Apprenticeship Learning in Interdisciplinary and Multi-cultural Environments: The Tejido Group from Panama to Palestine

By Mark Frederickson.

Published by The International Journal of Design Education

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

For the past twenty years, the Tejido Group has developed into an interdisciplinary and collaborative applied research program in which faculty, students, and professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and business management collaborate in apprenticeship-style learning environments. Tejido is also an international and multicultural experience focused on a wide range of project types including: sustainable community development, urban and small town revitalization, urban waterfront design, and sustainable tourism projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Middle-East. Given the complex nature of the global political, socio-economic, and environmental contexts within which we work, our research and resultant design strategies necessarily need to consider a range of ordering systems as potential sources of design and planning form, i.e. economic, environmental, cultural, functional, and aesthetic measures of sustainability. This in turn, suggests that our teams become interdisciplinary and international in composition. Although cultural and political schisms are at times all too apparent in these multinational collaborative environments, we often find that cultural and professional commonalities emerge and become increasingly apparent to all participants involved. We also find that these experiences begin to catalyze better understanding of the potential influences and confines inherent in our design and planning professions regarding their ability to effect meaningful change in urban and small town fabrics. We seek to develop learning environments where mutual interests become increasingly apparent; where participants begin to realize that they are in the process of acquiring an array of global professional skills capable of effecting consequential change; and if we are fortunate enough, an environment where a shared sentiment begins to emerge that we are a part of something significant and enduring. This paper will introduce the purpose, process and products of the Tejido Group through review of recent international projects, including discussion of the often innovative and at times unpredictable, educational, and professional outcomes.

Keywords: Apprenticeship Learning, Studio Education, Global Practice, Design Process

The International Journal of Design Education, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.25-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 16.650MB).

Dr. Mark Frederickson

Associate Professor, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA

Dr. Mark Frederickson is an associate professor with the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA, and his B.ARCH. and M.ARCH. from the University of Arizona. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer, an ORS Scholar with Edinburgh University, and the recipient of three Senior Fulbright Scholar Awards. Dr. Frederickson has taught and practiced architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design in a range of cultural, environmental, and professional contexts in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. He is also the director of the Tejido Group, an international and interdisciplinary community outreach design and planning program at the University of Arizona.