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Live projects: a mixed-methods exploration of existing scholarship

Sebastian G. Smith (Department of Architecture, Griffith Univeristy, Southport, Australia)
Karine Dupre (Department of Architecture, Griffith Univeristy, Southport, Australia)
Julie Crough (Department of Teaching and Learning, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)


ISSN: 2631-6862

Article publication date: 13 December 2022




This paper aims to investigate trends and themes within the literature pertaining to live projects, and in so doing, highlight possible areas of future exploration and research.


This paper utilises a Systematic Quantitative Literature Review (SQLR) method, wherein keywords and phrases are entered into selected citation databases generating a reproducible list of literature. This is then refined using a specified list of criteria and read for relevance. The resulting literature forms the basis of qualitative and quantitative analyses and review.


The reviewed scholarship demonstrates a surge in publications since the early 2000s, with 75% of publications originating from the USA, Canada, or the UK Furthermore, themes related to live project definitions, outputs and rationales were examined, demonstrating that common factors such as “community”, “construction” and “pedagogy” are not mutually exclusive but tend to overlap, making the topic hard to define. These results also demonstrate a proclivity for projects with a built output. Barriers to live projects were also assessed, and it was found that administrative hurdles, such as time and budget constraints, were the biggest concern to live project practitioners. Finally, critical voices were examined and showed that live projects need to reflect on the nature of their engagement with the community.

Research limitations/implications

This method, while capturing a substantial portion of the published scholarship, does not capture all live project literature due to limitations such as language and a strong focus on peer-reviewed publications. Furthermore, this research only captures literature that has been published. It does not reflect the variety and extent of live project activity occurring globally. For reasons such as unfamiliarity and inconsistencies with the use of live project terminologies, doubtless many unpublished live projects are conducted–yet not represented in these findings. This study may help live project execution by providing valuable examples of existing trends.


This paper captures the metadata from 110 live project publications, allowing for wide-ranging analysis, categorisation and discussion on the topic.



Smith, S.G., Dupre, K. and Crough, J. (2022), "Live projects: a mixed-methods exploration of existing scholarship", Archnet-IJAR, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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