Architecture and design

The Faculty of Architecture and Design is a leading centre for research in architecture, building science and design in New Zealand.

Research in the Faculty focuses on addressing contemporary architecture and design challenges through design-led cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Our industry partners provide opportunities for postgraduate students to engage in research that’s relevant and valuable to industry, the profession and society.

Research areas

There are two schools within the Faculty—the School of Architecture and the School of Design, each with its own research strengths.


  • landscape architecture.
  • architectural and urban design processes
  • architectural history, theory and criticism
  • building structures and construction
  • digital technology: mixed reality, parametric design, rapid prototyping
  • energy and environmental design and buildings, including sustainable design
  • interior architecture.

Building Science

  • daylight productivity and health
  • digital craft in architecture
  • earthquakes and engineering in developing countries and disaster zones
  • fire engineering
  • seismic design of buildings.

Design Innovation

  • Data.Mine—game design, interaction design, data visualisation
  • MADE (multiproperty additive-manufactured design experiments)—digital fabrication, multi-material
  • More-Than-Human—designing with and for non-humans
  • Smart Interactions—design for healthcare
  • Virtual World Lab—immersive interactions and storytelling
  • design and culture—craft and technology
  • 3D printing

Find out more about Design research topics.

Research degrees

The Faculty offers a range of Master’s degrees and a PhD. Some Master’s degrees include coursework and a thesis or research portfolio, and others are by thesis only.

Research across disciplines

There are several subject areas within Architecture and Design. However, we encourage innovation by thinking beyond traditional subject boundaries. You can take an interdisciplinary approach to your research—combining ideas or methods from other subjects within the Faculty or you may collaborate with another Victoria University of Wellington school outside the Faculty.

Faculty research centres

Research students may have the opportunity to work with one of our specialised research centres.

Centre for Building Performance Research

The Centre for Building Performance Research aims to extend and enhance knowledge of the built environment so building performance can be improved.

Earthquake Hazard Centre (EHC)

The Earthquake Hazard Centre is a research and information network focused on earthquake-resistant design and construction.