The Art of Research: Words, Stories & Diagrams in the Design Process

Diagram_of_I_Ching_hexagrams_owned_by_Gottfried_Wilhelm_Leibniz,_1701 Perkins, Franklin. Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 117. Print.
Diagram_of_I_Ching_hexagrams_owned_by_Gottfried_Wilhelm_Leibniz,_1701 Perkins, Franklin. Leibniz and China: A Commerce of Light. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 117. Print.

Architecture and design belong to an anxious world. Thousands of design alternatives in thousands of cities and villages around the globe. Architecture and design students are exposed to infinite tools of research, and design languages that are available in a split of a second on the Internet. These design languages are deeply rooted in different cultures and societies. All of them, claiming universal validity and ‘ecological’ approaches. How do we – in the academia, provide them with gentle, serene, local, but also multiple, global, and systematic tools of research? This should be the key task in schools of architecture and design today.

On December 19th I will deliver a lecture in Shanghai called ‘The Art of Research: Words, Stories & Diagrams in the Design Process’. The message of the lecture is that even in the initial stage of the design process, thinking and acting in systems can connect various design languages and research tools. This is a key factor if we want to improve the present course of the dominant design philosophy in the world, including China. I will explain the process and the outcomes of a series of lectures and workshops. These activities were coordinated by a group of researchers and practitioners in the fields of Environmental Design, Ecological Architecture, and Technoetic Art. The initial results are part of the research process of undergraduate students in their final thesis project, at SIVA-DETAO advance courses. The lecture ‘‘The Art of Research: Words, Stories & Diagrams in the Design Process’ will describe the outcomes of this collaboration.

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