Published In

Proceedings of the 18th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student

Document Type


Publication Date



Architecture -- Research, Architecture -- Study and teaching (Graduate) -- United States


Students entering the 3.5Y Masters program at UNM, come to embark on a course of study in architectural design. While all student populations are composed of unique individuals from various backgrounds, this particular group is, at least in an academic discipline by definition heterogeneous, possessing skills and knowledge in diverse fields gained through previous studies and/or employment. What they share is a burgeoning interest in architecture and a willingness to explore design in a studio environment, to start down a path toward a new way of perceiving and engaging the world. This peculiar mix of naivety and sophistication coupled with the insecurities of setting out on a radically new tact makes special demands on a beginning design problem. Embarking on this odyssey at the turn of the 21st century necessitates confronting the complexity of nascent digital technology a tool that offers much both in terms of promise and frustration to the beginning design student. This paper sets out to explore one endeavor to address these issues developed and refined over the past three years. In the process of delineating the introductory problem given to the 3.5Y Masters students some guiding principles employed in constructing the problem have come to light. The salient value of this recapitulation seems as much in recognizing principles governing the construction of the design problem as in the specifics of any particular instance.


Presented at the 18th National Conference on the Beginning Design Student, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. March 14-16, 2002.

© Portland State University, published by Portland State University, Department of Architecture

Persistent Identifier



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.