Does group work in architecture design studios provide authentic workplace team learning opportunities? Many design studios across the world teach architectural design using the conventional master-apprentice model. A studio leader assigns an open-ended project brief to students and guides them through a design process to resolve the brief and propose a design outcome. Unsurprisingly, many studio leaders implement groupwork to prepare students for the current collaborative nature of architectural projects found in professional practice. However, putting students in groups only offers them an opportunity to work together; it does not teach them how to collaborate as a team of designers. This research reviews teamwork literature in architectural pedagogy as well as workplace team learning literature in organisational learning. Based on the findings, I propose a student-centred framework for understanding, applying, and evaluating team processes. The paper concludes with recommendations for architecture design studio leaders on how to implement the framework and for students on how to facilitate effective team discussions.
Linus Tan, Ph.D., is a research associate at Design Factory Melbourne and lecturer at the School of Design and Architecture, Swinburne University of Technology. His research focuses on design behaviour, reflective practice, workplace learning, knowledge transfer, and team development in architecture and design practice.