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

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


Over the last two years, our Architecture Program committed considerable intellectual capital to the rethinking of graduate level introductory design studio pedagogy for students entering our Masters of Architecture 1/3? year program. This reevaluation concentrates on several unique challenges intrinsic to the graduate level introductory design curriculum, which include:

The inherent differences between the age and personality profiles of undergraduate and graduate students. Many programs treat the curricula as equal, with graduate students executing the same exercises as undergraduates, only at a faster pace.

The developmental gap that exists in the second year of most M. Arch 1 programs between students with architecture and non-architecture backgrounds.

Our goal is to retool the core design studio pedagogy in order to bring those students with undergraduate degrees in non-architecture disciplines up to the same level of design skill development as I st year graduate students with 4 year Bachelors of Science in Architecture degrees. In short, these incoming students are disciplined, mature and educated and need a highly structured environment that works to: develop skills in design and the conventions of representation; teach theory as a part of everyday studio work instead of a separate activity; and introduce an understanding of design strategy to enable mature projects to emerge more quickly. This paper focuses specifically on innovations in and the implementation of the pedagogy in the pivotal Core II Studio, which is taught in the Fall.


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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