The ever – changing landscape of architectural design has instigated shifts in pedagogical approaches within our design studio practice. For most, architectural design education strategies prepare students for a professional environment. All strategies are to enable learners the best possible chance to learn and develop professional resilience through interrogation and self-awareness. Several aspects have informed how we continue to evolve and strengthen relevancy as an architectural programme. Maintaining close relationships with our industry stakeholders has enabled us to assess the alignment between academic and professional expectations. Feedback indicates a high level of value is placed on attributes that are linked with well- developed resilience, self-motivation, and critical thinking. Embedding strategies for the development of these capabilities into our studio practise has led to a shift in focus towards a more holistic lens. Primarily learners often focus on creativity as an attribute that they believe they either possess or lack. Subsequently, this can become a significant barrier to the design process and willingness to experiment and take risks, which we see as key competencies required in the constantly evolving architectural profession. Shifting our emphasis from creativity to curiosity encourages our learners to seek out and establish their own position within a wider framework. Curiosity therefore is a strategy for open ended and inclusive learning which supports the development of critical, self-motivated learning behaviours in our graduates.
Colleen Fay is a senior lecturer at Otago Polytechnic. Her research interests lie in the pedagogy of architecture education specifically within the studio practices of both design and theory and the potential dialogues that are somewhat shared with other creative disciplines engaging in the physical and conceptual development of learners.
Sarah McCallum is a lecturer at Otago Polytechnic. She has a foundation in architectural practice and is passionate about the merging of educational pedagogy and workplace relevancy. She primarily teaches architectural design studio courses across an undergraduate programme. Current research focuses on interrogating educational practice in an environment that is experiencing rapid change.