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Issue 5.1

On: Case Study Strategies for Architects and Designers

The case study is such a ubiquitous and seemingly natural form of inquiry in architecture that it can be surprising to discover it has a scholarly literature of rules and procedures. As a formal research method it is typically traced to developments in anthropology and sociology in the early twentieth century, especially the Chicago School of the 1920s. However, case methods were used in sociology for at least a century before that, while anecdotal narratives are as old as human inquiry. The case method became an explicit form of teaching in law schools in the 1880s, from which it spread to other professional disciplines, including architecture.