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Architectural concept formation: transmission of knowledge in the design studio in relation to teaching methods

Marda, N; (1996) Architectural concept formation: transmission of knowledge in the design studio in relation to teaching methods. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This Thesis explores learning within the context of architectural studio teaching. It focuses on the way in which teaching and learning takes place in discussions on architectural design among tutors, students and visiting critics in the context of the presentation of student work in interim and final reviews. As reviews are based on an oral presentation and discusslon of students' work(feedback), their verbal content can be analysed to reveal the structure of architectural learning In the design studio. Research was undertaken at two separate locations over two consecutive time periods: first, in the late 1980's at the Bartlett School of Architecture, U. C. L. and then in the early 1990's at the School of Architecture and Landscape at the University of Greenwich. The Thesis therefore examines the shift In architectural education that took place In London during the late 1980's and early 1990's. The research involved recording and transcribing into the form of a text, the content of architectural design reviews which took place at both schools. The text was then analysed in terms of its content, form and structure, at the Bartlett, recordings were made of twenty seven reviews from the first, the third, and the diploma year (nine each), at Greenwich, a comparative sample was recorded of nine first year and nine third year reviews. The aim was twofold: a) to examine how the dialogue in reviews and the students' designs progressively matured over the years, and b) to Identify the extent to which the new pedagogy changed the structure of the learning interaction in the design studio. It was found that reviews at the Bartlett operated mainly at an Intellectual/conceptual level, were analytical and focused on the final building design. The participants drew on background knowledge In the form of theory, technology and precedents. These aspects were found to be used implicitly in the design studio. Reviews at Greenwich, which represent the current London educational scene, were found to be more intuitive and experiential. They operated mainly at a visual level and focused on the design process through explicit teaching methods. The creative activity of constructing new design rules in formal/visual architectural terms ('foregrounding') was dominant. Both educational systems revealed that architectural concepts are formed at the visual and intellectual level simultaneously, by the interaction of the two, despite their different balance (visual/ intellectual) in each pedagogic mode. The clarity of the discussion during the reviews was influenced only by the extent to which the visual/intellectual interaction was explicitly acknowledged as a key component of the teaching method. The Thesis therefore argues that 2-D and 3-D representations are active In Initiating architectural cognition, and perhaps It is only these visual representations that are able to initiate 'foregrounding'. At both schools, at all educational levels, the design students decision making was found to remain stable, and architectural concepts progressed from simple to complex, not in a predictable and linear fashion but in a circular, iterative process. Finally, the Thesis questions the existence of the concept of a 'central Idea' or 'parti' that brings all the design rules together, Among students this was found to be more of an ideal than a reality, as these rules seem to come together in the form of a 'collage' rather than as a rational structure.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Architectural concept formation: transmission of knowledge in the design studio in relation to teaching methods
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS. The disk that contains the appendix for this thesis has not been digitised.
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment

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