Learning in Focus
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Isabelle Uner
Globalisation is having a profound effect on the style of leadership required in creative organisations. The introduction of new technologies, growing cross-cultural diversity and changes in the purpose of younger workforces are just some of the interdisciplinary effects forcing us to rethink what effective leadership will look like in the next five years. Many leadership experts have already theorised the key mindsets that will define future leadership, along with the important skills and competencies to support them. However, there is little research regarding how these mindsets can be encouraged within younger generations. Original data was collected in the form of an extensive questionnaire. The aim is to understand participant’s thoughts and feelings surrounding defining leadership, whether future leadership would change and whether education could play a role in fostering future talent. This data allowed for statistical and content analysis. Although experts identified key areas for improvement in terms of future leadership competencies, such as having a global outlook, being collaborative and thinking outside of the box, participants failed to recognise the importance of factors outside of today’s requirements. The ability to engage with technology and be consumer-focused were just two of the mindsets the participants failed to identify as critical to future leadership, despite the testimonies of leadership experts. However, the findings did support the theory that education is an effective tool for fostering leadership talent within our future graduates, especially when this education is focused on future thinking.
Adapting to Train Next Generation Designers: How Multi-disciplinary Research and Technology Are Reinventing Design Education View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Alejandro Lozano Robledo
Now is one of the most exciting and disruptive moments in the history of Design Education. Our world is becoming more inter-connected than ever, cities are becoming smart, and it seems like every product we buy is connected to the internet of things. What about Artificial intelligence, hyper-connectivity, autonomous vehicles, living in virtuality, and a shared economy? We can go on and on about how our world is becoming increasingly complex. As Designers, we take pride in our craft and our ability to apply a process to a problem and come out the other way with a solution. However, our world is rapidly changing, requiring us to innovate and acknowledge emerging trends and technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality. What does this mean for the next generation of professionals that will go out into the workforce in the next few years? How do you balance learning the craft of what makes a Designer and learn to be curious and adaptable towards emerging technologies? How do you approach the hugely complex problems of our time and ensure our designs intend to improve people’s lives? These are a few of the challenges we face today in Design Education across the world. This session addresses how Design Education is changing, given the growing complexities of our world and the emergence of new technologies. Several case studies and examples will be drawn from the Future Mobility Design Program at the University of Cincinnati, and its new multi-disciplinary research initiative of Digital Futures.
Informal Learning in Architectural Education: Learning in Complex Ecologies of Human and Non-Human Agents. View Digital Media
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session Barak Pelman
Most research on architectural education focuses on formal teaching events. Mainly, it analyses meetings of students and teachers in tutorial sessions and design reviews. In architecture education, however, students develop their design knowledge mainly between formal teaching sessions and in informal ways. They engage with complex and open-ended design problems, cycling between making tangible and virtual objects and reflecting in and on their actions. These learning processes are difficult to trace as they usually occur in different venues and within complex ecologies of human and non-human agents. The primary aim of this study is to contribute an empirical account of informal modes of learning, especially but not solely, of design and architectural education. It follows a unique architecture master's program where students live and learn on campus. This immersive setting, where all living and learning needs, such as students' dormitories, their studios, a kitchen, a wood workshop, and a FabLab, are located in the same building, provides a unique opportunity to follow the students' informal learning interactions. Our data sets comprise 146 hours of rich ethnographic documentation written over eight months. We use a Sociomaterial approach to analyse our data and interpret our findings. Our study offers two kinds of contributions: Theoretically, we demonstrate how a sociomaterial perspective can explain informal learning processes and introduce the term Designlearn to describe them; Pedagogically, we reevaluate the role of the design instructor as an actor within a complex web of dynamic interactions between humans and non-human agents acting together to generate knowledge.
Sharing Stories: The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) Conversation and Lived Experiences in the Interior Design Classroom View Digital Media
While the conversation surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusivity (DEI) and its importance in the interior design profession is critical, it is not new. Many organizations and universities have incorporated these concepts into their hiring requirements and their mission statements. As educators, it is critical that we prepare our students for the professional application of classroom knowledge and the importance of collaboration with a diverse group of individuals. An understanding of the benefits of a diverse project team and the development of empathy for other lived experiences is a necessity to prepare students to succeed in the interior design profession. Interior design educators are in a unique position to guide conversations focused on DEI. Higher education institutions do not have the restrictions that the interior design profession has, and this allows students to have meaningful conversations and explore innovative solutions that are sometimes too time-consuming for the professional environment (McClung, 2019). The learning experience is an essential part of the lived experience of students and may positively change their perspectives as they move forward in their careers (Koopman & Koopman, 2018). It is critical to evaluate the studio classroom discourse to ensure that students were considering and addressing issues of DEI and accessibility in a thoughtful and beneficial way. An analysis of final studio projects, student evaluation surveys, and general student comments exhibited the impact these efforts had on the interior design student’s understanding of complex social justice issues and their relevance to the interior design profession.
When Materials Take Control: On a Pedagogy that Emphasizes the Role of Materials in Architectural Education View Digital Media
Materials are active and performative. They invoke sensations, mediate interactions, change human intentions and induce emotional attachments. Building materials are also social and cultural constructs. They are produced through the complex relationship of legislation, regulations, production techniques, language, and use. In return, they create possibilities, limitations, and specific experiential conditions. Nevertheless, in most contemporary architecture programs, students construct their design knowledge primarily using representations of the material world. Therefore, the learning opportunities afforded by the experience of materials are usually overlooked. Considering the wider "materiality turn" in the social sciences, we present a designbuild course that uses materials as the primary agents for learning architectural design. The course is based on the belief that the learning process of designers and architects is significantly enhanced through “hands-on” engagement with the realization of full-scale prototype structures. The course was offered to third-year architecture students at Bezalel School of Architecture between 2017-2021. We present three instances of the course, each using a different dominant material for the construction of a free-standing pavilion: a Bamboo pavilion, a Tree Brunch pavilion, and a Plywood pavilion. In each case, we show how materials directed students' learning and address the ways materials contributed to building students’ professional identities. We, therefore, argue that materials do not act merely as learning agents but also can be regarded as transformative actors in design education.