Introduction from the Editors
Authors: Skender Luarasi, Llazar Kumaraku
Affiliation: POLIS University
The reasons why we do scientific research can be many, from those induced by personal motives to those related with larger, imbricated social concerns, groups, or networks.
Scientific research has gained a special, all-pervasive status in academia in general, and that includes architecture. From digital modeling to tenure dossiers, from building performance to invocations of AI, from grant writing to politicians’ electoral statements, scientific research holds a special value, that of self-legitimation. While of different kinds, origins, and know-hows, the scientific research is a product of intellectual labor, construction, and processing, rather than one of raw materials taken from nature, even if the (transformation of the) latter may be an object that scientific research. What is scientific research made of? And what are its results? Research is made of a combination of egos and subjectivities on the one hand and objects on the other. This combination is not simple but complex. That is, perhaps, why AI, which aims to replace many activities such as that of the driver, doctor, artisans, and so forth, has not yet replaced the activity scientific of research.
The very combination of the subject and object is at the very heart and origin of what constitutes scientific research. In How to Write a Thesis Umberto Eco gave quite a relaxed and operative definition of scientific research when he argued that for research to be scientific it must:
• deal “with a specific object, defined so that others can identify it.”
• say “things that have not yet been said about this object, or it revises things that have already been said from a different perspective.”
• be “useful to others.”
• and provide “the elements required to verify ordisprove the hypotheses it presents, and therefore it provides the foundation for future research” (Eco, 27-30, 2015)
Such “loose” scientific requirements trigger a multiplicity of research agendas and objects. The 26th issue of Forum A+P dwell precisely on this multiplicity.
The main purpose of research is the growth of goods that are the fruit of human intellectual processing. But how is this production related to the field of architecture or planning? What is the objective of the research in these two fields whose primary object of inquiry is the human-inhabited space? It is regarding such question that Edoardo Persico considers the quality of the form and settlements where people live as “the secret faith of the time". Substance of things hoped for.”