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Can ‘design knowledge’ find a more secure position within the academic field as an expertise to develop (critical) history and theory? What can practicing architects bring to the table in an academic context, when they are researching, drawing and writing? To what extent can a discussion on the tools and methods of practicing architects deepen the academic debate and enter the fields of architectural history and theory? By re-visiting a building through the experience of designing architects, what new readings or versions can be uncovered? More specifically, how can the ‘design knowledge’ of the architect provide relevant interpretations of our built environment? This symposium aims to broaden the scope from research by design, which is usually focused on an architect’s personal practice, towards building, drawing and writing as research activities that actively engage with architectural history and theory.