The house of multiple dimensions : design referencing as creative practice

Ioannidou, Ersi (2015) The house of multiple dimensions : design referencing as creative practice. Drawing On : Journal of Architectural Research by Design, 1, pp. 61-75. ISSN (online) 2059-9978


This paper explores referencing as a creative practice in order to visually describe the role of references in the development of a design research project. The starting point for this exploration is a series of personal sketchbooks, which hold a serendipitous collection of references accumulated during the development of a design project entitled House of Multiple Dimensions. These sketchbooks locate that project in relation to various ideas, objects and experiences and, under closer examination, reveal certain recurring preoccupations directing the project. But in standard presentations of this and similar projects such an accumulation of references remains hidden; attempts to describe the influence of references on the development of a project are commonly limited to a highly controlled exercise in post-rationalisation. As a result many important references go un-acknowledged in attempts to present clarity and progressive linearity. This paper aims to challenge this (either conscious or unconscious) masking of reference material and to reflect on possible creative modes of documentation that acknowledge the role of references in design development. At the same time design practices tend to passively accumulate references through visual exposure, and as a result the importance of a given reference to a project may easily be overlooked. To this end this paper and the accompanying presentation embrace the challenge of describing the function and role of references in the documentation of a design research project and consider such a description as a form of design research in itself. In this way this collected paper both promotes the idea of referencing as creative practice and highlights how design research as a mode of research might shed new light on wider academic referencing conventions and standard presentation formats.

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