I have always endeavoured to expose my students to research, through research-led teaching programmes, research-by-design activities and engaging with live projects. As a current Departmental Research Lead, and in my new role as Research Methods coordinator in the PGT Programme, I am fully focused on further developing strategies to successfully support projects that connect research and design. I have implemented a new structure to the module organising parallel seminars and workshops for our five research strands: Advanced Architectural Design, Sustainable Heritage Management, Building Information Modelling and Digital Transformation, Climate Resilience and Environmental Sustainability in Architecture and Global Housing Design.
As MArch Director of Studies between 2019 and 2022, I implemented a new vision, with updates in design and curriculum review in all 12 modules. Key aspects of the new approach are:
a] Student-driven programme, where students have more freedom to form their own path based on their own interests.
b] Closer connection between the school’s research areas and design, which means:
. Introduction of research-by-design processes in the curriculum, via seminars, workshops and thematic strands.
. Higher involvement of active research groups within the school, guiding these processes.
. More diverse offer of seminars and workshops to develop skills that we don’t currently provide in the curriculum. Workshops delivered by invited professional specialists, in topics such as anthropology; GIS cartographies and data visualisation; intermedia installations; visual arts (film, photography, VR..); climate change, natural simulations/landscape urbanism; North West emergencies and working with our communities; or phenomenology, perception, movement and performance.
. Access to experimental processes, more opportunities to test design operations and develop design methodologies, and freedom to produce outcomes in a higher diversity of formats.
. Opportunity to work on live projects and participate in international competitions/contests.
c] The programme intends to provide a more logical, continuous sequence, in which all modules are interconnected, there is no redundant content and there is more time/space for design.
d] Each module has a clearer identity and meaning in relation to contents and skills development, in accordance with RIBA/ARB criteria.
e] Optimisation of courses on offer by connecting MArch with PGT programmes.
Find out more about the MArch Programme and design work produced by our most recent MArch4 and MArch5 students.