Publications

International Journal of Art & Design Education

Strategic Teaching: Student Learning through Working the Process

Volume 29.2   2010

SPANBROEK, NANCY

 

The designers of our future built environment must possess intellectual tools which will allow them to be disciplined, flexible and analytical thinkers, able to address and resolve new and complex problems. In response, an experimental and collaborative design studio was designed to inspire and build on students' knowledge and their creative thinking abilities through a series of explorative exercises and modelling. The learning experience of students undertaking this studio was enabled and guided by a collaboration of teachers experienced in both teaching and creative practice. A series of guest creative practitioners joined the studio's intensive 10-week hands-on workshop sessions within which students undertook set exercises. These creative research workshops then served to inform subsequent design development of the students' work through planning and documentation over a period of 4 weeks.
Strategic teaching is central to the creative development process. The driving educational belief, as idea and practice, is that by bringing ideas to life in design, by working with full-scale three-dimensionality, students are able to cement their commitment to ‘working the process’, towards becoming excellent designers. This ambitious strategy enables students to work on the many different aspects of the design problem towards meeting their design outcome at the highest level of resolution and intent. Through a combination of pragmatic tasks – writing and developing design briefs – and visual tasks – evidence gathering and analysis of design through photographic, modelling and diagramming exercises – students were encouraged to think outside and beyond the ‘normal’ realm of design practice.