Publications

International Journal of Art & Design Education

A Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Collaboration in a Joint Design Studio (pages 102–120)

Volume 34.1   2015

KIM, MI JEONG; JU,SEO RYEUNG and LEE, LINA

 

A design studio is a critical venue for design students, as they are educated to develop design thinking and other skills through studio courses. This article introduces a design studio project in which Korean and Malaysian students worked jointly for one semester to design affordable urban housing. The Korean students were interior design majors and the Malaysian students were architecture majors; thus it was thought that the students' areas of expertise were likely to differ. It was also anticipated that the students would display cultural differences in terms of housing and planning practices. The motive for starting the joint design studio was the idea that a cross-cultural collaborative working setting could redefine students' thinking styles and stimulate students to obtain non-routine perspectives on the design of buildings and spaces. Through observation and interviews, we explored how students tackled affordable housing problems within the context of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary design education. Collaborative learning in a joint studio situation supplemented students' expertise, re-orienting approaches to design and opening up a holistic approach to the design issues of affordability, sustainability and community. Overall, the practical learning in the joint studio project validated the importance of exploring alternative solutions based on varied levels of information, and input of those from different educational and cultural backgrounds. The cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration allowed for a previously unavailable enhancement of design education by encouraging students to obtain divergent thinking for innovative design ideas.