TMU launches PhD in architecture with focus on design

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) is now accepting applications for a new PhD program in architecture.

TMU will soon welcome students to a new PhD in architecture. Applications to the program are now open. Photo: Christopher Manson via TMU’s website

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) is accepting applications for a new PhD program in architecture; an in-person program that promises a revolutionary approach to architectural research.

Professor Lisa Landrum, chair of TMU’s Department of Architectural Science, says the innovative program will “emphasize design as a primary mode of scholarly inquiry.”

While universities such as Harvard University and the University College London offer similar programs, TMU’s PhD in architecture will focus on design-driven research.

“The premise is that the research happens through design as a multifaceted mode of discovery,” said Landrum. “So architectural design processes serve as both the subject and method of research itself.”

Students in the program will be able to explore a variety of topics and techniques, such as drawing and modeling, interactive installations and prototypes, and embodied and enactive performances.

“We are in a period of massive societal and environmental change that requires architects to challenge existing paradigms and methods,” said Andrew Frontini, design director at Perkins&Will Toronto. “We need new materials, new technologies and new insights into what constitutes good architecture. We conduct research to develop new approaches but also to measure the impact of what we have already built.”

Landrum noted that prospective exhibitions, full-scale installations, interactive environments, and prototypes will pop-up in Toronto and beyond as forms of active scholarship and public engagement. As a result, Landrum said the ideal candidates for the program are curious, experimental individuals with a commitment to transforming the architectural profession. “The city itself is a lively laboratory,” she said. “This doctoral program will become an invigorating force for the discipline and a forum for reimagining what’s possible in architecture.”

“Research through design is critical to advancing the field and responding to challenges,” said Andrew King, principal at AK A Fldwrk. “Through experimental and applied research, TMU’s PhD in architecture will help reshape design processes and potential.”

The Department of Architectural Science will welcome its inaugural group of PhD students in fall 2024.

For more information on the program, click here.

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