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Exploration of Influential Factors on First Year Architecture Students’ Productivity

Authors: Shima Nikanjam, Badiossadat Hassanpour, Adi Irfan Che Ani


The design process in architecture education is based upon the Learning-by-Doing method, which leads students to understand how to design by practicing rather than studying. First-year design studios, as starting educational stage, provide integrated knowledge and skills of design for newly jointed architecture students. Within the basic design studio environment, students are guided to transfer their abstract thoughts into visual concrete decisions under the supervision of design educators for the first time. Therefore, introductory design studios have predominant impacts on students’ operational thinking and designing. Architectural design thinking is quite different from students’ educational backgrounds and learning habits. This educational challenge at basic design studios creates a severe need to study the reality of design education at foundation year and define appropriate educational methods with convenient project types with the intention of enhancing architecture education quality. Material for this study has been gathered through long-term direct observation at a first year second semester design studio at the faculty of architecture at EMU (known as FARC 102), fall and spring academic semester 2014-15. Distribution of a questionnaire among case study students and interviews with third and fourth design studio students who passed through the same methods of education in the past 2 years and conducting interviews with instructors are other methodologies used in this research. The results of this study reveal a risk of a mismatch between the implemented teaching method, project type and scale in this particular level and students’ learning styles. Although the existence of such risk due to varieties in students’ profiles could be expected to some extent, recommendations can support educators to reach maximum compatibility.

Keywords: Architecture Education, basic design studio, educational method, forms creation skill

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