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

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Critical thinking in architecture -- Study and teaching, Architectural design, Project method in teaching


In our new foundation program, we proceed from two principles of instruction: first, we direct the focus of work away from conventional architectural topics and use analogy to awaken native critical insight; second, we postpone traditional "design" activity by strictly emphasizing observation skills and critical analysis. We delay design activity until the first quarter of the second year, in preparation for which we organize firstyear \tudio workshops around short iterative exercises that capitalize on the students' familiarity with the everyday world. We then structure these problems to render the everyday world in unfamiliar terms. This oscillation between the ordinary and the unfamiliar greatly intensifies the analogical resonance between everyday experience and the production of buildings. The result is greater confidence in critical thinking earlier in the student's academic career:


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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