Research and Development

Research methods, processes and practices for Spatial Design and their application through a research project.

In this course students explore the research methods, processes and practices for Spatial Design and their application through a research project chosen and developed by the student. The focus lies on relating questions to design research processes and methods, and which involves working between the practice of making and critical writing.



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

See Stream for brief and schedule

Course contacts
Assoc. Prof. Sven Mehzoud (course coordinator)
Dr. Jacquie Naismith (senior lecturer)
Student work – [to come]



Last modified: May 22, 2021