Abstract：Design and research are normally considered to be two completely different intellectual activities: the former concentrating on problem solving, while the latter mostly engaging in knowledge production. Therefore, architectural design is usually excluded by scientific evaluation; the discipline of architecture’s progressive development is hindered. This article tries to argue that when a design activity plays a role of knowledge production, then it could also be considered as an academic research activity. It starts from the description of architectural discipline’s embarrassing status of being judged by the criterion based on other scientific disciplines. Then the conception of both research and design is examined, and their relationships are also discussed. Thereafter the prerequisites and significance of research by design are explored. Finally the role of typological approach mainly applied in the process of research by design is emphasized.