Skip to content

BSA News

Oct 07, 2020

Why Practice-Based Research? Hear from the speakers

We asked some of our Practice-Based Research conference speakers to share their thoughts on what practice-based research is, what barriers to adoption exist, and what value research provides for firms as well as for clients and users.

On Thursday, October 15, architects and design professionals with gather (virtually) for Matter & Opinion: Practice-Based Research to share their architectural research work, the firm structures that enable research, and lessons learned along the way.

Why does Practice-Based Research matter? Because research is happening in design practice all the times, but capturing its value isn’t always easy or prioritized. This conference will offer models for architects to integrate research into practice and business, and to design a firm culture that fosters research.

To learn more about how these and other speakers make research work for their firms and produce better outcomes for their clients, register now. 3 LU HSW and 4 LU (non-HSW) are available. Registration packages vary from individual presentations to half and full day packages. Registration provides access to your sessions through December 31, 2020.

Click each speakers name for their takes on research, its problems, and its potential:

Barter Candice web

Candice Barter AIA
associate vice president and principal, HGA

Lightning presentation
8:30 am - 8:45 am EDT
Research in Healthcare Design: Linking our Curiosity to the Impact We Make

What is the value of practice-based research?
Practice-based research promotes user buy in and facilitates change management. It can impact decision-making during design by building empathy and trust and validates design decisions during post-occupancy.

S Batchelor web

Sam Batchelor AIA
partner, designLAB architects

Lightning presentation
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
Critical Stewardship

How do you define practice-based research?
Our research is fundamental to our built work; the two cannot be separated. As a process, we see it as a reflection of what we do intuitively that elicits the most compelling design outcomes. However, by applying rigor and consistency as a defined research initiative, we ensure that as the firm grows and evolves it can be applied to all projects, regardless of team or circumstance.

JDC Headshot

John Cerone
principal and director of Virtual Design & Construction, SHoP Architects

Lightning presentation
9:15 am - 9:30 am
Digital Delivery

Panel discussion
10:15 am - 11:45 am
Ownership + Risk

What is the biggest barrier to practice-based research?
For us, the biggest challenge is industry inertia. Transformation from conventional practice requires behavioral change, and the collaborative team is so large, that it is hard to move the needle. Solutions often require transparency in communication—conventional contractual models are not conducive to experimentation and are not set up to reward efficiency and innovation...With an often intangible return on investment, it can be difficult to justify studies and stay hungry for new solutions, falling back on conventional approaches.

Chang Arthur web

Arthur Chang AIA
principal, NADAAA

Lightning presentation
3:00 pm - 3:15 pm EDT

What is the value of practice-based research?
The value for NADAAA is that the research is integrated into our work and creates a vitality to our office’s greater practice. Research done for an academic project can influence a housing project and vice versa and the learning process is worth everything.

Cristoforetti web

Elizabeth Christoforetti
founding principal, Supernormal

Lightning presentation
9:45 am - 10:00 am EDT
What Does IP Have to Do with Design Practice?

What is the value of practice-based research?
We are curious and it makes practice more fun. We like the idea that we have the opportunity to contribute to a discourse that is larger than client-architect interaction, and we find that the research we are passionate about ends up yielding better and more future work.

G Gutierrez web

Gerard Gutierrez AIA
senior associate, Sasaki

Lightning presentation
8:45 am - 9:00 am EDT
Captured Insulated Metal Panel Facades

How do you define practice-based research?
In our profession, every output we deliver is unique to the client and the circumstances that brought us together. Every design project that comes into our office requires some aspect of that design to be analyzed, precedents reviewed, and simulations performed. Practice-based research is the back-up we collect to prove to ourselves - and to our clients - that that aspect of our design will succeed.

K Haigh web

Kelly Haigh AIA
partner, designLAB architects

Lightning presentation
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
Critical Stewardship

What is Critical Stewardship?
Critical Stewardship is an approach to design that is based on a universal responsibility to history and the environment as valued through the lens of community. Through this, the stewardship of our valuable resources (environmental, built or cultural) is emboldened by creativity, which is critical in both senses: essential yet offering critique.

Brian Ho web

Brian Ho
senior design lead, Sidewalk Labs

Lightning presentation
9:30 am - 9:45 am EDT
Generative Research for Generative Design

What is the biggest barrier to practice-based research?
Understanding what it is not!

Seigel Kimberly web

Kimberly Seigel
research knowledge manager, Perkins and Will

Panel discussion
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDT
Finance + Operations

What is the value of practice-based research?
We see the value of practice-based research not only in the form of improved environmental, economic, and experiential performance of the built environment, but also in our workplace culture. We encourage all our designers to explore their ideas, and the only prerequisite is curiosity. This license to be inquisitive and to innovate is what keeps our studios energetic, our talent engaged, and our ideas fresh for our clients.

Alove web

Andrea Love AIA
principal and director of Building Science, Payette

Panel discussion
10:15 am - 11:45 am EDT
Ownership + Risk

How do you define practice-based research?
I define practice-based research as the targeted endeavors undertaken to better understand reoccurring questions that come up on projects, but that we don’t have time or resources within a project timeline to delve into. Our research projects take these questions and allow us to dig into gaps of industry knowledge to better advance practice’s knowledge and designs. As a practice-based research, as opposed to academic research, we have found that the sweet spot of where we best fit into the research landscape is in applied research projects.

Prestbo web

Bradford Prestbo FAIA
director of Technical Resources, Sasaki

12:45 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
UNStudio + UNSense

What is the biggest barrier to practice-based research?
"If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing." -W. Edwards Deming

The ability of critical thinking.

Jillian web

Jillian Wiedenmayer
project architect, DREAM Collaborative

Lightning presentation
2:30 pm - 2:45 pm EDT
Putting the R&D in "Real Estate Development"

What is the value of practice-based research?
Practice-based research pushes us to think outside of the box and innovate on how we live and how we build. But more importantly, integrating practice based research into the structure of the firm is imperative for the profession of architecture to thrive and compete with other industries in the 21st century.