Creating a Flexible and Open Learning Environment for the Architectural Studio<br />Knowlton School of Architecture, The O...
Photo: Jason Kentner<br />
The Studio Process<br />Initial Design Prompt<br />   Precedent Research<br />      Build Site Model<br />         Sketch ...
Image by Jason Kentner<br />Open Mind, Multiple Solutions<br />Diagrams from Bill Buxton, IIT Institute of Design Strategy...<br />
Wright Brothers Flight Memorial: Student Project by Mark Wilhelmsen<br /><br />
Item-level Visibility<br />       Digital Library<br />          Community<br />
Student Blogs<br />
Jon Mott, Open for Learning, Slide 42: <br /><br /><br />Matt Bernhardt (<br />Lorrie McAlliste...
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  • [Introductions, about the KSA and what we do]Matt BernhardtLorrie McAllisterThe Knowlton School of Architecture (KSA) consists of three sections…. Architecture, Landscape Architecture, And City and Regional Planning, with over 500 students and 30 faculty members with 7 accredited programs. These disciplines all relate to the environment in some way, whether it is creating new structures, investigating land use, policies concerning water use or zoning, or how people live, work, and interact with the built environment.Matt and I collaborate to support students, faculty, and staff with technology. Today we will be describing the Architectural Studio as a learning environment and discuss how we support this environment with a suite of flexible and open technology strategy.
  • Each of the three disciplines, in varying ways, employ the studio model of education The studio is inherently about openness as an approach to learning… It is an open space that promotes both formal and informal communication as well as around-the-clock access
  • It is also a group of people (students, instructors, and critics) engaged in open discussion around problems…The studio is initiated by and formulated around problems, but is not specifically about solving problems. It is about engaging in a process that produces solutions, designs, plans, etc.
  • The studio is a highly critical environment where reasoning and argument play an important roleStudents often work across traditional disciplinary boundaries and integrate ideas and approaches found in other disciplines.
  • -students engage with instructors and their peers in open dialog, giving students the opportunity to learn as much from peer interaction as from instructor feedbackStudents also have the opportunity to propose their own solutions to complex problems, thereby encouraging student voice
  • The studiooperates through the integration of knowledge with skills and provides experiential learning opportunities that allow students to try and retry their ideas on paper, but also in real, spatial terms
  • [The Studio Process –how it works]Initial design promptPrecedent research … “requisite xerography” … build site modelSketch modeling / artificial approach to solution (consider shadows – draw only using sections – etc)Mid-review with external critics, conducted publiclyIteratively-more detailed responses – adding new layers, new approaches to flesh out design proposalSome studios follow a winnowing model (Chulalongkorn studio, CCCHFH studio, sophomore installations)Final review with external critics, in public space
  • Because studio is about generating ideas, students are taught to generate a lot of them in response to a design prompt. Bill Buxton (Microsoft) presented at IIT in 2008, he credits his friendAllister Hamilton with –for any given question, a good designer should have 5 plausible solutions. “How can I criticize your work without criticizing you?” -- have multiple solutionsThis practice is simulative of real practice
  • What role does technology play in this environment?“Technology” can be defined very broadly: a tool to accomplish a taskA light, a pen, paper…
  • - It is embedded in the studios Computers, the network, storage…
  • - Not explicitly instructed (peer- or self-taught)-Makerbot –part of a suite of technologies located in the studio space
  • Both students and the school provide technologies….–Cricut (CNC cutter) owned by a student
  • Technology enables a range of responses, from pencil drawings to 3D renderings, video, installations, etc. The disciplines of the KSA are by extension, very visual in nature; students are constantly using and making media (images, video, audio), which is woven throughout the student experience. There is a range of responses to the large quantities of media produced in a given course or term. Among the responses is that the best work is archived and used in various ways by various people.
  • We have two resources that we’ve built to support the studio environment – the KSA Digital Library is the first. It is a place for faculty and students to turn for precedentresearch (with a broad range of projects), for design inspiration, or to see past student work in response to a similar design prompt. We employ Creative Commons licenses whenever possible, and focus on collection-building that can be public.[KSA students, faculty, staff, alumni, and professional organizations have contributed to this repository of media assets (including images, PDF, and video files that describe, document, or provide learning opportunities for the three disciplines). [Uses Drupal framework --187,559 total nodes]We have brought an open approach to education into the library by focusing on small bits of reusable content that can help learners in many contexts. A Studio starts with a design prompt offered by a faculty member –for example, design a monument to open education…
  • Students will be asked to perform precedent research. Here I have created a memorials collection as an example of the type of materials that students might gather. Faculty members might also form collections ahead of time, orstudents can assemble media as a part of their class. It could also happen more informally…
  • Students may also want to review the work of past students ---student archives example
  • KSA Community is the other site that we’ve built to support the studio. It is a place to collaborate, extend relationships, and create new ones…(blogging platform, customized)- Functionality mimics existing workflows- Students and faculty can communicate with external critics, who can participate via comments or other means- Provides a record of responses and activities- Posts are searchable, editable, taggable, commentable- Students own their posted content – it is portable beyond the course- The site provides the option for openness, determined by each person or group- Respects the ability of students to express themselves with writing or images/video
  • Example of a Studio on Community
  • One common needwas the ability to assign each node a different level of visibility. In the Digital Library, we do not have permission to display some images to the greater public – while others are still being catalogued and are not ready for release to anyone except library staff. On Community, some courses want to control the student work that is shown outside the class for appearance and marketing reasons – and some service areas want to communicate only to students in the school, without having messages indexed by search engines or seen by outsiders.We used the Workflow Drupal module in both cases, setting up a similar set of visibility controls for almost all content types. While there is no “KSA” level of visibility right now, we can effectively achieve that by restricting a node to authenticated users. We plan to use Shibboleth to enforce a KSA restriction in the near future.
  • After precedent research, thenext thing that the studio may do as a group is to produce a site model –there are various ways that we support the making of these types of models with technology…Studio Model for Doug Graf’s studio, 2010
  • such as laser cutters (this is one) and CNC mills…
  • As the students work through their design, they will make sketches, plans, renderings…Drawing by Zhiguo Chen –Architecture graduate student, (drawing from 2008)
  • Create physical or 3D Models of their designs…(a student’s rapid prototyped model, 2009)
  • Studios havemid-reviews, which are opportunities to pause and get feedback on their designs, often with external critics and performed NOT in the studio, but in a public space
  • During the course of the studio, students can also write about their experiences, design ideas, or communicate with external clients or critics. Student blog (left)Individual blog post (right)We like Jon Mott’s (formerly professor at BYU) idea of an open LMS that enables documents/media/ideas to persist across courses and uses
  • By the end of their program, students have a more complete picture of their studio experience, tied to their account and able to be referenced in the future.(Jon Mott’s diagram)
  • By the end of the course, students have created their installations, final renderings, or final models[sophomore installation 2011 (right) and vertical studio models, 2011 (left)]
  • At the end of the studio, the best work is chosen to be archived in the Digital Library and shown in the student galleries on the main Knowlton website ( This is important because it helps us to recruit high-quality students and faculty to our programs.
  • The technology solution that we’ve arrived at attempts to support the studio environment without imposing itself on it. We’re working toward a flexible and open learning environment that enriches the learning experience and adds value to existing learning processes. What is the value add?Students can access it from outside the school, it persists beyond their graduation -- so that what they build now will be retained in the future for job-seeking or in their future professional work. We will continue to improve these sites and the support for this unique environment and keep in mind the people who are deeply engaged in this type of inquiry.Questions?
  • Flexible open du_final

    1. 1. Creating a Flexible and Open Learning Environment for the Architectural Studio<br />Knowlton School of Architecture, The Ohio State University<br />
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    3. 3. Photo: Jason Kentner<br />
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    7. 7. The Studio Process<br />Initial Design Prompt<br /> Precedent Research<br /> Build Site Model<br /> Sketch modeling<br /> Mid-Review with External Critics (Public)<br /> Iteratively-more detailed responses<br /> May use a winnowing model<br /> Final Review with External Critics (Public)<br /> Wrap up / documentation<br />
    8. 8. Image by Jason Kentner<br />Open Mind, Multiple Solutions<br />Diagrams from Bill Buxton, IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference, IIT, 2008<br />
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    16. 16. Wright Brothers Flight Memorial: Student Project by Mark Wilhelmsen<br />
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    19. 19. Item-level Visibility<br /> Digital Library<br /> Community<br />
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    25. 25. Student Blogs<br />
    26. 26. Jon Mott, Open for Learning, Slide 42: <br />
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    30. 30.<br /><br />Matt Bernhardt (<br />Lorrie McAllister (<br />Knowlton School of Architecture<br />The Ohio State University<br />Columbus, Ohio<br />