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School of Architecture Addendum

Approved October 5, 2018

School of Architecture
Addendum to the Guidelines for Performance Reviews of the Faculty of Engineering


The intention of this addendum is to set out performance expectations in the School of Architecture for teaching, research and service. The Addendum to Faculty Performance Evaluation Guidelines is prescribed by Article 13 Part 5.1(b) of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo (MOA). The document must be renewed biannually, and any update must be approved by a vote of the faculty members of the School. Since performance evaluation is handled in accordance with the MOA, Policy 77, Faculty of Engineering guidelines, and this addendum, faculty members are encouraged to review all four documents.


For a faculty member carrying a 40% teaching responsibility, the normal teaching load in the School is the equivalent of 4 courses, computed as 6 teaching timed tasks as per our School agreement (revised March 1, 2018). For a faculty member carrying a 60% teaching responsibility, the normal teaching load in the School is the equivalent of 6 courses, computed as 9 teaching timed tasks as per our School agreement. The calculations also account for the supervision of a normal number of graduate students annually. Faculty teaching responsibilities are assigned and evaluated annually based upon the most recent revisions of the School agreement.


Architecture faculty produce a wide variety of scholarship and research. The variety of work can include both peer-reviewed and solicited publications, both written and creative work; solo, collaborative, and participatory projects at a variety of scales; competition entries and other works of projective and speculative design work; and public presentations in a range of forms and formats. Research can be supported through major or minor grants from various government sources (e.g., SSHRC, NSERC), public and private foundations, and other sources.


Architectural Design: Architectural design–based research focused on visualization, representation, design, art theory, 2D, 3D, 4D, digital representation, or, more generally, design process. This also includes professional practice whereby individuals maintain an active presence in building design. Design/build includes physical construction, art exhibition, and installation, which feature design and construction. This area may also include experimental technologies, prototyping, digital fabrication, etc.

Building Sciences and Technology: Science and technology–based research (funded or otherwise) focused on environmental systems, structures, construction, digital design and fabrication, materials, prefabrication and modular construction, information technologies, post-occupancy, building information modeling, project delivery, practice studies, sustainability and high- performance buildings, resilience, and healthcare performance metric.

History and Theory, Cultural Studies/Humanities, and Social Sciences: This area of expertise includes humanities-based scholarship focused on historical subjects and theoretical discourse, cultural studies/humanities, and social science– based subjects as well as scholarship on architectural education and pedagogy. 

Community Engagement: A combination of applied and community service practice, public interest design, community engagement, community-based participatory research, social impact design focused on transformation of social organizations/groups beyond the academy or extending across the academy-public community boundaries, to include transdisciplinary methodologies.

Allied Design Fields: Urbanism, Landscape, Industrial Design, Product Design, Interior Design, Health and Aging, Housing, Interior Architecture, Historic Preservation, and Adaptive Reuse.

All research, scholarship, and creative work needs to be reviewed and/or evaluated by an external reviewer. Given the range of modes of production and evaluations, it is not possible to offer a uniform hierarchy, ranking system, or impact factor for all cases. Value, however, can be determined by the scale of audience to which the work is disseminated. The list below enumerates commonly accepted categories of research, scholarship, and creative work in architecture programs.


Curation: Like other academic colleagues, professors in architecture organize and chair conferences, colloquia, public seminars, workshops, etc. They also commonly curate exhibitions, whether of their own work, the work of their colleagues, or of practicing architects either dead or alive. Architectural exhibitions have become a well-recognized and often provocative means of diffusing architectural knowledge — often accompanied by catalogues comprising scholarly essays. As discussed in the previous heading, a peer-review process must validate that work of curation: the more an exhibition is reviewed and discussed, the more it can be said to have had a significant impact upon the discipline. Curation may include conference, exhibition, symposium and workshops

Funding: Funding sources in architecture typically follows a number of established models: the humanities and social sciences and technology and engineering. There are also well-established models for funding creative work in the arts, and private sponsorship of design research and/or research- based design. Unless working on the latter model, funding is relatively scarce and amounts comparatively small. In any case, it is as highly and increasingly competitive as any other academic institution discipline. Funding is even scarcer and more competitive for professors working at the more artistic and/or service end of the discipline. Funding may include corporate sponsorship; foundation funding; in-kind donation; municipal sponsorship; research grant: external/national: lead researcher; research grant: internal: lead researcher; research grant: external/national: secondary researcher; research grant: internal: secondary researcher. 

Practice Recognition: Much like creative work in the fine arts, built work can be a valid research component, even the most central one. There are two issues to consider: the role played by the faculty and the impact of the work. It is also important to segregate impactful architecture from consultant work. For most academic institution disciplines, consultancy — whereby a professor provides remunerated expertise — though acknowledged to be valuable insofar as it allows that professor to remain in contact with the professional world, is not considered part of the candidate’s research dossier. In architecture, however, a professor may have been remunerated for work that s/he still considers to be a valid part of his/her “research” dossier. The main criteria to validate such inclusion is a peer-review process: an architectural work commissioned following a well-publicized and ambitious competition, a building that won design awards, or publication in prominent professional journals, etc. The more a building (or other form of architectural work) is discussed in architecture journals, the more it demonstrates its general impact within the discipline. It should be noted that getting one’s architectural work published in prominent professional journals may be considered a greater achievement than having an article published in high-impact journals — though such comparative judgment should be made on a case-by-case basis. Practice recognition may include: award; building; competition entry; exhibition design; pavilion (e.g., PS1 or the Serpentine Galleries); speculative (e.g., unbuilt) work, curated or juried exhibition of work (e.g. in museums or galleries).

Publication: The range and relative merit of publication in architecture generally follow the criteria of humanities and social science–based disciplines: A sole-authored book published at a major academic institution or academic press rates highest, followed by blind peerreviewed articles in high-impact journals. For those working closer to technical fields, refereed-journal articles may have more value than books, as is common in engineering, but that should be judged on a case-by-case basis. Architecture distinguishes itself, however, by the importance of certain journals that are not blind peer-reviewed but that are under tight editorial control and have high impact. Rather than scientific in the strict sense, these journals deliver well-informed and influential opinions (e.g., Log), set new trends (e.g., Architectural Design), or may indeed be indistinguishable from traditional peer-reviewed journals (e.g., AA Files). Architecture also has a considerable number of impactful professional journals publicizing current building production nationally or internationally. Writing building reviews in such journals (usually remunerated) is often categorized as “journalism” rather than traditional scholarly publication. Publication may include: book chapter; book review; building review in the professional press; edited book; journal article; monograph; refereed paper published in conference proceedings; refereed abstract published in conference proceedings; research report.

Public Presentation: Peer-reviewed conference presentations and panel presentations are valued similarly to other disciplines, as are invited public lectures. One element that distinguishes architecture from other fields in terms of public presentation are guest critics for design reviews. It is customary in schools of architecture to invite either architects and/or fellow academics to participate in juries for end-of-term studio reviews. There may be some ambiguity as to whether reviews should fall under “service” or “teaching,” but it should not be part of a research dossier. The work of “juror” in a design competition should be considered part of “service.” However, in the event that it shapes the discipline in profound ways and has greater impact value, it is up to candidates to frame their work in this arena in the larger context of their research and practice. Public presentation may include: critic; invited presentation; juror; keynote; lecture; refereed presentation; session/panel organizer; workshop


There is nothing to add to the Faculty of Engineering Guidelines for Performance Reviews in this area.


There is nothing to add to the Faculty of Engineering Guidelines for Performance Reviews in this area.