Taubman College

Ph.D. in Architecture / Areas of Specialization

Building Technology

How buildings are made and how they are controlled is the realm of building technology. Sub-areas of research within this specialization include: materials and construction, structural systems, lighting and day lighting, acoustics, heating and air conditioning, energy conservation, sustainable design, and intelligent buildings. Typically, research in these areas requires physical testing of building components, computer simulation of systems performance, and statistical evaluation.

Design Studies

Design Studies focuses on research and knowledge of the design process, decision-making, and the cultural and behavioral context of these activities. Research in this area investigates how the design and formal properties of buildings and urban spaces shape experience, use patterns, and cultural expressions; thereby assisting designers, planners, and decision-makers in creating more exciting, effective, and responsive places. New kinds of knowledge representations, particularly information models, are often vital to this research. Sub-areas of research within design studies include: design process and design cognition, cultural and behavioral studies, urban design and building form, and design computing.

History and Theory

The specialization area in architectural history and theory emphasizes the study of buildings and cities in terms of the various social formations, intellectual and practical traditions, and theoretical lenses through which architecture and urbanism have developed as distinctive fields of endeavor. Faculty and students work in a variety of settings: from Medieval and Early Modern Europe and Western Asia, to nineteenth and twentieth century settings in North America, Europe, the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. History and theory faculty and students carry out research using a diverse array of historical methods and theoretical paradigms that engage with and contribute to a growing field of interdisciplinary scholarship concerned broadly with contemporary material, spatial, and intellectual genealogies. Rather than pursuing a single modality for the discipline in order to establish an institutional identity, individuals explore the subjects and paradigms they deem most appropriate. All are united however in their commitment to the practice of rigorous historical scholarship.