In a variety of 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 program is being developed, often coined as ‘PhD by Design’, engaging with design discourse as both contribution as well as technique. Within the Architectural Association, 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’ (AA Prospectus). However, there is presently a lack of consensus within the Architectural Association regarding what a ‘PhD by Design’ 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’?
The Symposium will feature doctoral supervisors Paula Cadima, Mark Cousins, Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Marina Lathouri, Michael Weinstock, and Simos Yannas. In response to a given topic, doctoral supervisors are asked to present individual research proposals comprising written and non-written components.Thus, the event format serves as a comparative overview of different approaches to the notion of PhD by Design.