|Published in:||arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, March 2008, n. 1, v. 12|
How might one construct a design studio project? In addition to achieving educational objectives, it must engage both the student and his or her teachers, but if it also involves the whole year as a group it can prove especially rewarding. Last session I looked for an Honours year programme whereby each student could evolve a project that would have similarities with those of their colleagues but that would also be different. If a project were to start with something conceptual – for example, a thematic thread – then there could be both common generic facilities and uniquely different facilities arising from data collected during field studies in particular locations. I've discovered that this sort of idea works well when a large group is doing a project over a whole academic year. On the one hand there is always a common level of interest across the studio because every student feels they are in the same boat as their mates, but on the other hand their own project has unique characteristics. This means that the type of collaboration between students isn't suffocating because no one is ever actually doing the same thing in the same place; everyone is doing both similar and different things in similar but different places. The title of the programme that emerged was ‘Stretched City – East meets West’.
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