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Architectural Technology Research & Practice Edit

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As Vice President for Education and Chair of the CIAT Research Group it gives me great pleasure to support the first ever publication to specifically address the area of research, and in particular its relationship with practice, in the discipline of architectural technology. Architectural Technology:

 Research and Practiceis not only groundbreaking because it is the first book of its kind, but also because it provides at long last one of the accepted foundations needed to underpin the  emerging academic discipline, namely a recognised research base. The architectural technology discipline is well established at degree level and taught in many UK universities with counterparts around Europe. 

Architectural technology programmes are subject to a comprehensive accreditation programme run by CIAT, but the concept of academic disciplines requires a subject to be researched as well as taught. Differentiating a significant body of research that can also be identified as relevant to architectural technology is therefore an essential part of this process.

 Research manifests itself within academic disciplines in many ways, from empirical research activities to applied research, mostly aimed at supporting the profession. In the case of architectural technology much empirical and applied research conducted in other allied fields is already there and can be directly applicable.

 However, establishing a body of research specifically applicable to architectural technology that is being conducted and promoted on a significant scale has yet to be fully established. This book takes a momentous step in that direction.

 Recognising that the relative youth of the discipline requires that systems and networks need to be established where no existing procedures or formal structures exist, the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT), as the professional body having always supported practice based research in particular, has responded with its recently re-established Research Group taking on the endorsement to ’promote the development of research applied to the education and practice of architectural technology’ .

In aiming to address the interaction between research and practice in the field of architectural technology this book demonstrates the significance of research to those involved in architectural technology, and above all stimulates further research and debate. In doing so it also achieves its primary aim of highlighting the richness and potential of the subject area.

 With contributions from architects and architectural technologists, the passion for the subject is evident throughout the collection of chapters and case studies covering a number of different yet highly relevant themes. 

As the editor, Stephen Emmitt suggests, ‘the underlying message is that architectural technology is not just a profession; it is a way of thinking and a way of acting’. CIAT, in supporting this publication, is aware of the need for books such as this to sustain the process of research informed practice, as an aid for both students and those practising within the discipline of architectural technology.