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MONO vista Mohd Nurhuari bin Yahya (13077849) P30026 Design Literature Review 6 December 2013

CONTENT Workshop 1 : Diagram Workshop 2 : Writing Architecture Workshop 3 : Walking Workshop 4 : Participatory Design Workshop 5 : Archive Workshop 6 : Collage Workshop 7 : Video Workshop 8 : Fieldwork Workshop 9 : City in a City Bibliography Appendix

INTRODUCTION This compilation of research philosophy for design methods covers the summary of knowledge being gained from the attended lectures as well as peer-to-peer contributions and further exploration and reviews from different literatures both listed and non-listed in the lectures. A reflective approach is undertaken for the evaluation of the methods as carried out in the workshops and therefore done and evaluated relatively to personal understanding and perspective. Throughout this compilation, one can see how the personal understanding developed and widened, in which the judgement and methods of handling the research gets more matured and extensive.

The document is presented in writing, both as a third and first person, depending on the suitability of the use and aim of writing. This is important to enable the reasoning to be presented clearly and that the personal relations to the methods are clearly defined.


DIAGRAM Diagrams and architecture have always been seen as a relevant connection in which the former becomes the most effective method to communicate and translate the latter into understandable and more exploratory form. With the various types of diagrams as a method to explore design possibilities and actions, it can be concluded that these variations will eventually help to produce different results in designing because they are carried out and produced in different ways technically. Therefore it is important to identify and realise that some types of diagramming methods in design research might be more relevant in one research aim than the other.

The diagram as design research method workshop emphasizes on Dialectogram. Earlier on, the potentialities and relevance of Dialectogram as a research philosophy for design have been introduced and therefore concluded to strengthen the knowledge on the production of this method.

Identifying a public space to carry out this method went on a little bit limited because at the time of the research, the personal knowledge and understanding on Oxford was very low since coming here 2 weeks earlier as an International Student, in which the subconscious thought quickly took to the Oxford City Centre as a place to carry out the workshop. Based on the brief understanding on how Dialectogram is being carried out, as a diagram “made by talking to people, sharing ideas and processing them into visual forms – a diagram, a dialogue, a dialectic, but also a dialect of technical drawing – hence, Dialectogram” (Miller, 2011), this exercise was executed in two trials; (1) sitting in the public space, at one point while doing the sketches as well as taking photographs to further strengthen the perception on the space and also by (2) sketching the place based on memory after spending a certain amount of time in the space.


STARBUCKS COFFEE This place appeared as an alien to me because I have never set my foot in the coffee house. However it was not a totally different ambience from other coffee places and the fact that Starbucks Coffee is located in every parts of the world, therefore the completely familiar branding, seating, furniture, menu and colours. The exercise was carried out by having a small tour around the interior of the ground floor level to oversee the scope of the study and then translated into a not-so-accurate plan sketch. Photographs are taken as a backup source of knowing the forms and the elements that shapes the place. Coffee ordered and then the next 2 hours were spent sitting at one spot of the coffee house to digest all activities associated with the place and my own understanding.

This method is not completely new to me because it has been a method I have practiced subconsciously in the years of my Architectural studies. Sketching plans and annotating it with the activities being carried out in the spaces, the materials and finishes of the built form, people’s movements and dialogues are all the considerations I have always taken into consideration when carrying out such study. However, I can see how clearly how this Dialectogram can help me to go even deeper in spatial and human behaviour studies. Sketches usually document an ambience into something static whereas these annotations and capturing of dialogues make the life of it, as they help to put the exploration of other senses; touch, smell, hearing and taste, as part of the whole composition. Details of the place are also documented, hence forcing me to study on the details of the paintings in the wall, how they are arranged, the distance of them from one another and how people would respond to it.

The produced Dialectogram of Starbucks Coffee in High Street comes out as a documentation of how the intended to space work and how people behave with and within it. People that came to the place in groups would take their coffee and desserts up to the first floor of the premise and many people who ordered for takeouts engaged in linear path. The ambience is cosy, hence the fact that quite a number of people come there and sit alone and many of them for a long time. The system of how people order and collect their coffee dictates the path of customers but some of them would go off this course to look at the display of desserts, cakes and biscuits. Only two baristas were working and besides being busy with their orders, they were also busy talking with a third person who could be their acquaintance. The stools are taken over by people who come alone and were using their notebook computers, sitting there for a long period of time.

Photographs were taken to help me with the production of the drawing especially to help strengthen my memory on how the space works and most importantly to document the shape of the space in relations to scale and proportions. It was helpful to sketch the plan with these photographs because I could be more accurate with the proportions of the space. However, I am not sure whether the use of photographs in this method would divert the aim and rules of the methodology although personally, I believe that it does not suggest so. Therefore, I clearly scope the use of photographs as the source for me to sketch the plan, rather than to document the activities and human behaviours.


ANGRID THAI CANTEEN I have been to this place a few times before, therefore I plan to solely use my memory and own abilities to draft out all the sketches, this time without the help of photographs. This restaurant sells Thai food and therefore I would expect to see a different and distinct human - spatial interaction. My aim was to see whether the unique menu of the restaurant would influence the way the spatial work and how people behave with and within it.

I spent 3 hours in the restaurant doing the observation in which I found that the place has been designed in a way that would be familiar with the local people instead of putting in efforts to enhance and showcase the unique Thai culture. There is a bar in the middle of the restaurant, where the waiters are and the cash register located which something that I think is an addition to the place that would impose familiarity for the locals. This space is a tight squeeze. By the arrangements of it, it can be seen that the front part of the restaurants are for people who are not going to sit for long, couples and those sitting alone. Those who came in groups would settle down at the long tables located further inside. Much further in, there are more cosy seating with bigger gaps between tables where much older and matured people were seated, on a raised platform.

I found that it is more dynamic to carry out the Dialectogram this way. I did not carry out any small tour around the restaurant beforehand, therefore the production of the plan in the sketch is more fluid in its quality, with some spaces undefined. This also suggests that the level of details I derived from this method is slightly less than the former one and if they are mentioned, it would be blurry and inaccurate. The scale and proportion of the sketch is quite off.

Limitations to this method might be the fact that it might seem like the whole elements within it occurred at the same time, although in fact, the documentation is a summary to what took place within a long period of time. It was also quite a problem to produce the Dialectogram in a small piece of material because it limits the level of details that could be documented, which is why Miller carried out his Dialectogram in AO size material. I believe, this way, a more precise relation of the activities to the dimension of time could be expressed and well-presented to the audience. After doing the Dialectogram in two different trials, it is found that having a supporting source; the photographs, as a guide to produce the sketch led to higher accuracy and precision in the drawing. However, the usage of it must be carefully monitored to not interfere with the aim of research using diagramming as method.

Dialectorgram, in a nutshell, is able to fulfil the aim of the study of the relationship between space, its quality and the users. It proves that space and users interact in multi-directional ways. The imposed function of spaces and its components will not necessarily be used by the people in the same way because a space is used in a way that suits the users’ interpretation. This method is most useful in the efforts to study human spatial behaviour in order to result in a better design of spaces as well as exploring designs that will manipulate the users’ behaviours.


WRITING ARCHITECTURE It is seldom that writing gets associated with Architecture other than as a way to review architectural works as seen in Architectural Journalism. It is a very creative approach knowing that writing is also a great way to help with exploration for Architectural Design. Upon understanding the various efforts taken by Jane Rendell and Peter Zumthor, it has come to an understanding that the use of words and vocabularies can help document the much needed expression that visuals cannot offer. Writing is indeed a method that can be adopted in designing, much like paintings, it helps to express a certain qualities that can be applied in architecture. In fact, with writing, readers can be taken to one place and journey towards another, hence creating a motion in the research.

Jane Rendell has carried out “Confessional Constructions� which is an installation consisting of photographs and text that explores the relationship between a number of forms of writing such as autobiographical accounts and architectural specifications to address the public space of a street corner. This idea of installation is translated into the Workshop to explore the association of memory and experience of a particular building in Oxford. The writing method by Peter Zumthor was chosen to present this installation in an Autobigraphical writing.

I have chosen the Modern Art Oxford Gallery to carry out this workshop. A 426-word essay was produced to ‘confess’ my association with the building which covers my knowledge on its history, my personal and emotional connections and experience. On a piece of 297mm x 297mm plain paper, a short 50-word paragraph of the essay was taken and written again in my own handwriting and installed outside the entrance to the gallery.

“The tenderness of an exhibition space has always triggered me to question the effectiveness of spatial usage. Of course, spatial usage and effectiveness vary greatly upon the capacity it holds, the frequency of usage and the intensity of exhibition itself. The term “gallery” and “museum”, although they are really distinctly defined, I see them as one; Exhibition Spaces.

I arrive at this place, celebrated with a ‘tunnel’ that pulls me directly into it. I noticed the visual and physical exhibits on my left and right, showing 80s film cuts and some seats to engage with the exhibits. At the back of my head, I knew I would see this exhibits again once I walk out of the place. I have been here before but it was closed. At that time I was able to have a peek at what was inside, just enough to make me feel that I should come back sooner or later.

There is always this feeling when I arrive at an exhibition space, that I feel special, as though my presence there is vital for the exhibits. I feel celebrated. I can immediately feel connections, the desire to engage with the exhibits and the space itself, be it in any volumes, lighting intensity, crowdedness. This building is definitely a regeneration project, it has history and by the traces of its interior spaces, I can see, although am not familiar with, the traces of the old Oxford history through the spatial height, ceiling, width of the lots and also some places materials are kept in or at least close to its original stage. The brick walls, though they are now well painted in while, might be because they are to be appeared in a less striking manner than the exhibits are prove of the existence of this building as part of the old Oxford.

This building, I found it by chance in which I think the same goes to a great crowd that came to the exhibition space every day. As non-local, I did know about the existence of this place until that day I came across it while walking. The location is a bit inward and secluded. It is not facing the main lively street of the city centre. However, this has proven to me how successful the ‘tunnel’ is at capturing me as well as others to set foot into the exhibition spaces they have.

On my second time coming here, I have not managed to finish all the exhibits. Therefore today I am back here at the Modern Art Oxford.�

The installation did not stay there for long as it was taken off the wall when I returned to the place just an hour letter. Therefore, the much needed and anticipated response it may get was cut off.

This confessional writing has managed to demonstrate how a person can be associated with a building in many ways such as the history, the spatial experience, the visual and even the curiosity of it. In fact, in reference to how Peter Zumthor carries on his autobiographical writing, it is clear that writing can help to explain the detail components of architecture and its relevance to human behaviour and usage in order to create a new design. It tracks back to the real intention of architecture and how it can be manipulated for new production. This method is important as it enables to direct the reader in the same view as writer who is writing, therefore a common ground of understanding is achieved. I believe with the writing that I have produced for the workshop, I was able to let people step in my shoes and see how I connect to this building and predict on how I may use the spaces.

However, I find that this method could mislead a reader’s understanding without the proper use of vocabularies and expressions. Therefore it takes a great effort to examine the words in detail. Although some writings can be done in an open ended statement and leaving some rooms for reader’s interpretation and exploration, it has to be backed up with proper idea behind it to set the scope of understanding. Undertaking Writing Architecture as an expressive writing in research philosophy for designing is an act of cross-disciplinary that provides another dimension to the research. It is a qualitative methodology that can be further explored with other types of media such as photography, painting and installation to produce more variety of product and innovation.

This method was further expanded in my Literature Review entitled “Writing in Two Voices, Longing and Memories.”


WALKING The field of architecture comes out as a multi-specialised field of study, ranging from expressive designing, heritage and conservation-led designing, research-led design, sustainable design and urban design. Being introduced to the various ways of how walking can be undertaken as a philosophical research method for designing, ranging from the exploration of the soul through walking as meditation, becoming pilgrimage, stalking and urban rambling, the idea of walking came out as a method that is continuously in motion.

The workshop for this method is carried out in Oxford City Centre by taking a reference of walking as a method for visual planning as carried out by Nikolaus Pevsner. The method is being executed in the manner of serial vision which is much like what is practiced in Urban Design by Gordon Cullen but in Pevsner’s method, it is mentioned that visual planning is purely formal but in the sense of primary relation of space and the subject instead of a spatial properties of objects. A 10-minute walk in the Oxford City Centre is represented in photographs and without the use of maps. This recorded walk was then documented in the form of a brochure that would be useful for tourists.

It is necessary that this method is used to study a city planning because it concerns the ability to derive conclusions from the surrounding structures, studying the contents and characters and experience the changes one goes through from a space to another. A main focus of interest was placed as the generator to the visual planning that will define the route for the 10-minute walk in which I have chosen to showcase on portals. The initial idea was to test whether the different characters of the doors and portals in the area would choreograph me into a visual planning path.

Starting from the Radcliffe Square, the walk was carried on through impressively design portals. It was true that these portals would become magnets for tourists to draw them to go through. The walking path then progressed from the Bodleian Library and along Parks Road where more portals are found - most are locked and not accessible, until these doors led to the next open space in the area which is the Museum of Natural History. It was a helpful method to understand the different characters of these doors and their historical backgrounds as well as their symbolic presentation. The final stop for the path was the Keble College of Oxford University, where a magnificent-looking door was documented.




This expansion of this workshop is in relation to my specialization in IARD as well as part of my Urban Design Theory studies. This walking research is carried out to study the Urban Regeneration of Liverpool City with reference to its historical morphology. Visual planning becomes the basis of the research in which the strength of vistas and facades will choreograph the path of the walk. Also referring to Gordon Cullen’s method of ‘Serial Vision’ as reviewed in his literature “The Concise Townscape”, the historic elements, tangible or/and intangible, of Liverpool are being documented and related to what the regeneration offers, to see what are the exact elements from the past that has been preserved and how they are being represented.

The path starts at the Duke Street of Downtown Liverpool City which is now known as Liverpool One, towards Paradise Street. This path progresses towards the distinctive façade character of John Lewis, as compared to the more uniform and bland facades of buildings along the street. This iconic urban intervention is proven a success at becoming a magnet for the locals and visitors through the manipulation of vistas. Once reaching the John Lewis building, the path deflects naturally into Paradise Street. From there, the path is straight forward but exists with many other distractions and nodes along the way presented in change of spatial volume, junctions, changes in building facades and characters as well as the retail and commercial activities. This path terminates at the Metquarter.

The outcome of this method has proven that the visual planning of a city can help to define the dominancy of city townscape and character. The findings of the research revealed that the total reinvention of the place has left small space for historical elements of the place to be preserved or recreated. It can be seen clearly that wise and commendable efforts has been taken to preserve the history of the place through intangible approach. The dramatic townscape experience in Liverpool One is displayed in the meaning of the place which complements the original use of Downtown Liverpool as a shopping area. Street names are preserved proudly in a celebration of new urban development.

Visual planning and picturesque in walking as research method for the field of architectural design and planning is strongly useful because it suggests that a city planning should be tactical. This method is highly exploratory and engaging, proving that it is possible to understand an urban form purely from visual engagement because it is solely a sequence that develops from one view to another in a manner of revelations. If the urban form exploration is carried out based on maps, it will be a bias method since the path has been formerly set and therefore the strength of the city and built form is not highly-judged. The idea is to see how the urban form would draw a city exploration with the qualities and contents it offers and the picturesqueness.


PARTICIPATORY DESIGN Exploration of design methods can also involve participation from the public. Introduction of participatory design tool as a philosophical method for designing explores the potentialities of extracting information to help with decision making that would be the driving force for the design. Participatory design tool provides a structured system for the public to engage with so that will the aim of gaining information from the public would be easier and fun.

Taking the structural system of the board game Monopoly, this workshop explores the concept of participatory design method to address its practical usability in the context of Oxford. The big aim being explored in this participatory design research method is the issue of mobility to show the vitality of its flow within the urban form of Oxford City. The variables being derived for this reinterpretation of Monopoly concerns the intentions, place or destination and the transport which is rationalized and specified to taxi, hence eliminating other unnecessary intentions such as the personal pleasure of driving and the limitation of loop-based transportation such as buses. The mobility of taxi is chosen as the transport due to the freedom it has in taking people to different destinations based on specific intensions.

Working in a group of 5, this alteration of Monopoly board game is challenged to extract opinion-based information in order to establish feasible taxi routes based on particular zones within the Oxford City. In order to achieve that, the game’s mechanic considers on the community as ‘participants’, the ‘destinations’ and the variety of ‘intentions’ prepared by the designer. The ‘intentions’ are landed by chance and it influences the allocation of participant’s destination, to be reached by taxi. When the game ends, the result would show the allocation of potential hotspots for taxi drop-off zones based on the accumulation of pinpointed placements. This information would be useful for taxi companies in Oxford as well as for urban designers to engage with future planning of taxi circulation and zoning through the consideration of the community-destinationsintentions relationships.

However, I find this method could be prone to loopholes because of its limiting scope. The participants are to participate in a controlled environment instead of really getting the chance to speak up for what they would have wanted for a design or development. It might suggest that this method is unsuitable to be carried out at the beginning of a design research because it would narrow down the research findings into something that was already hypothesized. It would be better to use this method once the basic ideas for design is derived so that this method would further clarify these ideas and to predict what the outcomes are once the design or system is built and established. Nevertheless, with a more proper and flexible system in the participatory design method, the community would still be able to voice out their opinions, seeing this tool as an effort to kick-start their thinking and needs.


ARCHIVE Archive as a method for architectural design research brings up the relation between object significance, time and events that exists in fragmentation and can be in any form. The archive can be understood as a system of collection, a process of recollection and as evidence to what was. This is synonym as becoming a method of gathering information based on facts and historical value which are understood as empirical evidence. The act of archiving is fluid and is done in a way one would find deemed most suitable. Jane Rendell carried out a method of documenting ‘The Welsh Dresser’ and its contents through photographs and autobiographical writing that recalls her association and history with the materials and objects in the dresser.

The task for the workshop requires a similar approach towards learning the method of archive in architectural research. Documenting history based on personal association with an object, event, thoughts and even dreams required me to place myself to work within a highly focused scope. The intention is to critically provide the rationale for archiving a few chosen materials of own belonging through writing, much like Rendell, and to come up with the method of archiving the materials. The writing that was produced explains on the history of the items as well as other of my own personal experiences that are associated with the items, taking a reference based on the archiving method displayed in ‘The Welsh Dresser’ by Jane Rendell and ‘From the Freud Museum’ by Susan Hiller.


RED ‘LAMY’ PEN “This red Lamy pen, even with its design suggests that it is made to provide good service an experience. Just a simple design of pen with a head cover and works with ink in which I had to refill every once in a while. This red Lamy pen belonged to my father. It has been with him for a long time that it will look awkward when my father was using any other pens. This was the pen of an old man that is no longer here. This pen served my father up until his last days. I would archive this pen based on the strong connection I feel, not with it, but towards it being strongly connected to my father. This is an object with history and I don’t want that piece of history to be a part of somebody else that would not appreciate it. This pen did not come alone, along with it is a visual of old Mercedes Benz, hardship and hope. “


AN INVENTORY BOOK “This book exists in disguise but its out of norm distorted thickness will give away its undercover. This book is my daily expenses inventory in which I would update every once so that the info will not get lost. Besides recording the money I spend on a daily basis, I would also put together some receipts for reference. I see this as an act of archiving my expenses. I have tried to this before when I was younger but it was hard to commit because the purpose was not really clear. Now that I am away from my family, this purpose once again becomes more relevant. This book is a gift from two of my friends, as a token of appreciation for helping them with their design competition that have stretched out to become a help to fight off the haters.�

The narrative, taking Rendell and Hiller as reference, is an Autobiographical writing which explains and clarifies on the reasoning of the values of the items that make them worth being archived. The items were evaluated in the bigger picture as well as in the detail elements of them, which was then related to memories and experience associated with it. This explanation goes in and out of the present time and space.

This method, as compared to others in the context of architectural design research promotes a more in-depth study on the research aim. Association of the personal thought and experience with an object engaged me in a wider context of exploration as the dimension of space and time is being encountered. This has become a journey of going back and forth because the methodology involves the interrelationship between the present and past. Therefore, in order to achieve the result, a common ground of understanding is being established to assist with the understanding and exploration. In relations to architecture, I found that this method would be useful as a method to gain archived information as well as a way to document the result of an architecture exploration or product to be referred to in the future.


COLLAGE Collage as a research philosophy for design method compiles the evidence of the spatial, visual and social dimension in which the 2-dimensional work can express values and perspectives. This method works my implementing focus on the opportunities and potentials that could be derived in spaces based on the collaging of different images or materials becoming a harmonic composition of fully enclosed illustration.

This collage is derived to address the interior spatial sequence of the place I live in by taking up the developed surface drawing technique as introduced in the lecture. The aim of the exercise is to help with understanding the value of home interior and what constitute architecture and domestic space. 2-dimensional photographs of the interior spaces of the place I live in is being arranged in a way that would obey the layout of the house. In the end, the collage is being evaluated, seeing the house as a product for me (and my housemates) to live in and whether other opportunities can be derived from there. This method shall provide me as a designer with better imagination on the personalisation of the spaces, boundaries, territories and common space.

Found through this method is the concentration of the space in accordance to furniture layout. The plan in the collage becomes a constant variable to which it sets the scope for the responding variable for the research which is the concentration of the activity of the area in the space as measured by the disarrangement or the ripple of the materials within the picture. This draws up the hypothesis that the more concentrated the are is, the more used it is.


VIDEO Another cross-disciplinary research method is being explored and made rationale to the field of Architecture. The application of this method was introduced in the landscape study by Krystallia Kamvasinou whereby amongst the many elements being extracted in video of architectural research was identifying the foreground, mid-ground and background and how they differ from each other as a result of the studying the motion and stasis factors.

Based on the same research question, the workshop investigates the relationship on how user’s experience of architecture between the state of mobility and stasis. Footages of typical stroll through the Oxford Brookes University premises were taken to carry out the investigation. This method is dynamic and quite out of the ordinary. The videos are taken in 2 different time; night and day in which the difference in movements within the static environment in this two setting can be identified. I did the comparison in two types of representation; (1) putting the frames side by side and (2) overlapping the frames. This way, the multiple types of motion, from natural environments caused by the wind to the imposed movements of human activites and vehicles would be made clearer. It was important the footage was shot to be identical in terms of location and angles in order to minimize the glitch and human error that might occur as well as making sure that the only difference of movements occurs amongst elements within the footage itself.

The analysis of the compiled and edited videos involved the utilization of motion vocabularies such as transitional spaces, the ordinary and rhythm to describe the static environment. On the hand, the elements in motion synonymised with vocabularies such as poetics, distortion, ambience and mute. Interpretation of the data is derived from the diagrams being created from the video. These diagrams are presented in timeline and they document the elements in motion which were extracted and separated from the static environment. Light intensity was found to be more outstanding during night time as compared to during the day in which the light is part of the static environment and the shadows were the elements in motion. Another analysis being drawn out was the consistency of the obstacles which is associated with the inconsistency of the captured footage, seen more apparent when the footages were overlapped, where slight shift in angles and speed of camera movement occurred as well as the external factors such as wind that caused the swaying of the environment. This part of the analysis is noted in degrees of inconsistency of walking and video-taking the same paths twice. The convergence of the mentioned situations in a single timeline revealed the points in which the different levels of human activities were identified that hence, answering the research question of identifying the motion and stasis within day and night times.

The video can be accessed at:


ADVANCED DIAGRAMMING An elaborative expansion for the video is being developed in which the

diagram presentation is further explored from the previous one which was more conceptual.

A few more diagrams were established in which the numerical values are noted with respect to the video time. The factors and variables being considered for the diagrams are light intensity, physical disposition, natural disposition and superimposition analysis.

This diagram presentation of data based on the 1-minute video has helped me to be more clarified about how the different variables could be identified and related to one another. Every changes the objects and subjects undergo can be identified and specified, hence validating that this method is able to put a more focus effort to gain the required data and analysis.

As demonstrated, it is revealed that this method comes with limitations. Although this method is very synonym and useful with motion documenting, it scopes down the study into only the captured frame, suggesting that this method could be more visual-based interpretation. However, much like the combination of photography and writing as demonstrated by Jane Rendell in her work ‘The Welsh Dresser’ the method of studying elements within a captured frame will lead to a more focused analysis.

Nevertheless, it was found the strength of this method is the fact that it best method so far to examine the concerns of architecture and motion.


FIELDWORK The study of Anthropology is another interdisciplinary methodology of architectural research that has been carried out in the form fieldwork. This method is synonym with the design research aim of learning the behaviours, patterns, developments, relationships of other culture or unknown field of the subject through observation, interviews and participation. This method, in short, is the act of exposing and venturing into another group of people within a period of time to learn the way they go through their daily routine and rituals in the aim to record data concerning design research aim.

In this workshop, the task involves a hypothetical location of Cowley Road in which an anthropological fieldwork is being set up in order to operationalize the research question of finding out how does graffiti contribute to the local identity of the location. The concept ‘local identity’ is broken down to obtain its empirical and much more measurable variables and essence. This way, the research question will be well-scoped and more defined. The obtained variables will help specify the methods of gaining data to address the research question.




Does graffiti affect demography and ethnicity distribution?


Does graffiti lead to gentrification? Does graffiti bring a new culture to the existing ones? Has the social activity changed from before and after?

Local Identity


Does the economic activity get affected by graffiti? Does graffiti affect the employment opportunities?

Visual Dimension

Does graffiti affect the visual appearance ? Does graffiti influence public perception?

I carried out a visit to the area to clarify through my observation on what are the graffiti being mentioned as well as whether the variables being operationalized earlier on satisfy the concept of ‘local identity.’

This method is important in the field of architecture because it involves first-hand obtaining and recording of data. However, the disadvantage of this methodology is that it may come out more demanding as the operationalization is further explored. I find this method to be confusing in terms of its execution especially when identifying the variables of the concept of ‘local identity’ and drafting out method to respond towards the research question.


CITY IN A CITY This workshop requires the development of manifesto based upon a project that has been discussed in a group. Flashcards are used as prompts to start the description of rituals of performance. The manifest in this workshop exercise becomes the definitive material for private, public, urban and the essence of the city.

Taking the same approach as Rem Koolhaas with the Berlin Wall, this workshop aims to apply the knowledge of creating a city within a city, in the West End of Oxford and concerning the ritual engaged by tourists such as punting and shopping. The performative ritual acts as a medium to understand the nature of the community within the city through the concept of City within a City. Koolhaas described the wall as a form of decision, absolution, heroic, architecture of standardization, absent of programmes, provoking incredible number of events, behaviours and effects, a vast system of rituals as a script, blurring divisions between tragedy, comedy, melodrama, and most importantly, a sequence of deadly events.

The chosen manifesto, concerning the historical dimension of Oxford City shapes out the concept of the ‘Canal Street’ as the main network for transportation medium. This is to amplify the historical ambience of Oxford as part of the showcase for the design. The manifesto of solidarity in design is applied in the performative ritual of punting as a medium in which the true engagement with nature and tranquillity. Fulfilling the manifesto of creating natural boundary to the Oxford City is achieved by having a continuous canal that will become a splitting mechanism that hence, reshapes the city. The final manifesto is the exchange of experience by enacting the narratives that allows tourist to create and interpret their own experience.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Miller, M. (2011). On Mitch Miller, and the Groundbreaking invention of the dialectogram.. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 1 Dec 2013] Pevsner, Nikolaus and Mathew Aitchison ed. (2010) Visual Planning and the Picturesque, Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute. Rendell, Jane (2002) The Pursuit of Pleasure: Gender, Space and Architecture in Regency London, London: Athlone. Rendell, J. (2010). Site-writing. London: I.B. Tauris. Rendell, Jane. (2013). Jane Rendell. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 28 Nov 2013]. Tschumi, Bernard (1981) The Manhattan Transcripts, London: Academy Editions. Zumthor, Peter (2005) Thinking Architecture, Boston, Mass.: Birkh채user.


WEEK 01 Diagrams

WEEK 01 Diagrams

WEEK 02 WritingArchitecture

WEEK 03 Walking


WEEK 04 ParticipatoryDesign


WEEK 05 Archive

WEEK 07 Collage

WEEK 08 Videos

WEEK 09 Fieldwork

WEEK 09 Fieldwork

WEEK 10 CityinaCity

OTHER MATERIALS A pamphlet from Modern Art Oxford as obtained during Writing Architecture Workshop.


A Research Method Diary

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