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Research Methods in Architecture Literature Review Dr. Yasser Mahgoub


Literature Review Architectural Research Methods Linda Groat & David Wang


Introduction • Knowledge we already possess  New information • Literature Review (LR): – A survey of various sources to produce knowledge that is more lasting and has more widespread usefulness. – A very important part of the research process – Not only at the beginning of the process but throughout it.


Introduction Information from research: • Address a specific topic Summarized in several sentences) • Find its place in larger domain of relevant literature (community of people) • Should be able to stand on its own


Research Cyclical Process • A research must be informed about existing literature. • The outcome will expand that body of literature.


3.1.1. LR as an Exploratory System • LR: – A body of information existing in a wide varity of stored formats – Has conceptual relevance for a particular topic of inquiry. – Activities to use that body of information to define and address a topic of inquiry.


3.1.1. LR as an Exploratory System • Important issues: – Key sources – Key theories – Major issues and databases – Epistemological* and ontological** grounds – Main questions and problems * Epistemological - is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ** Ontological - is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence, or reality.


3.1.2. Annotated Bibliography vs LR • Annotated Bibliography: – Listing of references obtained from searching a field’s literature – Respond to each reference cited with a descriptive paragraph: Goals, Theoretical stance, Relevance for the investigation.


3.1.2. Annotated Bibliography vs LR • Annotated Bibliography: – Listing of references obtained from searching a field’s literature – Respond to each reference cited with a descriptive paragraph: Goals, Theoretical stance, Relevance for the investigation.


3.1.2. Annotated Bibliography vs LR • Annotated Bibliography: – Listing of references obtained from searching a field’s literature – Respond to each reference cited with a descriptive paragraph: Goals, Theoretical stance, Relevance for the investigation.


3.1.2. Annotated Bibliography vs LR • From Annotated Bibliography TO Literature Review – Introductory statement – Summary of the lines of existing research (grouped) – Observations on the state of literature: Expand – Covered – Arguments - …


3.1.3. Diagrammatic Structure for a Research Study • • • •

Question Audience Literature Topic  Actions


3.1.4. LR for Designers vs LR for Researcher Design

Research

Aim

Empirical object Particular place and time

Explanatory conceptual Beyond place and time

Use

Pragmatic Typological - Facts for normative action

Connect topic f inquiry – Theoretical – Philosophical – Epistemological Methodolical

Outcome Loose connection – Designed object – Without reference to a larger literature

Connections – Explanatory – Relates to body of literature


3.2. Uses of LR • To identify the research question: – Emerge from analyzing, criticizing and suggesting improvements to an existing work. – Comparison of literature. – Existing Theory – Testing Theory – Expansion of concept or Theory • Mining the Literature to develop a research question


3.2. Uses of LR • Research Creativity: – Derive new implications from existing position – Critique past stances from an awareness of present positions – Project future conditions based upon learned premises.


3.2. Uses of LR • To Focus the topic of inquiry: – Topic should not be: • Too general • Too broad • Too restrictive • To Understand the Makeup of the Research Question – Back-and-forth between Literature and Research – Restate the topic several times


3.2. Uses of LR • To Understand an Idea’s Generic Roots – Historical lineage – Family tree – Network – Grow the tree


3.2. Uses of LR • To Understand the Current Conceptual Landscape – Contemporary context – Current points of view • Competing • Opposing • Nuanced (slight degree of difference) – Intellectual agenda (buzz-words) • Sustainability • Deconstruction • Transdisciplinary


3.3. General Topics • Facts and Ideas – Fact: Agreement – Quantifiable and certifiable – Idea: Inference or hypothesis (newspapers, letters, material objects, historical studies, …) • Primary and secondary Sources – Primary: Original – Secondary: A source can be primary or secondary • Methodology by Theory and by Application – Describe methodology – Apply methodology


3.4. Specific Tactics 1. Knowing where the resources are 2. Having an organizing and retrieving system 3. Motivation and imagination


3.4.1. Where to go: Resources • • • • • •

Internet Library Archives Organizations Agencies Media


3.4.1. Where to go: Resources •

Internet – Search Engines – Specialized Search Engines • •

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Colombia University – http://library.columbia.edu/indiv/avery/avery_index.html Arts and Humanities Search – http://www.thomsonscientific.com/cgibin/jrnlst/jloptions.cgi?PC=H


3.4.1. Where to go: Resources •

Internet – Full Text Services • •

eJournals eBooks – ProQuest http://www.proquest.co.uk/en-UK/ – ScienceDirect http://www.sciencedirect.com/ – NetLibrary http://www.netlibrary.net/


3.4.1. Where to go: Resources •

Internet – Library Databases – Specific Websites


3.4.2. What to do: Organization and Retrieval • • • • • •

Locating   Borrowing Digest the gathered information Frame the research report Note taking Catalog Creative imagination


3.4.2. What to do: Organization and Retrieval •

Note taking – Systematic way – Index cards – Notebook – Laptop – Record all of the bibliographic Information of the source – Order – To be retrieved – Note taking  Note organizing – Creativity and Imagination


3.4.2. What to do: Organization and Retrieval

iPad App Review: Index Card

iPad for Writers: Apps


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Research Methods in Architecture - Literature Review