEK 6 (April 15 2021) Method - Guest lecture: Mapping Place, Mapping Memory (Lecture by Duncan Hay, Bartlett UCL)

WEEK 7 (April 22 2021) Method - Guest lecture: Oral History (Lecture by Janina Gosseye, TU Delft)

WEEK 8 (April 29 2021) Toolkit: The Table of Contents

WEEK 9 (May 6 2021) Method: Image Analysis

WEEK 10 (May 20 2021) Research Plan Presentations

WEEK 11 (May 27 2021) Research Plan Presentations

WEEK 12 (June 03 2021) Doctoral Reviews