PhD Course Qualitative Research Methodologies within Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Design and Planning

Henriette Steiner's picture
October 4, 2015 to October 9, 2015
Subject Fields: 
Urban History / Studies, Architecture and Architectural History

PHD Course: Qualitative Research Methodologies within Landscape Architecture, Architecture, Urban Design and Planning

Dates: 5 October 2015 – 9 October 2015

Venue: Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

The course is directed at PhD students working within fields such as landscape architecture, architecture, urban design and planning

ECTS credits: 4

Organisers: Ellen Braae and Henriette Steiner,

Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Copenhagen

Keynote Speakers and Guest Lecturers:

Ross Anderson, University of Sydney, AU

Tom Avermaete, TU Delft, NL

Peter Carl, London Metropolitan University, UK

Catharina Dyrssen, Chalmers University of Technology, SE

Jasper Ludewig, Architect, Sydney, AU

Simon Swaffield, Lincoln University, NZ


Please sign up by sending an email to or embra@í by 15 September 2015.

Registration fee: 2.500 DKK

See for more detailed information.

Research in landscape architecture, as a systematic and organised activity at universities and in research institutions around the world, is of newer date. This is partly to be seen as a result of the profession’s relatively recent establishment, and partly as a result of the general prioritisation of research at the design disciplines’ educational institutions in the latter half of the 20th century. Landscape architecture as a subject area is intertwined with different areas of knowledge. This is also reflected in the methodological apparatuses which span from the natural and life sciences to the social sciences and humanities and upon which research in the field of landscape architecture draws. In addition to well-developed theories and concept formations, each of these areas has adequate corresponding methodologies that can be brought into the field of landscape architecture as part of interdisciplinary research design. Yet, like the other design disciplines, landscape architecture has evolved significant tools, approaches, and bodies of knowledge that involve methodological apparatuses in and of themselves. While these methodological apparatuses are both heterogeneous and remain under-theorised, we propose to define them under the heading of ‘qualitative research methodologies’. By this we mean methodologies that cultivate a strong interpretive element and are driven by questions of ethical urgency due to their links with the practical and aesthetic dimensions of the discipline. Yet, the relevant work done to frame and support this proposition is scattered, and one of the purposes of this PhD course is to bring together some significant positions within this area, and to designate, deepen and contextualise them whilst also bringing them into dialogue with one another.

The course is structured around three main components:

•          theorising and contextualising methodologies;

•          presentations and feedback about the PhD fellows’ own methodological considerations;

•          a hands-on, design-driven collaborative workshop addressing questions of methods and processes.

These three components will run in parallel throughout the course days. Thus, this course offers an identification of methodological strategies in ways that go beyond the patching together of methodologies from outside the discipline; instead developing from within design-oriented contexts themselves. Furthermore, the PhD fellows must present methodological considerations related to their own dissertation work. This material constitutes a central contribution to the course and will allow the fellows to receive feedback from guest professors. The combination of the lectures and presentations coupled with the more hands-on type of enquiries of methods and processes in the design-driven workshop, will provide the participating PhD fellows with a unique and invaluable opportunity to expand upon, reflect on and fine-tune the methodology section of their dissertation. 

Contact Info: 
Henriette Steiner
Associate Professor

Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning
Faculty of Science
University of Copenhagen
Rolighedsvej 23
DK-1958 Frederiksberg C
Contact Email: