Courses & Units

Design Research - Methods KDA408


Design Research: Methods and Design Research: Communication are a suite of two units where you will explore the relationship between research and contemporary design practice and develop key skills in undertaking and communicating design research. The units provide the foundation for Advanced Design Research projects in the Master of Architecture.

Design Research: Methods focuses on the conventions, methodologies and techniques for undertaking research within design disciplines. You will be introduced to contemporary and emergent fields of research in design through lectures and seminars, presentations from design researchers in academia and practice, and via seminal and contemporary texts. You will develop critical skills for searching, reading and discussing theories and ideas and exploring the value and application of design research methodologies in different contexts, including multi- and interdisciplinary research projects. You will also gain an understanding of responsibility and accountability in the ethical conduct of design research. In the second half of semester, you will focus on a design research approach aligned with your practice and disciplinary specialisation and undertake a detailed critical evaluation through text and other relevant media.


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 Associate Professor David Beynon
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 21/2/2022 22/3/2022 11/4/2022 29/5/2022

* 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 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyse the relationship between design and research fields by drawing on contemporary design research practices
  • Analyse various methods of design research to inform their application in different contexts
  • Produce a designed outcome with informed use of design research methods
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
100501 $1,002.00 $858.00 not applicable $2,402.00

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.

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Teaching Pattern
  • On Campus: 1 x 50-minute lecture weekly (pre-recorded)
  • On Campus: 1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly 
  • (note: Unit is all on-campus, though in 2022 due to COVID-related issues, all tutorials are synchronously available online)
AssessmentResearch for Design: leading to a Critical Precedent Review (30%)|Research through Design: leading to a Visual Essay (50%)|Research into Design: leading to a Seminar Presentation. (20%)
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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