PART II: METHODOLOGY
Introduction to Part II
Part II provides an overview of the overarching methodologies used to answer the research questions in a transdisciplinary context. This chapter is intended to make the research process transparent, outlining the objectives, approach and decisions I made as a researcher working within the embedded local context of Vejle.
The first part of the chapter outlines the main methods, such as expert interviews, state-of-the-art (S-O-T-A) analysis, literature review and site observations. The second part of the chapter outlines a real-world problem-based case study research using the “research-through-design” (RtD) methodology through the medium of mapping. Specifically, I utilised an online interactive network mapping program called “Kumu”, which was used to develop three different types of hybrid maps to help explore the research questions. The first Kumu map (Map 1) is mainly intended as a multi-scalar in-depth context analysis for Vejle’s Kanten/The Edge competition entries. The second Kumu map (Map 2) is intended for state-of-the-art (S-O-T-A) analysis of various projects and ontologies that may inform future design strategies for Vejle’s Fjordbyen. The third Kumu map (Map 3) is a timeline-based map that is used to illustrate how the mapping tool can help speculate a design response to future scenarios of SLR/SS in Vejle based on learnings from Kumu Maps 1 and 2. The three Kumu maps are guided by the four main Urban Seascaping propositions (see section 3.3), which have been developed throughout the study and are then used to guide the direction and content of the mappings. Urban Seascaping as an initial hypothesis (i.e. Part I) evolves throughout different phases (or “moments”) of research as a guardrail to help answer the research questions.
Figure 28 and Figure 29 outline the main methods and methodologies as context-driven case study research where various methods and theories have led to the research outcomes.
Figure 28. A diagram to illustrate a context-driven case study research. The context is in Vejle Denmark (East Jutland), looking specifically into Kanten/The Edge design competition and the Sund Vejle Fjord project that runs in parallel. The main methodological approach is Research-through-design via Kumu mappings (Maps 1, 2, and 3) informed by various methods such as interviews, site visits (fieldwork), literature reviews (also of state-of-the-art precedents), and stakeholder observations/engagements. The main theory driving the mapping for this research is “scaled system thinking” (systems-based approach), which is elaborated on in section 2.2.5.
Figure 29. (Left image) The single case study context of Vejle has multiple embedded units of analysis (Yin, 2017). Mainly the design entries and interviews of winning participants form one set of data for analysis and involvement in the brief feedback and the judging process during Kanten/The Edge competition process. Image credit: Adapted from Yin (2017).