Developing a Complex Knowledge System for Architectural Design Education

By Tanja Golja and Lynette Schaverien.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Going beyond the confines of single disciplines is a hallmark of late C20th and C21st knowledge systems. Contemporary biological and ecological reconceptions of Architectural Design, as a complex dynamic system, illustrate such movement. However, this shift is not only of interest for the new transdisciplinary knowledge system it creates. Serendipitously, it might also make possible another fruitful synergy: between Education and Architectural Design – for Education, too, has recently explored a biological substrate to explain and understand learning. This paper arises from a doctoral study that set out to investigate this synergy, asking, in essence, whether Education is a designing discipline. Here, we lay out a potential basis for synergy between the two disciplines, from which the research design and methodology of this doctoral study was derived. We give some brief general insights into the study’s preliminary findings insofar as they address the viability of this potential synergy and conclude by exploring the implications for architectural design education that could follow from such a synergy.

Keywords: Architectural Design Education, Transdisciplinary, Complex Dynamic Systems, Generative Learning

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.151-170. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.563MB).

Dr. Tanja Golja

Senior Lecturer, Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, NSW, Australia

Tanja Golja is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, researching the fruitfulness for Education of the concept of design. As part of her responsibility as an academic developer within the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, she works closely with academic staff in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, collaboratively seeking to enhance the Faculty’s design and successful provision of rich learning opportunities for students within the designing disciplines. As a graduate of the foundation cohort of the Master’s degree in e-learning, Tanja takes a special interest in technological ways of gaining insights into the educational ideas and practices of different disciplines, for the learning benefits of students and the wider culture. Currently, such collaborative investigations are exploring how to build and sustain imaginative, research-based technological learning environments.

Dr. Lynette Schaverien

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Lindfield, NSW, Australia

Associate Professor Schaverien is an active researcher in science and technology education, with a special interest in understanding the design of theoretically sound e-learning environments in a range of disciplines. In recent years, she has led two sizeable and successful Australian Research Council projects in which students and teachers respectively have designed acclaimed and radically innovative e-learning environments in which others can engage with scientific, technological and educational questions of high interest to them. In both these projects, designing and learning to design are of key interest at two levels: in participants’ shaping of the environments themselves and in researchers’ enactment of a research process to nurture and understand it. She has also led the design, development and teaching of a market-leading suite of postgraduate e-learning courses, in collaboration with her university’s Institute for Interactive Media and Learning.


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