To understand, explain and promote the quality of the urban environment, the discipline of urban design remains subject to knowledge and analysis from other disciplines that consider the social nature of space. Recently, the number of researches in the field of urban design that focus on the lived experiences of people by applying qualitative methodologies, e.g. ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory etc. are growing. Emphasizing the contextual attributes of people experience, the qualitative research has empowered urban design to consider more cultural and local differentiations. However, these methodologies are primarily rooted and developed within other human sciences such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, nursing, etc. Despite the relatively large body of literature about qualitative research methodologies especially the text-based data analysis methods, Urban Design is still borrowing from other disciplines and did not develop actively compatible and identical methods.
Emphasizing the methodological knowledge within the urban design discipline, this session invites theoretical as well as empirical and self-reflexive papers considering the following questions: What is urban design contribution in the qualitative methodology discourse, within and beyond its disciplinary boundaries? What are the disciplinary obstacles, limitations, and potentials within Urban Design in developing relevant qualitative methods? What are educational, institutional and local challenges for developing and conducting qualitative research in urban design? If and how other disciplines benefit from qualitative urban design studies? How methodological knowledge of urban design ‒ e.g. spatial analysis, visual language, observation, etc. ‒ can contribute to the qualitative methodology discourse? How and if qualitative methods in urban design facilitate understanding of the materiality of social space?