Out of the lecture and into the studio: a new take on teaching design history
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Howell, Bryan; Christensen, Kimberly
Institution: Brigham Young University, United States of America
Section: Learning Spaces
Studio-based instructional models have been a central landmark of architecture and design education for nearly 100 years. However, studio models are typically found only in courses teaching design skills or practices, while design history and theory remain trapped in traditional, lecture-based formats. These traditional history courses offer little opportunity for active engagement and often fail to communicate appreciable values for young practicing designers who struggle with an instructional format that is so markedly differentôand more passiveôthan the majority of their studio-based courses.
In this paper, we discuss the conversion of a traditional, lecture-based, design history course to a studio-based model, where students actively engage in researching designers and subsequently apply their newfound knowledge by creating class presentations and leading class discussions. We begin by defining studio-based instruction, contrast that with lecture-based approaches, and provide a rationale for changing the courseâs instructional approach. We then outline the basic structure of the new studio-based course format, including multiple phases of research, presentation development and execution, and evaluation. Finally, we discuss how student engagement and the quality of learning has improved under the studio-based modelôas indicated by studentsâ course and instructor evaluation scoresôand reflect on the overall experience and future of the course.