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Developing architecture studio culture: peer-peer learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World AMPS, Architecture_MPS; Stevens Institute of Technology New Jersey / New York: 17-19 June, 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEducation, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World -
Duration: 17 Jun 201919 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameAMPS Proceedings Series
ISSN (Electronic)2398-9467


ConferenceEducation, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World


Traditionally, architecture teaching has been centered around the architectural design studio , where students are taught usually on an individual project basis. This studio environment is a physical space but also a pedagogical and cultural space where learning and teaching happens. Students also regularly present their design and design process to tutors, external guests and peers. The studio is based on project-based learning and allows for reflective practice, and integration and testing of abstract knowledge into projects. This unique pedagogical tradition of studio-based teaching is based on ‘reflection in action’ , developed from the master-apprentice model, as a simulation of ‘real-life’ practice, with regular feedback on the student’s design development by tutors. However, studio culture can also lead to unhealthy practices, such as peer-peer pressure and competition, long hours, isolation from other activities, and stress when exposed to negative ‘public evaluation’ of one’s work. Nevertheless, studio culture can also support reciprocal peer-peer learning, which happens in formalized group work but also informally in the absence of tutors. Advantages include co-experimenting, and learning competencies, design processes and critical reflection from and with one another , building a student’s confidence to try new things.

Through four case studies, this paper illustrates ways to enhance the unique and positive aspects of studio culture, by fostering peer-peer learning to underpin and support deeper learning and healthier practices across years. Findings and reflections on each case are jointly discussed in concluding remarks at the end of the paper.

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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