The architectural discipline theory and practices today are more towards technicalities and functionality parameters, without or less the consideration of environmental research theory. The ideology is being the matter of substantial learning rather than that being procedural ways of departing knowledge.

The growing need to re-think studio design method - Sheet1
Integration of practices ©Medium

The program of imparting knowledge should be such which has a comprehensive nature, a method in which the users are being involved at every step and procedures to guide the overall developmental growth of the project imparting the ways to get it in a sustained and healthy designing method. Thus, there is the need to shift the emphasis from the individual building to the engaged processes and to identify how to get the non-material values to serve as the foundation for the collaborative project. To eradicate the issues of the indoctrination of the architecture students in the schools of architecture, into the language and tacit knowledge, followed in the traditional curriculum is what the present scenario demands.

The institutionalized method of architectural education promotes subjectivity over collaborative processes and community-based learning (Ashraf M. Salama, 2015). The collaboration of the individual creativity with the collective service implies the need for the participatory design approaches, maintains the balance between creativity, service, and pragmatics with engaging the broad range of the socio-economic and the environmental needs. The objective is thus to state the need to follow the multi-disciplinary approaches in the design-studio methods, rather being concerned about only the functional and the technical aspects, also to omit the differentials in the design studio thus framing the need for such a design-studio method that prepares the students for the outside world addressing to its sensitivity based on the social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The processes involved in the traditional method are discussed below-

The growing need to re-think studio design method - Sheet2 diagram showing the processes of traditional studio-based design method
  • Literature case study (before the brief circulation): The basic ideology and the fundamentals, with the terminologies and the ideal bye laws depending on the site location are worked out to get in knowledge about the basic restrictions that one will be tackling in the process. The literature study also includes the basic requirements related to the services within the building, for the complete understanding of the technical part.
  • Case study: It implies to the site visit part of the process, where the students are required to basically get the practical knowledge from the existing buildings of the same topology as the one, they are required to design. The approach helps to get the idea of what the design needs and how the things are presented, implemented and operated to serve the people in the real world.
  • Site analysis and site synthesis: The given site is required to be analyzed for the further proceedings. The accessibility to the site, its context, views to the site, site topography, etc., are the things that are studied for the proper knowledge of the site parameters around which the design is going to be evolved.
  • Concept development: The concept helps to lead the mind in a direction which will bring innovation and ideas to the designing. The idea is to unfold the undiscovered parameters to fulfil the requirements of the projects. It serves as a path to the solution.
  • Planning: It includes the technical part of planning and designing the spaces within the building as per the guidelines and the knowledge, derived-out from the above-mentioned processes.
  • Final presentation (includes complete drawings): It is the step that demands the presentation of complete drawings of the projects with the earlier acquired data. This includes the presentational aspect for the final submission.

The processes are needed to be rectified as follows-

The growing need to re-think studio design method - Sheet3 diagram showing the processes of Public Interest Design method
  • Studying the subject: The need is to get the students aware of the real-time issues prevailing and to present the issue which they found is required to be tackled. This step could help in reading out the needed things which need eradication.
  • Primary data collection: The students should be required to visit the site and get in knowledge about the situation of the site and collect the primary information, either by conversing with the people on-site or by observation. The inclusion of the people at every step ensures the sustained working of the site.
  • Design intervention: The issues are being erected out with their interventions in context to the socio, economic, and infrastructure point of view. Basic interventions are planned and executed out with the justified concepts.
  • Estimation: The estimation and costing procedures are required to be made out, considering all the resources being consumed in the process of designing. The aim is to get in knowledge, the feasibility of the approach to planning the better execution.
  • Management: This step implies dealing with the process after the execution took place. It involves the post-responsibilities of the stakeholders to manage the things with the proper intervened plans and all the pre-evaluated parameters.
The growing need to re-think studio design method - Sheet4
Image Sources: Participatory approach ©Participate in Design

There should be a consideration about the environment in whatever step one chooses to ensure the smooth procedures being followed in the designing process. The design being proposed should fulfill the stability aspects in terms of the materials used, ideas incorporated, etc.

The approaches designed for the collaboration provide the practical solution for utilizing the effective principles of sustainable development on both the environmental and architectural aspects. Through such patterns of designing, a designer can learn the current experiences along with the ideal approaches. The sensitivity towards the social, economic, political, cultural, and behavioral issues, is what is being required to build a good and sustainable design.

The students are in turn, required to be prepared for the outside world, to tackle the confusion in the application of what is being learned in the design principle into the practical world, keeping the approach to be stable & sustainable in a broader aspect.


NOOREEN AFZA is a student of Bachelors in architecture who aspires to be privileged enough to influence the millions of minds out there, positively. She loves architecture as much as she respects the words winding-up its whole essence together. Her character is defined by being bold and influential through her writings. 

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