Architecture and design: conditions for actions


Lecturer(s) :

Lami Isabella




Only this year


Postponed to a later date


The course proposes a research on the aesthetics deriving from the merge of Strategic Choice Approach with architectural design. The PhD candidates will be asked to explore "if" and "how" architectural design tools (drawings, schemes, videos,..) contribute to the construction of knowledge.


The course investigates a qualitative model belonging to the Problem Structuring Methods, the Strategic Choice Approach - SCA (Friend and Hickling, 2005), in its possible interface with architectural design as a way of structuring cyclic processes of conflicts and negotiations.
In SCA, drawings can be used as an exchange object to generate effects and produce consequences in the process, within the group and among the participants. According to this perspective, the interaction between SCA and architectural design can be seen as a way to build a shared problem definition, values and perceptions about the problem situation. In this context, the 'problem situation' is understood as a building's or urban renewal; the construction of a new building, the location of urban facilities, etc.
SCA and architectural design process can be both intended as cyclic and 'in progress' processes of conflicts and negotiations (Armando et al. 2015) and 'running labs' about real-world problems (Latour and Woolgar 1979; Latour 1988; Yaneva 2009). Moreover, even if in architectural design there is not a formal definition of different steps to define a transformation project, SCA modes and phases are similar to the way architects think and draft alternatives, through sketches and drawings (Todella et al., 2018).
In this sense, by using SCA in a merging with architectural design it is possible to recognise a specific aesthetics as a 'form of language that can produce its own form of knowledge' (White 2006).
The course proposes to develop a research field by design on this specific aesthetics, linked to the models and the language used in the architectural realm. The PhD candidates will be asked to explore 'if' and 'how' architectural design tools - drawings, schemes, diagrams, but also video and texts ' contribute to the construction of a better shared reality, strictly linked to the possibility of widely understand the real problem thanks to the models' capability of transferring and translate knowledge.


Strategic Choice Approach, Design

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:



TodellaE., Lami I.M., Armando, 2018, Experimental Use of Strategic Choice Approach (SCA) by Individuals as an Architectural Design Tool,Group Decision and Negotiation 27(5), pp. 811-826

Ressources en bibliothèque

In the programs

Reference week

      Exercise, TP
      Project, other


  • Autumn semester
  • Winter sessions
  • Spring semester
  • Summer sessions
  • Lecture in French
  • Lecture in English
  • Lecture in German