Students as Partners in Architectural Design Education: Towards the Typologies of Design Thinking

Students as Partners in Architectural Design Education: Towards the Typologies of Design Thinking

Sucharita Srirangam, TamilSalvi Mari, Sujatavani Gunasagaran, Foong Peng Veronica Ng
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6445-5.ch013
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Architectural design study is subjective. In order to aid a new pedagogy that welcomes the diversity of design approaches, the research project funded by Taylor's University incorporates teacher-learner partnerships in curriculum design. Engaging students as partners (SaP) in teaching and learning is an emerging yet contested topic in higher education. The research aims to offer learner-led pedagogy through engaging the SaP. Initially the research offers a critical discourse on various perspectives on design studio teaching pedagogy involving tools, teachers, and procedures. Later moves onto a series of studio observations and interviews with students, made for two consecutive semesters at Taylor's and University Malaya. By keeping the learners at the core, SaP, the subjectivity of designers brought to main focus. The contribution of the paper is a learner-led new pedagogy, on e-learning, for the emerging young learners. The significance is to offer tools for exploring originality in design and therefore to empower the budding designers, the learners in architecture.
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Theoretical Discourse

The book, Design Process as “episodes” by Rowe (1986), takes an episodic structured approach in analysing the design process, focusing on the process of rationalization that occurs as a designer characterizes or frames an ambiguous, diverse situation in a particular way. Additionally, the author explores the limitations of various procedural models which depict design as a sequential process of creative problem solving and how normative positions guide design inquiry. Rowe goes on to highlight the consequences of design thinking on design practice - when architects take either positions of a) “naturalistic” interpretation of humanity and the world or b) an interpretation of architecture as a self-referential enterprise. The first position is based on a “naturalistic” interpretation of humanity and the world, while the alternative is concerned with architecture as a self-referential enterprise. At the risk of caricature, interpretation in the first realm can be described as tending to adhere to the hypothetical-deductive system of theory construction and empirical observation favored by the social sciences. Within the second realm of inquiry, there is a tendency to adhere to the rhetorical domain of architectural objects and organizing compositional principles. Therefore, the idea of ‘self’ and subjectivity needs to be taken to a conscious level whilst teaching budding architects in the design studio.

The design thinking process within a studio environment is crucial in view of the subjectivity of the learners. The existing studies, research work and literature tend to take three angles to view and comprehend design thinking. They are as follows:

  • 1.

    Tools of exploration: such as drawings, models and digital media

  • 2.

    Teachers in the studio: such as their personalities and beliefs

  • 3.

    Procedures of the studio: such as curriculum framework, stages of a design process, discourse and conditions.

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