1st Edition

Creative Practice Inquiry in Architecture

Edited By Ashley Mason, Adam Sharr Copyright 2023
    288 Pages 155 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 155 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection introduces, illustrates, and advances fresh ideas about creative practice inquiry in architecture. It concerns architectural knowledge: how architects can use their distinctive skills, habits, and values to advance professional insight, and how such insights can be extended to make wider contributions to society, culture, and scholarship. It shows how architectural ways of knowing and working can be mobilised as tools for research.

    Collected here are a series of creative practices that emerge out of architecture and actively engage with other fields and methods reaching across the academic landscape. Architectural inquiries collected in this book probe matters that lie beyond the obvious expectations, the conventions, the default, of the discipline. Drawing, borrowing, adapting, dramatising, perhapsing, monstering, experimenting, cartooning—the tools and methods of each inquiry vary but they all share a common outward gaze, engaging architectural ways of knowing with other disciplines and practices including the arts, biological sciences, ethnography, and technology. Chapters gathered here offer insight not only into incipient modes and tools of architectural research, but emerging ethical, practical, and philosophical positions intimately tied to the creative practices involved.

    Setting-out the idea of creative practice inquiry in architecture, this innovative volume offers a lively and resourceful contribution to a growing body of work on design as research. It will be of interest to: students keen to pursue architectural ways of thinking and writing; practitioners who want to use their distinctive professional abilities to contribute to architectural and scholarly knowledge; and academics and doctoral candidates keen to engage with the burgeoning scholarly field of design research.


    Introduction: creative practice inquiry in architecture Ashley Mason and Adam Sharr


    Exposition and the staging of encounter: on assessing unconventional research outputs Rolf Hughes


    Archival practices

    Situational perhapsing Ray Verrall

    Draught/draft papers Ashley Mason

    Office practices

    Storying Practiceopolis Yasser Megahed

    Into the void: drawing-out the default space of the suspended ceiling Kieran Connolly

    Amateur adaptions James Longfield

    Being in-between: a multi-sited ethnography of retirement housing Sam Clark

    Learning from Tokyo: reading architecture and urbanism through Deleuzian lenses Nergis Kalli

    Between there and here: drawing an alternative future for Wenzhou Xi Chen

    Building practices

    Building, in the field Graham Farmer

    At home on site: expanding the field of architectural research Prue Chiles

    Studio practices

    The Studio Apparatus Matt Ozga-Lawn

    Discordant forms: seeking the transitional object in axonometric projection James Alexander Craig

    Holding space in the post-digital: thinking through the Zoom studio Ed Wainwright

    Machine practices

    The architect’s cognitive prosthesis: a dialectical critique of Autodesk Revit Alex Blanchard

    Neoliberal spectres: on creative practice and resisting instrumentality Luis Hernan

    Biomaterial probes: creative practice engagement with living systems Carolina Ramirez Figueroa

    Biodesign research in the Anthropocene Assia Stefanova

    Liquid Architecture: design in a state of flux Pierangelo Marco Scravaglieri

    Decentring humanism: working with nonhumans through the process of experiment Rachel Armstrong

    On reflection

    Out of bounds: methods and outputs of the architect-researcher Katie Lloyd Thomas





    Ashley Mason is a Research Associate at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University, UK. Her research is engaged with creative-critical and textual-spatial practices, though especially with matters of site. Her doctoral thesis in Architecture by Creative Practice, Towards a Paracontextual Practice* (*with Footnotes to ‘Parallel of Life and Art’) (2019), intertwined a constellation of precedents with her own creative-critical works to offer a practice which admits inheritance and reasserts context in careful attention to the para-phenomena of ‘empty’ sites.

    Adam Sharr is Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University, UK. He practices with Design Office—the School’s consultancy specialising in research-led practice and practice-led research—which was included in the Architect’s Journal’s 40 Under 40 listing of ‘the UK’s most exciting emerging architectural talent’ in 2020. He is Editor-in-Chief of Cambridge University Press’ international architecture journal arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, Series Editor of Thinkers for Architects (Routledge), and the author or editor of eight books on architecture.

    "Architecture, as a discipline and a profession, is slowing awakening to the methodological opportunities availed by creative practice research. This collection offers myriad situated examples of how creative practice research performs its important work, paying attention to material relations, place-based concerns as well as mobilising the powers of the imagination."
    Hélène Frichot, Professor of Architecture and Philosophy, The University of Melbourne

    "For anyone interested in the creation of our built environment including practitioners, students and academics, Creative Practice Inquiry in Architecture provides vital new answers to the question of the nature of architectural research. It reveals research by design is a rapidly growing field that operates from within the field of architecture while integrating creative combinations with external innovations. This volume of essays brings together insightful overviews of the issues with case studies that reflect a range of research sites and approaches based within a diversity of geographic locations. By taking us inside rigorous architectural research based in archive, studio, office, experimental lab and building site, that includes new technologies and materials, this book explains how we can move beyond traditional divisions between theory and practice."
    Paul Emmons, Patrick and Nancy Lathrop Professor of Architecture, Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center, Virginia Tech

    "This volume is a beautiful coming of age — a vibrant gathering of essays and projects that show with confidence and sensitivity what this field, after at least two decades, is capable of. Traversing the institutional boundaries that all too often still divide the studio from the seminar room, Creative Practice Inquiry in Architecture makes vital reading for anyone embarking on a creative journey of their own, and for those keen to dive into this exciting form of architectural research in all its subtleties and depths."
    Jane Rendell, Professor of Critical Spatial Practice, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL