It has become a common phenomenon in the architectural design studio to observe students lacking the visual/spatial and active mode of thinking required of the architectural design process. This may be a result of years of traditional Cartesian modes of visualization or, on the other extreme, the widespread use of digital modeling tools which may deprive the students experientially from the spatial and volumetric dimensions of design first hand. This paper proposes the use of a series of abstract, three-dimensional, geometric modeling exercises in the primary stage of the curriculum, before the student begins formal design studios. The skill sets and learning styles- particularly the visual/spatial and active- of a case study group of students will be assessed at the beginning and end of this 12 week period during which the students will progress through the series of exercises. The impact of this “learning through doing” process on the three dimensional thinking skills necessary for architectural design will be analyzed, with a hope to reinstate such manual modeling studios as a pre-requisite for, and integral part of, traditional architectural design education.
|Keywords:||Architectural Education, Design Process, Design Studio, Visual/Spatial Thinking, Active Learning, Three-dimensional Modelling, Learning Styles|
Assistant Professor, Department of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
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