Design research

Innovative design-led research that impacts how, what, and where we create our built environments

Research streams

  • Creative Towns and Cities
  • Architecture and Dystopia / Architectural Narratives
  • Speculative Design Research
  • Design Lab

Academic staff

Name Research interests

Daniele Abreu-e-Lima

  • Modernist architecture
  • Exploring cinema and visions of architecture in movies and animes.

Daniel K Brown

Research website

  • The allegorical architectural project
  • Speculative architecture
  • Narrative architecture drawing from fiction and other narrative disciplines.

Peter Connolly

  • Fieldwork examining how landscapes function experientially and socially
  • Assemblages and affects
  • Landscape urbanism
  • Conceptualisation of landscape architectural design processes.

Hannah Hopewell

  • Intersections between landscape, the urban, and critique of the complex temporalities and aesthetics of the Capitalocene.

Sam Kebbell

  • Architecture for cultural and creative communities at home, work, and in public
  • Creative practice research
  • The impact of creative practices on the fabric of the city

Mark Southcombe

Research website

  • Collective Housing, Urban Housing Ecologies, Ecologies Design, Design-Led Research, Design Pedagogy theory and practices, Prefabrication, Whanganui and NZ Architectural Histories.

Simon Twose

  • Drawing, particularly in the territories between art and architecture practices
  • Research through creative works, which have transitioned from buildings to spatio-temporal installations
  • Experimental drawing installations
  • Combinations of real and virtual space: Sculptural space, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Soundscapes.

Study options

The following postgraduate programmes allow you to pursue this research:

Master of Architecture (MArch)

Explore the theoretical side of architecture and dive deeper into its history and theory. Develop your analysis and critical thinking skills with in-depth study into your area of interest.

In this thesis-based programme, you can build on the knowledge you gained at undergraduate level. Or, if you’re already working in the industry, you can expand your knowledge through research.

Find out more about the Master of Architecture (MArch)

Master of Architecture (Professional) (MArch[Prof])

Prepare to work as a professional architect. Hone your skills as a designer, develop your ability to think visually and in three dimensions, and learn how to best meet your clients’ needs through practical, real-life experiences.

Graduates with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in Architecture and a Master of Architecture (Professional) will have met the academic requirements to register as a professional architect.

Find out more about the Master of Architecture (Professional) (MArch[Prof])

Master of Interior Architecture (MIA)

Become a specialist in the architectural design of interior spaces. Examine the relationships between materials, people, and space. Make a difference to people’s wellbeing through the innovative design of interior spaces.

Our MIA is internationally recognised through two professional bodies.

Find out more about the Master of Interior Architecture (MIA)

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Develop your creative expertise and become a professional landscape architect. Gain the knowledge and skills to create innovative design solutions for outdoor spaces.

Our MLA is one of only three programmes in New Zealand that meet the standards for accreditation with the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA).

Find out more about Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


On our PhD programme, you'll produce an original body of research that expands the discipline. Your work will be largely independently driven, with two supervisors available to advise you. Typically the PhD is studied on-site, but in suitable cases it may be studied by distance.

Find out more about the PhD.