Beginner question: Where should I start for case study?

Julian Li

Studying year 1 in architecture. What example should I choose for case study as a beginner? Just finished one on Maison Carre, but I'm still confused about things like standards in choosing the subject of case studies, whose work to research etc. Thx :)

Jan 6, 23 12:12 pm

That's a rather open ended question.  Do you have any parameters to narrow down the focus of your case stud? 

Some examples that might narrow your focus could be:

  • Building function
  • Architectural style
  • Materials used
  • Form
  • Structural type
  • Architect
  • Location

Jan 6, 23 12:38 pm  · 
2  · 
  • Site type
Jan 6, 23 12:49 pm  · 
2  · 
Julian Li

Huge thanks for your suggestion! :) I'm literally doing my very first case study, so may I ask what I should focus on in it? P.S.The Maison Carre one can be basically identified as an attempt rather than one with clear focus.

Jan 6, 23 9:07 pm  · 
Wood Guy

Your instructor must have given you some parameters to consider, as Chad mentioned. It may have been spoken and not written down, but there is no way they just said, "do a case study" without some sort of direction. What did they give you for constraints or potential areas of focus?

Jan 7, 23 11:44 am  · 
Julian Li

Well, the assignment is not compulsory, and the instructor only mentioned small-sized architecture.

Jan 10, 23 8:17 am  · 

I would ask your professor for more information. 'Small sized architecture' is still a rather broad topic. At the very least your professor should describe what 'small sized architecture' means to them.

Jan 10, 23 9:46 am  · 
Wood Guy

Looking back, this kind of project is likely meant to teach you several things, and few or none of them relate to what you actually choose for a project or critique. I was not good about asking for help, and I'm still not, but I wish I had taken advantage of my professors' office hours to ask questions about things I didn't understand. It's not seen as a failure to ask questions; in fact you will likely get brownie points for being an engaged student. The assignment may also be to see how you respond to an assignment that isn't very clear, which is directly applicable to the real world; hopefully asking this forum for advice wasn't your first action.

Jan 10, 23 11:32 am  · 
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To be fair Wood's response is for an American school. In various countries / schools asking for help can be foolishly viewed as a failure. 

Jan 10, 23 11:36 am  · 

your instructor will provide you with standards/guidelines/guardrails. Read the assignment and ask questions when/if it's not clear. 

Jan 7, 23 1:50 pm  · 

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