Architecture and design

The Wellington Faculty of Architecture and Design Innovation is a leading centre for research in architecture, building science and design in New Zealand.

Research in the Faculty focuses on addressing contemporary architecture and design challenges through design-led cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Our industry partners provide opportunities for postgraduate students to engage in research that’s relevant and valuable to industry, the profession, and society.

Research areas

There are two schools within the Faculty—the Wellington School of Architecture and the School of Design Innovation—each with its own research strengths.

Architecture and Building Science

Our research is grouped in four areas:

  • Creative and critical—practice and research that examines and understands how spaces are created, celebrated, examined, remembered and lived in.
  • People, wellbeing, and sustainability—design that aims to increase the wellbeing of people, society, and the ecosystems we dwell in as the world around us changes.
  • Performance and technologies—research that shifts spatial design technologies to new innovative paradigms and performance levels.
  • Te Ao Hurihuri—research in design, architecture, urban design, and building science by tangata whenua with a focus on mātauranga Māori, and kaupapa Māori research.

Design Innovation

Find out more about Design research topics.

Research degrees

The Faculty offers a range of Master’s degrees and a PhD. Some Master’s degrees include coursework and a thesis or research portfolio, and others are by thesis only.

Research across disciplines

There are several subject areas within Architecture and Design Innovation. However, we encourage innovation by thinking beyond traditional subject boundaries. You can take an interdisciplinary approach to your research, either combining ideas or methods from other subjects within the Faculty or collaborating with another school outside the Faculty.


All research students have an academic supervisor to guide and mentor them. If you are applying for admission to a research degree, you can start your own search for a supervisor or get in touch with the relevant school's postgraduate coordinator.

Faculty research centres

Research students may have the opportunity to work with one of our specialised research centres.

Centre for Building Performance Research

The Centre for Building Performance Research aims to extend and enhance knowledge of the built environment so building performance can be improved.

Earthquake Hazard Centre (EHC)

The Earthquake Hazard Centre is a research and information network focused on earthquake-resistant design and construction.