Miniature Pataphysical Laboratory Niel Spiller. 2004.


Design Research Workshop delivered in collaboration with the Message and Design Knowledge Research Groups.

Date: Monday 17 June 2019

Time: 10:00-16:00

Location: Design Lab / 3D Design Studio [TBC], 2nd floor Roland Levinsky Building.

The 300 Workshop will focus on the 300 word descriptors used to support individual research outputs. Many of you will have submitted 300 words using this template. Others may be interested in better understanding how to articulate their research activity for grant applications and in preparation for the next REF.

For staff aiming at the REF, please submit your 300 words (in whatever state) to by Wednesday 12 June so that they can be forwarded to Prof Spiller.

If you haven’t yet completed the template don’t worry but have a go prior to the workshop so we have something to talk about.

These 300 words should provide evidence of originalityrigour and significance for each research output, a supporting portfolio and the activity and its context. For those submitting practice based research the 300 word statement will be critical for the assessors.

  • Originality: an intellectual advance or an important and innovative contribution to understanding and knowledge.: substantive empirical findings/ new arguments, interpretations or insights / imaginative scope / assembling of information in an innovative way / development of new theoretical frameworks and conceptual models / innovative methodologies and/or new forms of expression.
  • Rigour; peer review, what were  the processes engaged in ; accuracy and depth of scholarship;  awareness of and appropriate engagement with other relevant work: intellectual coherence / methodological precision and analytical power / accuracy and depth of scholarship / awareness of and appropriate engagement with other relevant work
  • Significance: how does the work contribute to the wider field; how is it likely to enhance knowledge, thinking, understanding and/or practice in its field. What is the contribution towards culture, public and economic policy?: The enhancement of: knowledge / thinking / understanding /and-or practice

The workshop will be delivered by Professor Neil Spiller in collaboration with the leads of Message [Victoria Squire] / Design Knowledge [Pete Davis] / i-DAT [Mike Phillips].

Neil Spiller is Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape and Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich, London prior to this he was Dean of the School of Architecture, Design and Construction and Professor of Architecture and Digital Theory at Greenwich University. Before this he was Vice-Dean and Graduate Director of Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London.

He guest edited his first AD, Architects in Cyberspace in 1995 (with Martin Pearce) followed in 1996 by Integrating Architecture (1996), Architects in Cyberspace II (1998), Young Blood (2000), Reflexive Architecture (2002), Protocell Architecture with Rachel Armstrong (2010) and Drawing Architecture (2013). Neil’s numerous books include Cyberreader: Critical Writings of the Digital Era (2002), Digital Dreams – The Architecture of the New Alchemic Technologies (1998) and Visionary Architecture – Blueprints of the Modern Imagination (2006). He is on the AD editorial Board. His architectural design work has been published and exhibited on many occasions worldwide. Since 1998, he has produced the epic COMMUNICATING VESSELS project.

Neil is also known as the founding director of the AVATAR (Advanced Virtual and Technological Architectural Research) Group (2004); now based at the University of Greenwich. This group has its own PhD and Masters programmes and conducts research into advanced technologies in architectural representation but more importantly into the impact of advanced technologies such as virtuality and biotechnology on 21st century design. Neil and the AVATAR Group are recognised internationally for their paradigm shifting contribution to architectural discourse, research / experiment and teaching.

The twenty-first century is upon us and the status quo cannot survive. New ways of seeing, doing, practising, and exercising our ethical concerns in relation to architecture are crucial to the continued longevity of the architectural profession. This starts with how we imagine our architectures and how we communicate to others.

The aim of this workshop is to:

  • enlighten participants to the REF Research Output requirements.
  • understand where your research fits within the broader HE/Design community.
  • provide a holistic understanding of our research in terms of originality, rigour and significance.
  • clarify and better describe ‘Originality’ in your research.
  • Clarify and better describe ‘Rigour’ in your research.
  • Clarify and better describe ‘Significance’ in your research.
  • Built a communal understanding of why these activities are important to build research resilience.

Schedule [TBC]:

10:00: Introduction: Mike Phillips/ Victoria Squire / Pete Davis.
10:15: Presentation. Neil Spiller.
11:00: Coffee
11:30: Dismantling 300 words. Example 300 word documents will be critiqued.
[With Neil Spiller and Mike Phillips].
12:30: Lunch
13:30: Break out workshop: Collective dismantling of 300 words.
[With Neil Spiller / Mike Phillips/ Victoria Squire / Pete Davis].
14:30: Updates and presentations. Feedback from the tables and individuals and surgeries.
15:00: Coffee:
15:30: Summary.
16:00: end