Research and Development

In this course you will explore
research methods, processes and practices
for Spatial Design and their application,
through a research project
chosen and developed by you,
working between the practice of making
and critical writing as a method of research.


        Rebecca Horn, Finger Gloves, 1972


Tinana refers to the actual, main part or core of something, including the self. Whakatinana is to make manifest concepts or ideas, to be able to realize your individual or collective aspirations in tangible form. This concept recognises that the process of actualisation is connected both to an individual’s or group’s aspirations and the framework or structures (social, political, cultural, historical) within which they operate. As a process, whakatinana respects that there will be challenges in the world and that every challenge should be taken seriously and planned for with due caution. Accepting challenges and acknowledging the importance of your support structures, including valuing the contribution of others and thorough preparation, fosters mutual respect.

Research-through-design; thinking as doing;

Spatial Design Research & Development is an intensive research-oriented paper which integrates theoretical investigations and design experiments, through a reflexive process of embodied thinking as doing (Grosz, 2001).

“[This] project […] is in part about thinking, about how to think, to think while making or rather while doing: to think as doing.”

Elizabeth Grosz, 2001, pp. 57-62 .
Architecture from the Outside: Essays on Virtual and Real Space.
Cambridge & London: MIT Press.

“Thinking-through-making is a process in which making and thinking alternate back and forth all the time, in rapid iterations. The making or designing could be taking place intuitively. Reflecting on what has been made helps create knowledge and insights.”

Bas Raijmakers & Danielle Arets (Eds.), 2015, p.14.
Strategic creativity series: Thinking through making.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands: Design Academy Eindhoven.

Brief + schedule

2019 brief

2019 schedule

Course contacts
Jen Archer-Martin (course coordinator and senior lecturer)
Dr. Jacquie Naismith (senior lecturer)
Week 1

Monday session:

  • welcome/intro
  • research clusters – intro & workshop


For Friday:

  • Independent:
    •  SET UP blog and fill out blog form
    •  POST a first blog post as a reflection on the first session – what initial insights/thoughts do you have about what ‘spatial design research’ might mean/be for you (#reflection #wk1)
    •  MAKE a ‘visual map’ or assemblage of examples of your own work, plus any key images/quotes, relevant to your particular areas of interest or concerns (document on blog #mapping #wk1)
    • READ key readings for your research cluster
  • Cluster:
    • MEET as a cluster
    • DISCUSS readings and key research themes
    • MAP shared and individual research concerns for your cluster – where do you sit in relation to one another and what alignments are there?
    • PREPARE a brief (10minute) presentation for Friday, as a cluster, where you will:
      • introduce your cluster and key concerns (including your responses to the readings)
      • walk us through a visual and/or spatial representation of your cluster map
      • introduce one another (name, research interests)



Friday session:

  •  cluster introductions

Last modified: February 20, 2020