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On ontological approaches to academic research in architecture

Yonca Hurol (Department of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus)

Open House International

ISSN: 0168-2601

Article publication date: 22 May 2020

Issue publication date: 28 August 2020



This study aims to define the main characteristics and possibilities of ontological approaches to research in architecture by considering content, methodologies and subject position in this type of research and questions if there is a future for this type of research or not.


The primary data collection method of this research is based on the ethos of the author who has taught research courses for many years. This research has also been questioned through the discussions made within a related PhD course.


Results of this research reveal that the spontaneous ideology of architecture might have influenced the neglection of the ontological approaches in academic research in architecture.

Social implications

Architecture has an interesting position towards reductionism because architectural thinking has ontological characteristics. The ontological approaches to academic research seems to be more applicable to architecture. However, research in architecture does not necessarily have this ontological character.


The “ontological approach to academic research” covers a larger set of research than the method of ontology, which is used to discuss the categories, limitations in research. Thinking on ontological approaches to research is needed because there is a considerable increase in the use of mixed research methods, which combine qualitative and quantitative research. The second reason for this is the criticisms about the unethical reductionism directed towards contemporary science by philosophers. However, there is no sufficient literature on the ontological approaches to research. This is true also for the academic research in architecture.



The author of this article would like to thank the three ARCH632 students: Mustafa Batibeniz, Fiona Kavakure and Kamiar Yazdani for all the contributions they have made for this research.


Hurol, Y. (2020), "On ontological approaches to academic research in architecture", Open House International, Vol. 45 No. 1/2, pp. 69-85.



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