The Power of Words: Grounded Theory Research Methods in Architecture & Design

Jun 14, 2017

Grounded Theory (GT) is a systematic methodology used to reveal patterns in qualitative data and to develop theoretical positions or frameworks from these patterns—the theory is “grounded” in the words.

GT is a robust and intuitive approach and set of procedures suitable for a wide variety of architectural research objectives that can be considered and used more often. It can be used as a stand-alone qualitative method or in conjunction with quantitative methods as part of a mixed methods approach. The process for beginning a Grounded Theory analysis is laid out simply with key references highlighted. GT is equally powerful in analyzing existing data, resulting in new answers and unexpected questions.

keywords: Grounded Theory, qualitative methods, participant narratives, research methods, complexity

Christina Bollo (University of British Columbia)
Tom Collins (Ball State University)
Presented at: 
ARCC 2017 Conference – Architecture of Complexity (Salt Lake City, UT)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC)
University of Utah

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