LINK TO PDF : User´s Manual // In my Beginning is my End ... // Practicing Research: Towards a Mathesis Singularis // Logbook // Photography in Practice // ... In my End is my Beginning

Practice-based PhD research project
Oslo School of Architecture . 2008-2013
Supervisors: Halina Dunin-Woyseth, Per Olaf Fjeld, Philip Ursprung
Reader: Christina Capetillo
Adjudication committee: Rolf Hughes, Johan Verbeke, Grete Refsum

The project was propelled by the wish to install intuition at the outset of the creative process towards an architecture, as a response to the cognisance that analytical thought has come to dominate the field.

The proposition that a transactional relationship between instinct and intellect can endow the creative process with authenticity guided the exploration of the research question “How can I disclose my intuitive insights and how can I bring these into the production of spatial experience?”.

Following a path that oscillated between acts of photographing and intervals of reflecting and analysing, I sought to crystallise insights that eventually in-formed the design and fabrication of a spatial artefact.

During this extended process of searching and self-reflexivity I worked at times as a practitioner exploring hands-on the research question; at other times as a scholar framing the historical and philosophical setting of the project; and for two semesters as a teacher sharing and exploring my research question and mode of working with students. Knowledge was transferred between these spheres of activity as the project progressed, gradually transforming them into parts of a polyphonic exposition.

The research report was designed to set the bodies of work produced during my journey in a dynamic interaction, between them and with the reader. The User´s Manual introduces the project; the bipartite volume In my Beginning is my End ... and ... In my End is my Beginning frames the project, providing a way into and a way out of this while emphasizing its circular nature; Practicing Research: Towards a Mathesis Singularis expands on the ontology and the epistemology of practice-based research; the Logbook chronicles my artistic exploration including photographs and texts; and Photography in Practice presents and discusses the methods and outcomes of the homonymous workshop.

As the adjudication committee reported in its evaluation,“the work is valuable and a genuine contribution to the development of design-led architectural research, breaking with conventions were necessary to move on towards new territories. The research explores emotional, intuitive and artistic aspects of the domain of architecture, and engages through architectural and photographic competences. It treats an issue of tacit knowledge that is difficult to grasp, but important for the field, and is original, courageous and brave on its own terms.”

The contribution of this project to the field is twofold. On the epistemological level, it extends the territory of practice-based research and creates one more opening in this mode of knowledge production. On the ontological level, as a pursuit dedicated to the exploration of intuition, it constitutes an invitation to the creative community at large to explore further the creative potential of this human capacity.