Teaching Matters

Poster 9

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


Advanced design research and the teaching-research nexus


Mike Hornblow, School of Architecture and Design
Jacqueline Power, School of Architecture and Design
Diyannah Syafiqah Binte Mohd Sham, School of Architecture and Design
Eng Yip, School of Architecture and Design
Sonja Hindrum, School of Architecture and Design


Excellent teaching happens by design

Presentation Type



Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre Foyer




The University of Tasmania’s Master of Architecture course work program has a suite of units dedicated to introducing students to research. Advanced Design Research 2, a 12.5 credit point unit, is the final in a couplet of units that unpacks research skills and enables students to operate as small research teams attached to a project. In this unit, students focus on the communication aspect of the learning and research completed in the Semester 1 unit. The projects undertaken conform with Frayling’s (1993) research ‘for/through/into’ design model. This allows for a variety of investigative approaches and output/outcome types. Research for design could involve ‘gathering reference materials to inform an understanding of the design issues at the core of the project - or Research into Design - exploring historical or theoretical ideas’ (Owen & Norrie, 2013, p. 229). ‘Many projects also involve some component of design speculation or artefact production which is Research through Design’ (Norrie & Owen, 2013, p. 229).

The ‘Bio-fabrication’ selective focused on SCOBY is demonstrative of the teaching-research nexus and builds on a previous Teaching Development Grant and work undertaken in a Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship. The process is also a clear demonstration of research through design with the generation of speculative outputs and prototypes as tangible artefacts of the learning. The nexus approach is arguably at the ‘strong’ end of the [learning-research nexus] spectrum because ‘the research shapes the learning task and there is a perceived ‘two-way’ relationship between academic and student’ (Owen & Norrie, 2013, p. 229).


Frayling, C. (1993). Research in Art and Design, in: Royal College of Art Research Papers 1, no.1(London: Royal College of Art, 1993).

Owen, C. and Norrie, H. (2013). Advanced design research: exploring the teaching research nexus, Designing Education: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, 3-5 October 2013, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 222-237.

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