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  • Nilsson, Fredrik, 1965-, et al. (författare)
  • Building a culture of doctoral scholarship in architecture and design. A Belgian-Scandinavian case
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Nordic Journal of Architectural Research. - 1893-5281. ; 23:1, s. 41-55
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The objective of this paper is to present how a strongly practice oriented school of architecture in Belgium has tackled the challenges of the European policies for establishing a doctoral level. Some top-down activities of formal research education and some bottom-up initiatives by the PhD students and tutors are presented and discussed. These developments can indicate that a new practice-based scholarship, initiated by the doctoral studies, is emerging at this institution. The Bologna-Berlin policies recognized doctoral studies as the third cycle in European higher education. For Sint-Lucas School of Architecture it has meant to develop a new culture, a culture of research and doctoral scholarship. The intentions of the school were to develop experimental, practice-based concepts for this research. The process, started in spring 2006, built on four Research Training Sessions (RTS) intended to help primarily younger teachers without any research experience to define their research interests, based on their double practice as professionals and teachers of architecture. Furthermore, it was expected that their doctoral studies would be commenced based on a research proposal defined during the RTS series. The authors, both with extensive experience from Scandinavian research education in architecture, spatial planning and design, and from research in the professional fields, were requested to develop one of the four RTSes. This RTS is called Forms & Processes of Knowledge and “…focuses on different forms of knowledge and how these forms originate. There is a specific focus on the forms of knowledge present in the domain of architecture and design, put in relation to other kinds of knowledge. Established modes and notions of scientific knowledge are discussed together with other ways of knowledge production” (1). Subsequently, they were offered positions as guest professors with responsibility to provide supervision to participants of the sessions. The RTS represents a meta-level of the research education, while the micro-level is being constituted by various forms of mentoring, like the traditional doctoral supervision of one PhD students by one supervisor, as well as the peer-learning in assignments and collaborations between PhD students. The authors developed, besides “their own” RTS, an autonomous research education unit within the curriculum, since we through our collective learning process identified a need to build a mezzo-level for the pedagogical concept. While the macro- and micro- levels rely on the traditional pedagogy of lectures and supervision in the doctoral studies, the mezzo-level is based on the assumption that in order to become an innovative researcher within post-academic sciences, (which practice-based research is a representative of) a young researcher should first strengthen her identity and master the craft of the traditional research. In every profession its craft is constituted by certain professional skills and by critical attitude to quality of the professional results. Thus we offered to the doctoral students a series of workshops in “Scholarly Craft & Criticism”. These workshops included assignments, presentations and critical discussions on e.g. recent doctoral thesises, phases and requirements for producing a dissertation, research design of their projects, and philosophy of science for architects. In April 2009 eight RTS-alumni, now doctoral students enrolled at various European institutions, organized a seminar documenting their growing epistemological awareness regarding practice-based doctoral scholarship. The seminar witnessed emergence of a community of research practice with potential to initiate a new profession-based scholarship. The paper presents and discusses this autonomous research education unit within the emerging doctoral curriculum of the Sint-Lucas School of Architecture. It also describes how the practice-based PhD students recognized the role of this unit in the process of their growing epistemological awareness and maturing as prospective design scholars. These presentations are based on observations and documentations from research training activities during the years of the RTS program. The value of this paper is the positioning of an epistemological-pedagogical stance with regard to research education for practitioners. Some opinions hold that practice-based researchers do not need epistemological and scholarly foundations in order to pursue practice-oriented research, and there are research educational programs with aims to “avoid verbal theorising or credential-seeking through reference to texts from other disciplines”. Our stance is that practice-based PhD students should be introduced to and trained in certain generic research skills. By that the professional doctorate will be trained to contextualise and position their research as well as to be communicative and innovative in a broad professional field.
  • Nilsson, Fredrik, 1965-, et al. (författare)
  • Building (Trans)Disciplinary Architectural Research - Introducing Mode 1 and Mode 2 to Design Practitioners
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: Transdisciplinary Knowledge Production in Architecture and Urbanism. Towards Hybrid Modes of Inquiry. - 978-94-007-0103-8 ; s. 79-96
  • Bokkapitel (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The chapter discusses Mode 1 and Mode 2 forms of knowledge production from the perspective of the authors’ practice as educators at a doctoral level for PhD students based in the practice of architecture, design and the arts. It builds on a series of lectures and seminars which have explored the potential of transdisciplinarity and Mode 2 knowledge production for practitioners in various design professions, and focused on various existing “knowledge landscapes” as well as on the more recent developments with regard to emerging new modes of knowledge production. The article attempts to grasp the meta-level issues of a new mode of knowledge production and the opportunities it brings with regard to design research. It discusses the development of architectural research during the last four decades together with the essential features of Mode 1 and Mode 2, and tries to relate these features to contemporary architectural and design theory, and various practices in architecture and urban design. As the “scaffold” for constructing this chapter, the authors propose to discuss, firstly, the Scandinavian development of the doctoral scholarship in architecture, and secondly, the international debates that have constituted the backcloth of this development with regard to the three major modes of knowledge production: monodisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, and transdisciplinarity. Knowledge production in the area of transdisciplinarity and creative practice was previously seen as outside of research and scholarship, while developments of the last decade have made it possible to conceptualise the knowledge field of design and architecture in new ways. An inclusive model of research is emerging where more practice-based approaches are possible, and it is beginning to achieve academic recognition as well as vital interest from practitioners.
  • Nilsson, Fredrik, 1965-, et al. (författare)
  • Design Education, Practice, and Research: On Building a Field of Inquiry
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Studies in Material Thinking. - 1177-6234. ; 11
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This article reviews how the fields of architecture and design have developed during recent decades and discusses the relations and synergistic interplay between three constituent components: practice, education, and research. Design education has matured both as a field of practice and of inquiry since becoming a fully recognized component of the triadic interplay between these three parts. However, to date, these developments have mainly been discussed in terms of research and creative practice, and have not been discussed in terms of educational practice as an important, mediating factor. We argue that the three components, noted above, have become more equal with one another and more recognized in practice and academia and, further, that a phenomenon of “permeability” of various practices within the “continuum from creative practice to scientific research” has emerged. We further note that a new group of professionals combine the roles of professional practitioners, educators, and field-specific researchers, and argue that these “new practitioners” can contribute to a more robust, self-confident,
  • Nilsson, Fredrik, 1965-, et al. (författare)
  • Developing Making Scholarship. From Making Disciplines to Field-specific Research in Creative Practices
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Knowing (by) Designing. - 9789081323864 ; s. 40-49
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This paper describes a project which will result in a book with the intentions to present and discuss certain developments in establishing field-specific scholarship within architecture, design and the arts. The idea is that the book will address three periods which differed in their degree of maturing towards a more established and “self-confident” scholarly culture in several schools of architecture in Belgium, Sweden and Norway, where the authors have had the opportunity to teach at the level of doctoral studies. The intention of the book is that each period studied will be illustrated by cases of “excellent research practice” which we regard to have played the role of turning points in the development of the recent decades. These cases will not be discussed in this paper, since its aim is to present the overall set-up of the project and our stance in relation to its different aspects. The book project builds on the authors’ own writings from the period 2001–2012 and will be supplied by commentaries on the role we have played in developing a certain model of understanding what field-specific research in creative practices could be.
  • Nilsson, Fredrik, 1965-, et al. (författare)
  • Doctorateness in Design Disciplines. Negotiating Connoisseurship and Criticism in Practice-related Fields
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: FORMakademisk. - 1890-9515. ; 5:2
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Discussions on the concept of ‘doctorateness’ have been growing during last years in traditional academic disciplines as well as in creative fields. This paper is a brief report from the first stage of a research project which studies how the concept of ‘doctorateness’ could be considered in the field of architecture, design and arts. The project builds upon a series of doctoral courses for architects and designers, and includes the study and evaluation of already accepted doctoral theses. In analyses of assessment assignments, the ‘connoisseurship model’ of Elliot W. Eisner was found to be useful. Eisner’s model of Connoisseurship & Criticism has served as the main tool for the analyses of empirical data, and as a framework for developing the concept of ‘doctorateness’ further. From the first phase of studies in the research project, the importance of particular kinds of awareness can be stressed as crucial for ‘doctorateness’, and here the model of connoisseurship and criticism has been operative. A more elaborate definition of ‘doctorateness’ is presumed to be of use as a pedagogical tool in research education in design fields as well as in dialogues between professionals of design practice and research.
  • Nilsson, Fredrik, 1965-, et al. (författare)
  • 'Doctorateness' in the Making Disciplines. What do experts say on the issue?
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: 4th International Conference on Professional Doctorates. 10th - 11th April 2014. Wales Millenium Center, Cardiff. Conference Proceedings. - 978-0-956-3812-7-9
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The expectations with regard to quality of research in the fields of Architecture, Design and Arts as well as its education are constantly higher. In organised research education, academic standards of ‘designerly’ research are being taught and discussed, and the PhD students learn to master the research craft. The final trial is the assessment of the doctoral thesis, where a committee decides whether an expected level of ‘doctorateness’ has been achieved. During the last years a discussion has emerged on how to define the concept of ‘doctorateness’ in the contemporary situation of developments in different fields of knowledge, both in traditional academic disciplines as well as in creative fields. This research project “’Doctorateness’ in the Making Disciplines” studies how the concept of ‘doctorateness’ could be considered in our own field of architecture, design and arts, and arts and design education. The aim of the project is to provide a more operative definition of ‘doctorateness’, which could become a pedagogical tool to be used in research education, in dialogues with professionals on field-specific knowledge and in assessment of doctoral work. The earlier stages of the project were reported on the previous conference on Professional Doctorates (Dunin-Woyseth and Nilsson, 2012). This paper concerns the most recent stage which is based on the planned expert symposium where a group of international experts in assessment of doctoral work in creative fields will be requested to elaborate on their understanding of concepts of “doctorateness” and on field-specific criteria for adequate assessment of research in the Making Professions. It is expected that the insight derived from the symposium will be the next step in the research project on the way to developing approaches for establishing appropriate protocols and standards for doctoral examination processes in practice-based fields.
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