Assessment of Conceptual Efforts in Architectural Design Education through Studio-Related Experiences
ABSTRACT Architectural education involves a complex process, where those whose goal is to become a designer have to learn many different subjects. The art of designing is supported by many disciplines, which over time shape designers’ perspectives as they mature. The discussion, comprehension and conceptualization of the subjects constituting the preliminary stages of design in studios are a significant part of architectural education. The aim of this study was to ensure that the architectural students in this study learn how the designs are transformed into solutions for designing problems by generating concepts through creativity and by experiencing the whole process, and that they gain interpretation skills through spatial production process. Students were asked to generate new descriptions for the designing process by considering the concepts and readings and to explain how this process was managed. Special attention was given to how each student created differences in solving designing problems. This study also examined the effects that studio projects, which involved a focus on spatial data and physical and socio-cultural concepts, on spatial belonging/space-free context in assessing the current environment, and on creating designs through concepts in constructing buildings, had on architectural students. The designing studio in this study included four basic stages, namely, comprehension, interpretation, data generation and data transformation, which allowed for the same subject to be evaluated from different aspects. The architectural students who participated went through a 16-week education program. The final design projects revealed that the students who had generated designs through conceptual reasoning were more successful compared to those who had not, and that studying with the concepts yielded more instructive results for students and made them more knowledgeable and prepared for their professional careers.