Courses & Units

Design Research - Methods KDA408


Research in architecture takes place for a variety of reasons: from architectural professionals using targeted research to find answers to novel problems on a building or design project to specialised researchers identifying and addressing abstract questions to create generalisable new knowledge for the benefit of society. Often, architects and architectural researchers work together and with other disciplines and professions to create new transdisciplinary knowledge and address complex, society-wide problems. Research approaches in architecture are similarly broad, drawing on the humanities, social and natural sciences, as well as ‘designerly ways of knowing’ common in artistic practice.

In this unit you will be exposed to the breadth of contexts and situations in which research in architecture takes place as you learn to identify and address valid questions for the discipline and profession. Through lectures and seminars, you will learn about some of the most common approaches and methodologies for research in architecture; in face-to-face workshops you will practise using a range of methods to address research problems in the field. You will also learn how to implement and communicate the findings of architectural research for an identified audience and context.


Unit name Design Research - Methods
Unit code KDA408
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Architecture and Design
Discipline Architecture & Design
Coordinator Doctor Mark Sawyer
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Launceston Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify valid topics and questions for research in architecture
  • Map the breadth of research approaches in architecture to position research activity within the discipline and profession
  • Adopt and develop a research approach and methods appropriate to a selected research problem
  • Communicate research in architecture for an identified target audience or context

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
100501 $1,118.00 $957.00 not applicable $2,648.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.


Teaching Pattern
  • Asynchronous: 1 x 45-minute lecture weekly (pre-recorded)
  • On Campus: 1 x 2-hour face-to-face workshop weekly
AssessmentFinding the right approach (30%)|Finding the right problem (30%)|Pilot study (40%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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