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

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Design -- Study and teaching, Architecture -- Study and teaching, Design (philosophy)


Architecture students tell stories about their work. These stories are meant to convey information about design philosophy, design intent, and design concept. Such stories are intended to have something to do with the work students present. Often, though, what is said is accepted as valid simply because it is said. Closer scrutiny of the relationship between what is said and what is presented frequently reveals a wide gap between intention (what is said) and result (what is done). Incongruity between intention and result encourages a loose way of thinking that fosters a separation of thought (theory) from doing (practice). Concurrently, beginning design students are thought of as requiring skill development above all else. Overemphasis on skills, or technique, though, undervalues developing conceptual sophistication. If students are not introduced to design as an ill-defined problem, akin to effective and persuasive argument, their propensity is to produce work that is unfocused. lacking in conceptual sophistication, and ineffectively developed or represented.


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

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