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Architectural design-research: a path towards an innovative transdisciplinary pedagogy

Wulff, Federico ORCID: and Iqbal, Mamuna 2023. Architectural design-research: a path towards an innovative transdisciplinary pedagogy. Presented at: AMPS International Conference 2022, Online, 20-22 April 2022. Published in: Adil, Zain ed. A Focus on Pedagogy. AMPS Proceedings Series. AMPS, pp. 157-166.

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This paper focuses on the importance of Architectural Design Research (ADR) pedagogies to impart transdisciplinary learning, responding to contemporary global challenges. Transdisciplinary learning set the agenda and enables students to go beyond the conventional boundaries of architectural design to explore real challenges faced by communities. This study claims that architectural design research provides pedagogical grounds to explore this agenda. The most important question might be “why architectural design research?” The exploration starts with the idea of Empathy that is at the heart of transdisciplinary learning, it allows students to explore what is important to investigate. In a world that is focused on and is divided by political radicalization and nationalistic agendas, pedagogical approaches around the notion of Empathy would bring changes on the community level that can trigger an impact on the society. Another key aspect dictating the idea of transdisciplinary learning is the reflective practice, rooted in Schön’s concept of “reflection on action” 1 , it allows students to critically analyse their learning process. Blythe and Schaik2 discuss that reflection is part of the designing process. In this study it is used as a tool to steer students towards empathetic thinking and to be more responsive to all cross-disciplinary requirements of the project, including social, cultural, contextual, environmental, political, technological, economic, historical, and philosophical approaches. So, critical thinking helps to understand the architectural design research process as a methodology or in this case as a pedagogy, that helps achieve transdisciplinary learning. Figure 1 provides a relationship of the ideas of empathy reflective practice, and design research and shows how ADR is at the heart of transdisciplinary learning. ADR is conceived as a set of exploratory tools, techniques, and methods for producing new design knowledge conceived as innovative solutions to challenging, open-ended, and rapidly-evolving contemporary crises. The process of Designing could only be intended as Research when it produces new knowledge that would go beyond site-specific solutions, called design projects, and the new knowledge thus produced could be replicated elsewhere, always under an adaptative process to new contexts. This study explores how this architectural design research pedagogy is perceived and practiced in the two scenarios of Masters in Architectural Design (MA AD) at Welsh School of Architecture (WSA), Cardiff University, UK, and 3rd-year studio at the Department of Architecture (DoA), University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore, Pakistan. Finally, it will discuss the findings in the two contexts that provide opportunities for new explorations in the Architectural Design Research (ADR) pedagogical field.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Publisher: AMPS
ISSN: 2398-9467
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 3 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 30 September 2022
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2023 16:32

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