Live-project Situations and Design Research: Design studios as spaces for collaborative learning and knowledge production

Conference paper


Jungfer, C. and Palmieri, F. 2023. Live-project Situations and Design Research: Design studios as spaces for collaborative learning and knowledge production. AAE 2023: Association of Architectural Educators Conference. Cardiff, UK 13 - 15 Jul 2023 The Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University.
AuthorsJungfer, C. and Palmieri, F.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Cities are in states of constant change. As a critique to predominant modes of space production, a BSc design studio at the Department of Architecture of the University of East London (UEL) embraced urban change as a research topic and adopted a multi-method approach of live-project situations and design research to explore alternative ways to analyse existing socio-spatial conditions across multiple scales. Located in one of the most rapidly changing and deprived urban areas in the UK, UEL’s neighbouring areas offered a strategic setting for the design studio to deliver numerous collaborations, live-projects and knowledge exchange projects with community groups, local stakeholders, charities, practitioners, local authorities and city users.

Taking the city as a laboratory means that the possibilities of real-life situations are endless, but this choice of reality is complex and diverse, tangible and intangible by nature calling for new ways to understand and communicate the complexities of urban areas undergoing processes of change. By working with live-project situations, learning takes place outside the institution through site experience, observation, survey and engagement in dialogues with a wider set of external partners and audiences, exchanging knowledge in a process of collaborative learning.

The innate experimental and unpredictable quality of the live-project situations approach has produced expected and unexpected outcomes over the years; some of which became catalysts in processes of local knowledge exchange, transfer and legitimisation, expanding into independently funded live- projects and design research projects. Student graduates became co-researchers participating in collaborative and inter-disciplinary learning and knowledge production.

This paper argues that architectural education should aim to be the space for collective, diverse and independent thinking, the space for experimentation and innovation, and of the production of knowledge, rather than framed only to satisfy basic learning outcomes and employability targets.

Through use of Relational and Positional Mapping methods as analytical devices, it proposes to critically reflect on the use of live-projects and design research through the comparison of three live- projects as case studies in relation to collaborative learning and knowledge production and explore the question of how much innovation could emerge from the design studio spaces through collaborative processes of learning? And what is the role of design research in architectural education? Does it enhance effective learning across academic and non-academic domains?

Keywordscollaborative learning; design research; live-project situation; knowledge exchange; architectural education; reflective teaching
Year2023
ConferenceAAE 2023: Association of Architectural Educators Conference
PublisherThe Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University
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Publication dates
Online10 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted23 May 2023
Deposited31 Jan 2024
Journal citationpp. 328-337
Book titleAssociation of Architectural Educators Conference 2023: Proceedings
ISBN1899895280
Copyright holder© 2023, The Authors
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