Doctoral studies

Practice makes up the inventive, creative heart of doctoral studies. In the course of doctoral studies, research develops through friendly (collegial) feedback from supervisors, students vying competitively with each other, and comparison of work methods at doctoral seminars.

The understanding that architecture bureaus create new knowledge – knowledge that in practice ultimately takes the form of houses, plans, landscapes and other physical elements around us, but whose true content, causality, meaning and background, i.e. the new knowledge itself, often remains unexplored – is one of the most important innovations to come out of practice-based research. The model of practice-based doctoral studies goes beyond exploring, as a whole, the design or technological side of particular buildings; it also looks at the modus operandi of various offices, the pros and cons of collaboration, work rhythm and choice of customer – in other words, an architectural practice’s philosophy or operating model in the broader sense.

The allure of practice-based research lies in the fact that it draws a comparison of how practices that model space reconcile these dynamic features in different places in the world.

Objectives of the curriculum:

– Conducting practice-based research in the field of architecture and urban design.

– Creating new professional knowledge that ties in with today’s societal problems, including in collaboration with other disciplines.

– Promoting the ability to apply architecture and urban design skill sets for promoting the sustainable development of the living environment.

– Developing strategies and methods for professional research.

– Supporting, supplementing and developing a community of researchers and creative professionals who are capable of international collaboration.

For more, read:

Lecture by Ranulph Glanville at the Academy of Arts Faculty of Architecture doctoral conference “Building a Community of Practice”, 23 April 2014,

The head of the doctoral programme in the field of architecture and urban design is Jüri Soolep, Ph.D.