Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Assessing Architectural Education's 'Crown Jewel': Michael Crosbie's Review of Design Studio Pedagogy: Horizons for the Future

Design Studio Pedagogy:
Horizons for the Future

Ashraf M. Salama & Nicholas Wilkinson,
editors (2007)

ISBN: 1-872811-09-04
The Urban International Press - P.O. Box 74 Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE9 5UZ, United Kingdom Contact: Carol Nicholson carol.nicholson@ribaenterprises.com

Assessing Architectural Education's 'Crown Jewel'

Michael J. Crosbie, Ph.D., AIA

Excerpts from the review published in Archnet-IJAR, Vol 1 - Issue 2, July 2007
Click here for Full Review http://archnet.org/gws/IJAR/7344/files_7241/1.2.09-Michael%20Crosbie-pp106-108.pdf

"...Over the years, especially during the last half of the last century, much has been written about the architecture studio and its pedagogy. The turbulence of much of that period was reflected in the studio and its changing role in training architects for a society in flux. The studio continues to be a focal point for experimentation, reflection, invention, and reaction. A new publication brings together some of the most thoughtful, helpful, and provocative ideas about the architecture studio and how it can be adapted. Design Studio Pedagogy: Horizons for the Future, edited by Ashraf M. Salama and Nicholas Wilkinson (both of whom are architects and architectural educators), brings under one cover 23 contemporary articles by 25 architectural educators from around the world who consider the special nature of the design studio, how it is changing, and how it might change in the future..."

"...Salama and Wilkinson, both of whom have written extensively about architectural education, organize the collection under five chapters: 1. Theoretical Perspectives and Positions; 2. Critical Thinking and Decision Making in Studio Pedagogy; 3. Addressing Cognitive Styles in Studio Pedagogy; 4. Community, Place, and the Studio; 5. Digital Technologies and the Studio. Each chapter opens with a helpful and insightful essay by Salama and Wilkinson on the articles that follow. The book commences with two special contributions, one each by N. John Habraken and Henry Sanoff (both giants in the field of architectural education) that provide historical context for the five chapters that follow. Underlying both essays is the question of power—in the studio, and in the profession at large—woven as a theme throughout the book..."

"...Some of the most provocative articles in this book take on the perennial problems of the studio—such as how knowledge gained in support classes can be incorporated in studio to achieve a truly integrative learning experience. Yassar Mahgoub’s article about curriculum structure and positioning the design studio as a “capstone” instead of the “core” invites one to reconsider the very nature of the studio in education. Jeffery Haase presents a new paradigm—that of installation art—as a format for studio explorations. And Stephen Kendall calls for an approach to design that is open-ended and distributive, which he believes more faithfully reflects the role of the architect and the nature of how the built environment evolves..."

"...The design studio’s resilience amid social and educational tumult suggests that it will not soon disappear. But this valuable collection assembled by Salama and Wilkinson of observations, ideas, theories, and experiments centered on the design studio will surely provoke new discussions, patterns, and paradigms concerning the crown jewel of architectural education..."

Michael J. Crosbie is the Chairman of the Department of Architecture at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, USA, and writes extensively about architecture, design, and education. More information on Michael Crosbie's writings and contributions to the contemporary debate on architecture can be found in this link http://eng.archinform.net/arch/11039.htm?scrwdt=1024
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