LEARNING & THINKING STYLES AND THEIR EFFECT ON THE DESIGN PROCESS IN ARCHITECTURE STUDIO

Ar. Anupama Chawla

Abstract


Architectural Education is a combination of myriad exposures, factual learning, cognitive endeavors and corrective guidance by esteemed faculties. In this age of technical and electronic revolution, the student just needs a small light to flare to a beacon. He has technology at the flick of a button and global knowledge at his fingertips. A student has a particular approach to design thinking or the creative process. Often these approaches are linked to his learning and thinking style. Learning styles is his preferred method to receive information. Design approach also showcases his thinking style. A thinking style is his preferred way to process the information he receives. However varied the experiences and backgrounds of architecture students may be, their thinking styles may match according to the nature of the design project. Hence thinking styles and learning styles may /may not be linked but they are definitely linked to their individual design processes.

 This Paper sets out to explore how the learning and thinking styles of individual effects his/her design process in the architecture studio. Firstly, the Honey and Mumford learning style questionnaire( for Activists, reflectors, Pragmatists and Theorists) was tested on a random sampling of 10 students each from the first, second and third years of B.Arch. at Jamia Millia Islamia ( Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics, New Delhi) and a comparison was drawn amongst the freshmen and seniors.  Secondly, the Shortened Version of the Sternberg thinking styles Inventory (40 ques) for functions (Legislative, executive, Judicial) and levels (global and local) of thinking styles, was conducted on these students. The current on-going design Problem was extensively studied and mapped onto these learning and thinking styles tests, using Rasmussen design process. The performance of the students was correlated with their learning and thinking abilities and a satisfactory conclusion was drawn.  Further, a studio pedagogical approach is defined to accommodate the various learning and thinking styles in the architecture design studio. It is hoped that by knowing how our students think and learn, educators and professors are able to conduct their studios far better than by assumptions.

Keywords


Learning styles, thinking styles, Studio Pedagogy, design process, Architecture Education

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