Design Conversations: An exploratory study of teacher and student interaction in the design studio

João Batalheiro Cortiço Ribeiro Ferreira

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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The purpose of this thesis is to describe the process of teaching and learning how to design. Knowledge about design education has thus far lacked a foundation in empirical studies. As such, the thesis is built by four case studies conducted in real-context settings; the case studies are direct observations and analysis of four different teacher/student interactions including graduate and undergraduate design students. An observational study from a video-database of nine teacher/student conversations complements the case studies’ findings.
The format of teaching and learning how to design is a dialogue that takes place in a design studio. The exchange is conducted by teacher and student while focusing on a design project; this is so because the design studio is a practical educational setting where students learn by doing, that is, by designing under the supervision of a design teacher.
The title of the thesis — design conversations — is the term we propose to describe the several instances of one-on-one dialogue between a teacher and a student while working, presenting, or reviewing a design project. A design conversation adopts a particular language that we call the language of design or design language (the fundamentals of which have been laid out by Schön [1983, 1985]). Design language is an expression of the design process, that is, it communicates aspects of designing as it unfolds; since learning how to design is the central objective of design education it follows that by analysing the language we should uncover (part of) the educational process.
The research firstly describes the educational context that frames the conversations between teacher and student. Secondly, the research centres on the observation and analysis of conversations between teacher and student in real-context design studios. At this stage, we adopt design language as the primary analysis framework.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Hekkert, P.P.M., Supervisor
  • Christiaans, Henri, Supervisor
  • Almendra, Rita, Supervisor, External person
Award date7 Nov 2018
Print ISBNs978-94-028-1273-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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