Illuminating the Past, Present and Future: Architectural and Lighting Design in Historic Buildings –A Collaborative Learning Experience

By Eren Erdener and Abimbola Asojo.

Published by The Design Collection

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

As expounded by the AIA , new modes of project design and delivery have created an opportunity for professionals and educators alike to reassess the dynamics of practice and education. Mindful of complex client facility requirements, architects, interior designers, and other design professionals use collaborative and integrated approaches to design and deliver projects. The rise of integrated project design and delivery methods, however, demands new competences in such interdisciplinary communications and collaborations to be developed in design education. Some of the opportunities integrated project delivery offer to design education is interdisciplinary studies in collaborative studio environments.
Collaborative teaching, which refers to teaching in collaboration with another studio of the same discipline or of a related design discipline, in the same or a different institution, allows students to comprehend and apply the design process as a team effort among many varieties of studio instruction. The opportunity to teach in a collaborative fashion easily exists and many real world design problems can be studied from different perspectives to bring about an encompassing solution where design disciplines are housed in one institution. Similar to the nascent multi discipline synergistic attitude in the building practice, which originates from the increasing demands on buildings and the resulting complex requirements that give rise to a multi firm-based master-builder approach, collaborative teaching/learning is an effective and relevant way of preparing future design professionals for such a role.
This paper focuses on such a collaborative learning process that took place between the Architecture Graduate studio and the Lighting studio of the Division of Interior Design of the College of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma, College of Architecture houses five design disciplines, Architecture, Construction Science, Interior design, Landscape Architecture, and Regional and City Planning. In addition to the primary objective of this collaborative effort, sustainability, elderly user-needs, contextual design, and integrated education are the additional factors that guided designs of a needed addition to an early 20th century library building currently being used as the senior citizen center serving to the needs of this special user group. Based on this experience, the paper presents the mechanics of the process such as timeline, team forming, deliverables, results, pedagogy, and the pros and cons as a “how to” example of collaborative teaching method.

Keywords: Collaborative Design, Sustainability, Contextual Design, Historic Preservation, Lighting, Elderly Users

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.249-260. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.544MB).

Dr. Eren Erdener

Associate Professor, Architecture, College of Architecture, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Teaching and research through cross disciplines and cultures in architecture, urban design, programming, and facilities management. Development of utilization metrics in different types of buildings. Building systems integration and sustainability.

Dr. Abimbola Asojo

Director and Associate Professor of Interior Design, College of Architecture, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Abimbola Asojo is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Interior Design Division at the College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma. She has been a professor at the University of Oklahoma since 1997. She holds a Masters in Architecture: Computing and Design from University of East London, England and Masters and Bachelors in Architecture from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Her teaching areas are lighting design; architecture design and human factors; computer modeling; corporate design; and commercial design. Her research areas are cross-cultural design issues; African architecture; computing and design; lighting design; and global design issues. She has published over fifty articles in the Journal of Interior Design (JID); Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review; Designing for the 21st Century journal; Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) journal; Journal of Design Communication; Interior and Sources Magazine; Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture proceedings; Interior Design Educators Council proceedings; Diversity in Beginning Design conference proceedings; International Space Syntax Symposium proceedings; and the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environment Working paper series. She is a licensed architect in the state of Oklahoma and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She is NCIDQ certified and is a member of the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC). She serves on the Journal of Interior Design (JID) Review board. She has worked on numerous design projects in United States, Nigeria and Kuwait.

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