Abstract

This paper presents the initial findings of an ethnographic study that explores the different facets influencing the socio-cultural context and their impact on the flow of design knowledge between students and the instructor within a specific pedagogical architectural design studio in Cairo, Egypt. The study uses ethnography, where the first author of the paper joins the studio of the second author as a participant observer to be able to understand how the socio-cultural system within the studio influences the students’ experience. In this investigation, students and recent graduates of this design studio were interviewed regarding their perception of the studio, the instructor, and the process. The analysis, which used Grounded Theory as its basis, started to reveal a series of themes that appeared to be working in tandems. In this paper we discuss the first two emerging themes that created The Push and The Pull dialectic. Their interdependent duality gave shape to a specific socio-cultural context for the studio, and appears to have played a role in shaping the students’ perception of the course while affecting the flow of design knowledge in it. The resulting state of dichotomous tension influenced students’ behaviour by pushing and pulling them towards a state of self-discovery that led most of the interviewed students to consider the studio under study as one of the most influential in their learning experience within their school of architecture.

Keywords:

Architectural Education in Egypt, Ethnography, Architectural Pedagogy, Design Process, Design Education

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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Jul 9th, 12:00 AM

Dichotomous Tension: A Route for Self-discovery in Architectural Pedagogy

This paper presents the initial findings of an ethnographic study that explores the different facets influencing the socio-cultural context and their impact on the flow of design knowledge between students and the instructor within a specific pedagogical architectural design studio in Cairo, Egypt. The study uses ethnography, where the first author of the paper joins the studio of the second author as a participant observer to be able to understand how the socio-cultural system within the studio influences the students’ experience. In this investigation, students and recent graduates of this design studio were interviewed regarding their perception of the studio, the instructor, and the process. The analysis, which used Grounded Theory as its basis, started to reveal a series of themes that appeared to be working in tandems. In this paper we discuss the first two emerging themes that created The Push and The Pull dialectic. Their interdependent duality gave shape to a specific socio-cultural context for the studio, and appears to have played a role in shaping the students’ perception of the course while affecting the flow of design knowledge in it. The resulting state of dichotomous tension influenced students’ behaviour by pushing and pulling them towards a state of self-discovery that led most of the interviewed students to consider the studio under study as one of the most influential in their learning experience within their school of architecture.

 

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