First Contact with the Stranger: Breaking the Homophilic Tendencies and Facilitating Interaction in Design Education in Peer-review Culture Through Few Lines of Code


Design learning structures itself upon the social learning aspect of interpersonal communication. The peer-review culture is essential for enabling social learning and enhancing interaction in design education by supporting the learners’ formation of knowledge and meaning. In the context of face-to-face studio courses, a natural homophilic tendency between students emerges, resulting in the loss of exploration of others by not encountering the ‘new’. Homophily withholds the learner from witnessing others’ works, approaches and mindsets, ending up hindering the iterative loops of communication. Likewise, as experienced during the pandemic, the lack of academic social interactions has led to the disruption of the learning activity in distance education. To overcome the drawbacks caused by the homophily in face-to-face education and the lack of interaction in distance learning, this study proposes a method of assigning peers through a program, coded and used in MS Excel. It allows the random propagation of the feedback by creating directed matches of peer-reviewers for increasing the chance of new interactions. The development and initial testing of the code were made during the 2019-2020 Spring Semester of the first-year studio jury in an industrial design undergraduate program in Turkey. The peer-reviewing was structured to obtain and give non-reciprocal feedback to 5 people in a 30 people classroom. With this, for both research and educational purposes, many substantial uses can be found through matchmaking for the formation of groups and peer-reviewing in contexts containing a large number of people.


Kardelen Aysel
Research Assistant, Department of Visual Communication Design, Yaşar University, Turkey

Mert Seven
Research Assistant, New Media and Communication, Yaşar University, Turkey


Presentation Type

Poster Session


Design Education


Design education, Homophily, Social network, Social learning, Peer-reviewing

Digital Media

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