International Journal of Art & Design Education

2010 - Volume 29: Number 1

Dismantling the Built Drawing: Working with Mood in Architectural Design


Volume 29.1

From the late Middle Ages onward an emphasis on the rational and the technical aspects of design and design drawing gained hold of architectural practice. In this transformation, the phenomenon of mood has been frequently overlooked or seen as something to be added on to a design; yet the fundamental grounding of mood, as described in Martin Heidegger's philosophy, is anything but secondary to our experience of the world. In fact, other facilities such as embodied experience, tactile and spatial awareness, and temporal perception all spring from the basic encounter with mood. In this article I describe how a lack of attunement to, and limited ability with, the various manifestations of mood perpetuates a disconnection between the architectural drawing and real buildings. I argue that as long as educational frameworks relegate the emotional and experiential to the place of a supplement, then our design processes will continue to unconsciously promote environments of thinness and superficiality.


Concrete Geometry: Playing with Blocks


Volume 29.1

This article describes a design/build exercise conducted in an Architectural Materials and Methods class to achieve three interrelated objectives: (1) to apply physically the semester's theoretical focus on the constituent process and languages of architecture investigations, (2) to capitalise on the physical and aesthetic properties of concrete masonry to explore fabrication and detailing in the design process, and (3) to examine preconceptions about solo work and team work in architectural education and practice.

What makes this project unique among other design/build projects is its emphasis on Concrete Masonry Units (known as CMU in the USA) and their visual, tactile and functional properties. The junior and senior students were allowed three building elements: an 8' cube of space, an unlimited number of concrete blocks, and the visual ecology of a site. The structural vocabulary that Frank Lloyd Wright developed consisted of a three-dimensional field of lines through which the solid elements of the building were located, enabling the voids to be integral to the whole and equally meaningful. Using these elements, students were asked to design/build temporary structures in a field next to the airport hangar on campus. The pedagogical objective was to adopt Wright's creative spirit, as opposed to quoting his architectural language.


Cross-Curricular Gallery Learning: A Phenomenological Case Study


Volume 29.1

This article examines the strategies that can be used to enhance students' understanding of how subjects link together and whether cross-curricular approaches, through a gallery project, have any real impact on students' understanding of the links between subjects. A substantial part of this article, however, describes the methodological aspect of the project. A phenomenological case study approach was used in order to engage fully with individual students' learning experiences. It was found that the students who were involved directly with the study felt that the links between subjects had more relevance to their learning when the teacher made such links explicit. They were unaware of the relevance of many cross-curricular links made in lessons, but the study indicated that cross-curricular learning can enable students to transfer skills and knowledge in order to understand concepts more fully.


Destination, Imagination and the Fires Within: Design Thinking in a Middle School Classroom


Volume 29.1

The purpose of the Taking Design Thinking to Schools Research Project was to extend the knowledge base that contributes to an improved understanding of the role of design thinking in K-12 classrooms. The ethnographic qualitative study focused on the implementation of an interdisciplinary design curriculum by a team of university instructors in a public charter school. Three questions framed the study. How did students express their understanding of design thinking classroom activities? How did affective elements impact design thinking in the classroom environment? How is design thinking connected to academic standards and content learning in the classroom?


Education in the New Millennium: The Case for Design-Based Learning


Volume 29.1

This article focuses on current examples of project or design-based learning at the secondary school level in the context of the increasing importance of creativity and innovative thinking in the twenty-first century. The authors argue that students today learn more effectively in pedagogical practices that emphasise holistic thinking, active learning, visual media and problem-solving.

Design-based learning presents new ways for realising long-term goals and learning outcomes. The purpose of this article is to investigate best practices of design education in the community and to propose instructional resource examples on design to K-12 school teachers. This article points out the importance of systemised process for the work of design-based teachers and learners, addresses the study of design as a subject of investigation and a mode of inquiry that engages a variety of student learning styles and makes direct connections between subjects and problem-solving in daily life.

Our belief is that the case studies explored in this article represent the seeds of a new model of education based on creative and applied learning. The exemplar communities chosen for onsite research are the education department of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, USA.


Encounters of the Traditional Kind: Reflections on the In-Service Teacher Training of Traditional Filipino Arts


Volume 29.1

This article presents the second segment of a qualitative study on the integration of traditional arts in tertiary level art and design education in the Philippines. It is focused on the experience of artist-teachers as participants in an in-service teacher training programme that aimed to prepare the teachers for the trial integration of traditional Filipino arts in art and design courses. Taking the view of the participants, journals written by the artist-teachers were sourced for their reflections about their encounter with traditional Filipino artists during field visits. This phase of the study takes the form of action research as it involves the participants in gathering data that could inform the methods and content of the learning of traditional Filipino arts in the schools of art and design.

The findings reveal that artist-teachers acknowledge the traditional artist as a valuable source of traditional knowledge and expertise. They also recognise their own essential role in the transmission of learning between the traditional artists and the students. The prerequisites of the course take the artist-teachers beyond teaching in the classroom and extend their tasks to research.


I Like Cities; Do You Like Letters? Introducing Urban Typography in Art Education


Volume 29.1

This article proposes a study of the letters and graphics found in the city, while at the same time opening up unusual spaces linked to the cultural arena and visual geographies for the creation of learning spaces in art education, introducing urban typography for training teachers. The letters in urban spaces can help us reinterpret the patrimonial fabric of cities. With the help of typography, visual arts educators have a powerful graphic resource with which to articulate the complex communicative network of streets. We suggest walking as an aesthetic practice; strolling around the city as a very cultural means to motivate our students. We have at our disposal in our cities a genuine museum woven together with the threads of the alphabet.