Building Knowledge: A Framework for a Translational Research Culture in Architecture

  • Mark Donofrio University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
Keywords: Architectural research, translational research, professional practice, collaboration, building production


The built environment in the United States is failing. Economic, social, environmental and technological performance of buildings as well as the industry responsible for their creation has not kept pace with other industries essential to a ensuring a healthy society. While research activity is prevalent in academia as well as, to some extent, in professional practice, the building industry is slow to change. This paper proposes a framework for the development of a translational research culture in the discipline of architecture as a means to more rapidly implement positive change within the building industry. Modeled after the successful approach implemented in the medical profession, translational research results in a feedback loop where basic research is tested in application. The results of this application become inputs to a new round of basic research, which will then be tested again. This cycle continues with the new research questions continuously being influenced by the limitations of the previous questions. Its application inmedicine was originally intended to ensure that new treatments and research knowledge actually reach thepatients or populations for whom they are intended and are implemented correctly. Establishing atranslational research culture within the discipline of architecture provides a potential stop gap to slow andreverse the declining state of the building industry. By more directly connecting the efforts of research in academia with the application in practice, there exists the potential to make research more visible
How to Cite
Donofrio, M. (2013). Building Knowledge: A Framework for a Translational Research Culture in Architecture. ARCC Conference Repository.
Peer-reviewed Papers