In April 2013 the Design Paradigm project team, consisting of Angelika Schnell, Waltraud Paula Indrist and Eva Sommeregger, handed in a proposal for the Austrian Science Fund’s PEEK program (Programm zur Erschließung und Erforschung der Künste).
Design Paradigm’s An Archaeology of the Architectural Design Process PEEK 2013 research project intended to conduct pioneering design-based research rooted in its main field of expertise: the intersection of architectural theory, architectural design and visual culture and specifically the material culture of the architectural design process, highlighting the main hypothesis of Design Paradigm: the close interdependency of reproducing and designing.
According to Michel Foucault’s “archaeological method” the funded research would start an excavation trip to the unreleased fields of the architectural design process. For this research the team argued that the impact of the Modern Movement has radically changed the practice of architectural design. Incorporating social, economic and technological issues into the architectural design instead of restricting it to aesthetic rules the research aimed to anticipate the on-going changes of a modernised world within the design itself. It follows that the design process itself has to be designed!
To us the unexplored number and variety of architectural design methods, which has arisen since the beginning of the 20th century, has become “the concealed treasure” of architectural creative knowledge. However, An Archaeology of the Architectural Design Process does not seek a historical description or a mind-mapping of idealised architectural designs. With the means of the “archaeological method” the research project would gather materials, media and techniques of “designed architectural design processes” and analyses their relationship to other visual disciplines like the arts, film, photography, theater, performance etc. – resulting in a “material epistemology” of the architectural design process, signifying it as social and aesthetic practice.