learning architecture


a PhD in live projects and architectural education


I’m back from a two day trip south to the Republic to conduct interviews for my research. Once again I’ve been touched by the warm welcome extended by the academic I’ve been speaking to and am looking forward to transcribing our conversations.

No, really, I am. Transcription of interviews is a major part of this phase of the research, and it’s a strangely cathartic process. As raw data flows in, the first steps towards a grounded theory of live project pedagogy is emerging. It’s entangled with all kinds of other issues relating to education, practice, the economy, society and (who could forget) students, but its a rich seam of informed, thoughtful and experience-laden data.

I’m using an interview schedule designed with my supervisory mentors and piloted in Belfast and Glasgow. The simultaneous collection and analysis of data helps refine the analysis further. On a practical level, I’m using my (usually) trust iPod Nano and compatible microphone, the latter turning the former into a compact and high quality dictaphone. Once uploaded and secured, it’s then a relatively straight forward process to start and stop the audio file while I type the transcription. I’m surprisingly myself with the speed at which I have been able to transcribe so far, although I’m not underestimating the mountain of work ahead.

There are some more research excursions in the next few weeks, so more early starts and more train journeys, but also more excuses to meet people at universities across these two islands and ask them about their teaching and research practice. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a great privilege.


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