A Survey on application of grounded theory methods to understand properties of subject, in architectural education (case study: understanding "Eivan")

Document Type : علمی - پژوهشی


Razi university


This research is about the use of grounded theory methods in Cognition phase of design process in architectural courses. These methods are designed to help the qualitative researchers to understand properties and dimentions of a research subject but they can also be applied to help the designers to understand design problems. Understaning  design problem by students is one of the most important matters in teaching architecture, so the question is ; "If applying grounded theory methods  in architectural education influence student's imagination about design subject?"To answer this question this research surveys  and criticizes an exercise done  in an architectural course.Design problems are Ill-structured so a designer should redefine the problem by choosing some properties of it for themselves. According to this, recognition the important part of a problem is necessary ability for a  designer. Generally a design issue has two parts; subject and context. So designers should can recognize important properties and dimentions of  both subject and context. But here to limit the research, just reconising the subject of design will be surviyed. Research paradigm is qualitative and its strategy is case study: to assessment the hypothesis, an architectural exersice which has been done by use of this methods will be explained and tested. The research method has two parts; in the first part, written sources about grounded theory will be analyzed and total methods for understanding properties and dimentions of subjects will be drived. These methods will also be compared with creativity methods. Methods of grounded theory to recognize the properties and dimentions of a subject are three: "The use of Questioning", "Analysis of a word, phrase, sentence", Analysis Through Comparisons. The last method has two manners: 1)comparing  the subject with close subject or with far one and.2) Waving the Red Flag. All of these methods are applied to reinforce the ability to pass assumptions and try to see the subject through a new lookout, So they are Similar to creativity methods. In the second part, an exercise will be analyzed . This exercise is about an important place in Iranian architecture; Eyvan. in the first part  of exersice student's primary imaginations about Eivan have been registered. Some codes  have been drived from these imaginations by researcher. The second part of exercise is related to applying these methods to know Eivan by students. In this part some properties of this place have been coded by students and after that the researcher categorizes them. Finally these two group of codes will be compared to show changes in student's assumption of Eivan.The result of his research is that;by applying the methods of grounded theory,students of architecture could scrutinize,complete, correct and classify their assumption about "eivan". They could also Separate essential  and durable properties of "eivan" from variable properties.finally the students could Specify the hierarchies of these properties. In addition the exercise had a tacit result; students discovered a couple of essential quality for every spaces; beeng "refuge and outlook".  Future researchs can be desigened to survey applying grounded theory methods for understanding properties and dimentions of context in design problems.