The Hidden Curriculum of the Design Studio: Student Engagement in Informal Critique

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Critique is an important part of a typical design pedagogy, but is generally only discussed within formal curricular structures, which do not address informal interactions between students in the design studio. In this study, I report findings from ethnographic observations of a design studio, including occurrences of informal critique that take place outside of the planned curriculum. Types of critique that are observed are detailed, including similarities or differences to critique in typical classroom practice.

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The Hidden Curriculum of the Design Studio: Student Engagement in Informal Critique

  1. 1. The Hidden Curriculum 
 of the Design Studio: Student Engagement 
 in Informal Critique Colin M. Gray November 2, 2013
  2. 2. what is a studio?
  3. 3. what is a studio? A “signature” pedagogy (Shulman, 2005) ! Classroom/non-classroom Used for work, meetings, socialization Individual dedicated space for students Limited access to outsiders
  4. 4. background Understanding the studio on its own terms within an emergent design discipline Using this understanding of the studio through enactment of critique to conceptualize the hidden curriculum
  5. 5. research questions What informal interactions are taking place between students in the design studio? How are these interactions instigating critique?
  6. 6. review of literature
  7. 7. literature Existing research on conceptualizing critique activity Process model (Oh, et al., 2012) Development of understanding (Exter, et al., 2009) Genres (Dannels & Martin, 2008) Types of knowledge (Uluoglu, 2000)
  8. 8. literature CLASSROOM CRITIQUE Oh, et al. (2012) process model of critiquing
  9. 9. literature Shaffer’s Theoretical Model of the Studio (Shaffer, 2003) Surface Features Pedagogical Structures Epistemology
  10. 10. context
  11. 11. context Human-Computer Interaction design (HCI/d) program in a School of Informatics Non-classroom studio with no dedicated space
  12. 12. data Critical Ethnography (Spring 2013) Participant Observation (150 hours) - thick field notes
 - audio recordings (45 hours/150 segments)
 - photographs (n=745) Critical Interview (n=14) Artifact Analysis
  13. 13. analysis
  14. 14. analysis Coding of emergent themes across audio segments Situating these codes in the context of the studio based on Shaffer’s theoretical model
  15. 15. findings
  16. 16. Instigating Interaction # overheard/seen 16 Design talk or work is overseen or overheard while working separately 39 Casual greetings; “what are you up to?”; “how was your weekend?”; friendly talk 12 Displaying finished or in-progress work to others without provocation planned/scheduled 53 Request to discuss at some point in the future; planned meeting request for advice 30 Explicit request for guidance, opinion, or interpretation smalltalk/social talk showing off Example Interactions
  17. 17. OVERHEARD/OVERSEEN
  18. 18. SMALLTALK/SOCIAL TALK
  19. 19. SHOWING OFF
  20. 20. PLANNED/SCHEDULED
  21. 21. REQUEST FOR ADVICE
  22. 22. discussion Shaffer’s Theoretical Model of the Studio (Shaffer, 2003) Surface Features Pedagogical Structures Epistemology
  23. 23. discussion Surface Features Physicality of space indicates what kinds of interactions can be supported The space was designed for certain types of collaboration Divide between physical and digital spaces
  24. 24. discussion Pedagogical Structures Group projects support collaboration and sharing Shared pedagogical experience Representations follow pedagogical structures
  25. 25. discussion Epistemology Surface and pedagogical elements of the studio indicate underlying beliefs Projection of identity as professional designers A studio bridge (Brandt, et al., 2011) is co-constructed between students and the formal pedagogy
  26. 26. next steps
  27. 27. next steps Broader analysis of data across two semesters of data collection Focus on instigating interactions, and how and when these interactions emerge in the studio space
  28. 28. questions?

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