Started: 2020 (INDI PhD), 2018 (MDes)
Thesis title: Reflecting on Architecture through Creative Journalism: Blogging as a Design Thinking Model
Supervisory committee: Dr. Carmela Cucuzzella, Dr. Jean-Pierre Chupin, Dr. Elyse Amend
Firdous Nizar is a PhD student with a Masters degree in Design and a Bachelors degree in Architecture and urban design. She also has experience working in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, particularly in the conception and design of residential, recreational and educational spaces. Currently enrolled in the Individualized program at Concordia, her research touches on the topic “Critical reflections on architectural design processes through Development Journalism" This study is an extension of her Masters research, “Retracing Spatial Design Processes: Developing a Pedagogical Tool for Architecture"; which explores hybrid and multi-disciplinary methods of learning and teaching architectural design. By leveraging the rigorous strategies of journalism and news production, her research investigates how design processes in the AEC industry are being communicated to the wider public. In this manner, her research seeks to tackle issues of accessibility to knowledge and democratic decision-making processes in sustainable development projects. Furthermore, her thesis adopts key theories of reflection-on-practice, design thinking, situated learning, spatial agency, and the process of making. Using this framework, her research outcome focuses on developing an alternative system and set of tools that would enable a more open-access approach to architectural design and pedagogy. Her research methodologies include multi-species ethnography, journalistic inquiry, archival investigation. participatory design, discourse analysis and evidence-based appraisal critical writing. This research is an experimentation of more-than-digital materialities when collectively reflecting on systemic issues in architecture and urban design. As more and more sustainable development mandates require transparent and democratic ways of community engagement, her research lies at the intersection of design, architectural education, and journalism in order to reimagine existing modes of communication and collaboration in the construction industry.