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 Research in common parlance refers to a search for knowledge. Once can also define
research as a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific
topic. In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation.
 The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English lays down the meaning of
research as “a careful investigation or inquiry especially through search for new facts in
any branch of knowledge.”
 Redman and Mory define research as a “systematized effort to gain new knowledge.”
Some people consider research as a movement, a movement from the known to the
unknown. It is actually a voyage of discovery. We all possess the vital instinct of
inquisitiveness for, when the unknown confronts us, we wonder and our inquisitiveness
makes us probe and attain full and fuller understanding of the unknown. This
inquisitiveness is the mother of all knowledge and the method, which man employs for
obtaining the knowledge of whatever the unknown, can be termed as research.
 Research is an academic activity and as such the term should be used in a technical
 According to Clifford Woody research comprises defining and redefining problems,
formulating hypothesis or suggested solutions; collecting, organizing and evaluating
data; making deductions and reaching conclusions; and at last carefully testing the
conclusions to determine whether they fit the formulating hypothesis.
 D. Slesinger and M. Stephenson in the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences define research
as “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalizing to
extend, correct or verify knowledge, whether that knowledge aids in construction of
theory or in the practice of an art.”
 Research is, thus, an original contribution to the existing stock of knowledge making for
its advancement. It is the pursuit of truth with the help of study, observation, comparison
and experiment. In short, the search for knowledge through objective and systematic
method of finding solution to a problem is research. The systematic approach
concerning generalization and the formulation of a theory is also research.
 As such the term ‘research’ refers to the systematic method consisting of enunciating the
problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the facts or data, analyzing the facts and
reaching certain conclusions either in the form of solutions(s) towards the concerned
problem or in certain generalizations for some theoretical formulation.
 A voyage of discovery; A journey; An attitude; An experience; A method of critical
thinking; A careful critical enquiry in seeking facts for principles
An art of scientific investigation
 Scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic
 Process of arriving at dependable solutions to problems through the planned and
systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data
A systematized effort to gain new knowledge; a movement from the known to the
 Search for (new) knowledge/ facts through objective, systematic and scientific method of
finding solution to a problem
 Implicit question + Explicit answer + data to answer the question
 Not synonymous with commonsense, but systematic, objective (purposeful),
reproducible, relevant activity having control over some factors

Module 01: Introduction to Research and Research in Architecture



WHAT IS ARCHITECTURAL RESEARCH? James Snyder in his 1984 book Architectural Research suggest that research is "systematic inquiry directed toward the creation of knowledge" Two elements in the definition: (1) The inquiry is systematic. and application of such building principles to other building projects.  Conduct of architectural research outside the confines of specific building projects is a much more recent phenomenon. how it is categorized. testing materials through a series of built projects. design methods. WHAT IS RESEARCH IN ARCHITECTURE?  Architectural research has been conducted throughout the history of architecture. but don’t write it up. and should be pursued both for reasons of SELF-INTEREST and more broadly for the COMMON GOOD. THEN. Systematic inquiry suggest that there is a conscious demarcation of how particular information is culled from the rest of our experience.  Interest in historic preservation is overtaken in the late 1980s by a concern for architectural implication of deconstruction and critical theory. RESEARCH METHODS FOR ARCHITECTURE Module 01: Introduction to Research and Research in Architecture 2 JGPL2014 . and energy conservation in the 1960s and early 1970s. systematic observation. everyone does research. such as Einstein's theory of relativity or geological theories of plate tectonics. and evaluating the success of particular building forms in communicating intended meanings to different stakeholders. including: assessing the outcomes of fusing two previously distinct functional building types. analyzed and presented. (2) Knowledge creation is frequently cited as characteristics of the research endeavour. sociobehavioural issues.An activity caused by instinct of inquisitiveness to gain fresh insight / find answers to question / acquire knowledge. opinions and hearsay. without trustworthy and tested published research available we are dangerously lost in the experience. (Example: Grand theories of the sciences.  Climate and structural studies have been the focal point of research in the 1950s.  The essential importance of research is that an ever-increasing proportion of architectural practice involves unfamiliar circumstances beyond the expertise of individual practitioners. and beyond the conventional wisdom of the profession as a whole. GIVEN THE STAGGERING BREADTH. The development of particular structural forms and building materials over the centuries is the outcome of trial and error of experimentation. (2) If unconventional aesthetic principles are being used in a setting involving conflicting stakeholders (derived from poststructuralist or deconstructivist philosophy). This is the case: (1) If the requirement of the project are extraordinarily complicated (perhaps a multi-use complex or an innovative manufacturing plant).) New knowledge can also emerge in relatively small increments and be attained through a variety of means. • In a broad sense.  Architectural history over the years moved from an almost exclusively art historical models into a more conceptually expansive terrain that includes design theory and criticism. THE IMPERATIVE FOR ARCHITECTURAL RESEARCH  Architectural research is mightily important to the success and ultimate viability of the profession.

flaws in procedural design and estimate their effects upon the findings. WHY DO ARCHITECTS NEED TO UNDERTAKING RESEARCH? (1) To get a degree (2) To get respectability (3) To face a challenge (4) To solve a problem (5) To get intellectual joy (6) To serve society CRITERIA OF A GOOD RESEARCH (1) The purpose of the research should be clearly defined and common concepts be used. concern over practical problems initiates research. (6) Desire to get respectability. keeping the continuity of what has already been attained. (4) The researcher should report with complete frankness.e. (2) To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual. (4) To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables (such studies are known as hypothesis-testing research studies). i. (5) Desire to be of service to society. RESEARCH METHODS FOR ARCHITECTURE Module 01: Introduction to Research and Research in Architecture 3 JGPL2014 . (3) The procedural design of the research should be carefully planned to yield results that are as objective as possible. situation or a group (studies with this object in view are known as descriptive research studies). (3) To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else (studies with this object in view are known as diagnostic research studies). (2) The research procedure used should be described in sufficient detail to permit another researcher to repeat the research for further advancement. (3) Desire to get intellectual joy of doing (4) some creative work.(3) If the project is for a specialized user group whose particular requirements for the physical environment are not well documented (such as people with spinal cord injuries). OBJECTIVES OF RESEARCH (1) To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it (studies with this object in view are termed as exploratory or formulative research studies). (2) Desire to face the challenge in solving the unsolved problems.. MOTIVATION IN RESEARCH (1) Desire to get a research degree along with its consequential benefits.

(3) Good research is empirical: It implies that research is related basically to one or more aspects of a real situation and deals with concrete data that provides a basis for external validity to research results. concern for the integrity of the work of the community combined with narrow moral standards with the larger ethical dimension  Research done in the best interests of others is also in your own RESEARCH METHODS FOR ARCHITECTURE Module 01: Introduction to Research and Research in Architecture 4 JGPL2014 . through them. In other words. we need to think about ethics of civil communication  In addition to construction of bonds within any community. In fact. has a good reputation in research and is a person of integrity.(5) The analysis of data should be sufficiently adequate to reveal its significance and the methods of analysis used should be appropriate. claiming credit for results of others. destroy or conceal sources and data important for those who follow  Beyond simple moral Do not to what we should affirmatively do. (2) Good research is logical: This implies that research is guided by the rules of logical reasoning and the logical process of induction and deduction are of great value in carrying out research. Academic researchers are less tempted to sacrifice principle for a gain than commercial researchers  Plagiarism. Induction is the process of reasoning from a part to the whole whereas deduction is the process of reasoning from some premise to a conclusion which follows from that very premise. concealing objections that cannot be rebutted. (7) Greater confidence in research is warranted if the researcher is experienced. ethics deal with a range of moral and immoral choices. logical reasoning makes research more meaningful in the context of decision making. (4) Good research is replicable: This characteristic allows research results to be verified by replicating the study and thereby building a sound basis for decisions. caricaturing or distorting opposing views. i. data with questionable accuracy. we can state the qualities of a good research as under: (1) Good research is systematic: It means that research is structured with specified steps to be taken in a specified sequence in accordance with the well-defined set of rules. Systematic characteristic of the research does not rule out creative thinking but it certainly does reject the use of guessing and intuition in arriving at conclusions. The validity and reliability of the data should be checked carefully.e. to the research that our sources used. Research challenges us to define individual moral principles.. Hence beyond technique. (6) Conclusions should be confined to those justified by the data of the research and limited to those for which the data provide an adequate basis. ETHICS OF RESEARCH  As a profound social activity research connects us to those who will use it. misreport sources or invent results. to those whose research we used.

Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business organization.  In analytical research. It is applicable to phenomena that can be expressed in terms of quantity. using very small samples and very deep probing data gathering devices. Fundamental  Research can either be applied (or action) research or fundamental (to basic or pure) research. (3) Quantitative vs. often without due regard for system and theory. i. RESEARCH METHODS FOR ARCHITECTURE Module 01: Introduction to Research and Research in Architecture 5 JGPL2014 . we can think of research either as one-time research or longitudinal research. Research can as well be understood as clinical or diagnostic research. The major purpose of descriptive research is description of the state of affairs as it exists at present. remains. on the other hand. Such research follows case-study methods or in-depth approaches to reach the basic causal relations.  Qualitative research. Analytical  Descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding enquiries of different kinds.  On the other hand. whereas fundamental research is mainly concerned with generalizations and with the formulation of a theory.TYPES OF RESEARCH (1) Descriptive vs. In the former case the research is confined to a single time-period.      From the point of view of time. etc. including the philosophy of persons and groups at any remote point of time. and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material. The research may be exploratory or it may be formalized. phenomena relating to or involving quality or kind. whereas in the latter case the research is carried on over several time-periods. to study events or ideas of the past. is concerned with qualitative phenomenon. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones.e.. Such studies usually go deep into the causes of things or events that interest us. on the other hand. whereas formalized research studies are those with substantial structure and with specific hypotheses to be tested. Historical research is that which utilizes historical sources like documents. the researcher has to use facts or information already available. Qualitative  Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. empirical research relies on experience or observation alone. depending upon the environment in which it is to be carried out. Empirical  Conceptual research is that related to some abstract idea(s) or theory. The objective of exploratory research is the development of hypotheses rather than their testing. (4) Conceptual vs. (2) Applied vs. Research can be field-setting research or laboratory research or simulation research.

viz. The purpose of inferential approach to research is to form a data base from which to infer characteristics or relationships of population.e. i. (3) Developing the hypothesis.” Simulation approach can also be useful in building models for understanding future conditions. RESEARCH METHODS FOR ARCHITECTURE Module 01: Introduction to Research and Research in Architecture 6 JGPL2014 . The term ‘simulation’ in the context of business and social sciences applications refers to “the operation of a numerical model that represents the structure of a dynamic process. Research can also be classified as conclusion-oriented and decision-oriented. the techniques of focus group interviews. (8) Analysis of data. parameters and exogenous variables. Generally. Decision-oriented research is always for the need of a decision maker and the researcher in this case is not free to embark upon research according to his own inclination. a researcher is free to pick up a problem. and it is then inferred that the population has the same characteristics. (2) Extensive literature survey. and (11) Preparation of the report or presentation of the results. (10) Generalizations and interpretation. (5) Determining sample design. All these are explained at length in chapters that follow. (4) Preparing the research design. (6) Collecting the data.  Qualitative approach to research is concerned with subjective assessment of attitudes. (7) Execution of the project. This permits an observation of the dynamic behavior of a system (or its sub-system) under controlled conditions. This approach can be further sub-classified into inferential.  Experimental approach is characterized by much greater control over the research environment and in this case some variables are manipulated to observe their effect on other variables. The former involves the generation of data in quantitative form which can be subjected to rigorous quantitative analysis in a formal and rigid fashion. redesign the enquiry as he proceeds and is prepared to conceptualize as he wishes. Such an approach to research generates results either in nonquantitative form or in the form which are not subjected to rigorous quantitative analysis. opinions and behavior. quantitative approach and the qualitative approach. Given the values of initial conditions. (9) Hypothesis testing. projective techniques and depth interviews are used. formal write-up of conclusions reached. This usually means survey research where a sample of population is studied (questioned or observed) to determine its characteristics. RESEARCH APPROACHES  The above description of the types of research brings to light the fact that there are two basic approaches to research. experimental and simulation approaches to research. PROCESS OF RESEARCH (1) Formulating the research problem.. While doing conclusion oriented research.. Research in such a situation is a function of researcher’s insights and impressions. a simulation is run to represent the behavior of the process over time.  Simulation approach involves the construction of an artificial environment within which relevant information and data can be generated.

p. Redman and A. Meir. p. • The Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences. pp. p.Sources: • The Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English. Vol. • Robert C. 4. cit. Mory.10. IX. “Marketing Research—A Management Information Approach”. • L. The Romance of Research. A. 2 • Karl Pearson.V. Cook. p. • Bernard Ostle and Richard W. • Pauline V. 10–12. p.. MacMillan. “Architectural Research Methods. 1952. pp. Oxford. Young. p. • Ostle and Mensing: op. RESEARCH METHODS FOR ARCHITECTURE Module 01: Introduction to Research and Research in Architecture 7 JGPL2014 . 1923. Bellenger and Barnett. 1069.V. 39 (March. Morton Deutsch and Stuart for any issues. 1958). 107– 108. Statistics in Research. • Danny N. 285–86. st • Linda Groat and David Wang. Newell and Harold L. Lastrucci. Simulation in Business and Economics. Research Methods in Social Relations. The Grammar of Science. William T.H. Greenberg. • James Harold Fox. p. You may E-mail streetsofmanila2013survey@gmail. Criteria of Good Research.”. • Carlos L. Part I. comments and suggestions. 30. 7. Scientific Social Surveys and Research. p. 1 Ed. Vol. p. 1930. • Marie Jahoda. Dazier. 2. p. The Scientific Approach: Basic Principles of the Scientific Method. Content used for the module are copyright to its respected owners. 1. Mensing. 6-8 Disclaimer: This Module claims no credit for any part unless otherwise noted. Phi Delta Kappan.