Architectural design studio responsibilities and expectations
CT.Lakshmanan B.Arch., M.C.P.
Mode of learning Design
learning through first hand observation
learning through workshop (Hands on
Apprenticeship – practical training
Can we teach design as we were taught it?
We tend to teach as we have learnt.
Studio teaching is not just another kind of
classroom activity. It is not a lab session, nor is it
just a series of class projects.
It is an approach to teaching and learning that
gets students actively engaged in directing their
own learning. The instructor is not the focus of
the class, as in traditional classrooms.
This pedagogical philosophy will be new to
many students and so requires time for
Challenge of identifying a problem,
defining its limits, and developing a
creative approach to solve it, aids in the
development of reasoned judgment,
interpersonal skills, reflection-in-action,
and critical reflection on practice which
form the basis of architectural education
Expectations must be clear: students will
not be comfortable unless they know what
is expected of them and how they will be
A key to studio teaching is to develop a
collection of exercises/projects that will
provide the focus for learning throughout the
A good way to do this is to make a list of
good exercises/projects you already have.
Then make a list of learning goals and
compare the two lists.
Then go back and forth – adding or
subtracting from each list until the semester
things to remember
You do not have to cover all topics in class.
Students can read and they can do some
homework to supplement what goes on in the
If your studio is successful, students will take
more time than you expect to complete each
You can always make mid-course corrections if
they are needed.
Patience is a virtue – let students carry-on with
design as far as possible before you step in.
Introduction of design problem
& literature / site analysis
in the form of
ppt / sheets -
students presentation – checklist / sample
faculty to suggest websites / books
understand nature of the learning group –
quiz, video followed by evaluation
presentation by practicing architect
site visit – contextual awareness
in the form of
sheets - less
Collect drawing/information from the
architect or other sources before case
Faculty should accompany the whole
class for atleast one case study and
explain it. Try to have interaction with the
Architect on site.
Department to have archives of good
Concept / concept
Most of the
- part of the
Is concept a necessity?
what is an accepted as a concept and
what is not
good examples of concept development –
ppt / video / books
to start with – plan / section view ?
Students may be asked to maintain
with faculty -
or bring the
Facutly should demonstrate good examples
display good design of senior students
Vary the rapidity of iterations required from
student to student
don’t divide the class
should give space for students - come
forward and express their views confidently,
irrespective of whether it is right or wrong
Presentaion / use of computer
Faculty may specify the size of the sheet /
medium of presentation – workshop
Computer – drawing tool / visualisation tool /
Environment where students feel comfortable to
work/ reflect/ present
Studio type, shared between years and/or
related disciplines (interior design)
Dedicated architecture studio, with up to 24 hour
Crit - Individual, Peer, Group, Written
Unfair assessment – why group design
projects are universally unpopular?
externals presence and their comments are
effective for their future designing because
they can understand different approaches,
perspectives to their projects
externals come to juries with different agenda
and may not know much about, what the
target and criteria of the project is about and
this may lead to expect beyond the scope of
their project and less mark to them
Summery of students’ responses to key issue on
evaluation process in National University Malaysia
Interaction with seniors
There is productive interaction between
senior and junior students. This is further
encouraged by the employment of top senior
students as assistant tutors for 1st and 2nd
Junior students who work more consistently
in the studio – and interacting with senior
students – commonly achieve superior
Dayorder : studio (all 7 periods) for
evaluation / case study / presentation / site
Continuous internal assessment - feedback /
evaluation of the process and not the product
“Design session plan” – difficult to formulate
but not impossible
Design components in all lecture subjects
to counter reduction in Studio teaching
The introduction of online lectures with
tutorials related to the studio projects
Ensure students have emotional bonding with
Is compensatory course necessary for
open crit – students learn from the mistakes
Benchmarks for successful studio teaching
will assist academics to maximise the quality
of learning outcomes
Academic workloads are believed to have
increased to an unsustainable level -
additional administrative and quality
assurance requirements - result in reduced
time for teaching and learning
Good outcomes are dependent on the “right
student candidate” and the fuel he/she has to
Faculty who teach studio are expected to
have the ability to inspire students to learn
to engage students in critical thinking
to bring forward their particular expertise
to convey a sense of optimism about the field
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