OU Architecture faculty Dr. Stephanie Pilat and Dr. Angela Person, along with Dr. Carmina Sanchez-del-Valle of Hampton University, recently published a special edition of the architectural research journal Enquiry. The special issue, themed “Inclusive Design Pedagogies and Practices,” brings together recent scholarship that examines ways to break from traditional architecture studio teaching practices by providing inclusive pedagogies and learning modes.
In their introduction to the issue, Pilat, Person, and Sanchez-del-Valle argue that a critical rethinking of all facets of design teaching is necessary if the profession of architecture is to ever become truly equitable, diverse, and inclusive. As the abstract describes, “While architectural and design curricula have evolved in the intervening decades, the culture of the design schools, teaching methods, and role models remain far too similar to the one […] decades ago.” The special issue then features articles that present and examine evidence-based teaching and learning strategies for creating more inclusive design pedagogies and practices.
The issue includes the following articles:
- “Evolving Design Pedagogies: Broadening Universal Design for Social Justice,” by Victoria Lanteigne, Traci Rose Rider & Peter Stratton
- “Critical Proximity: Refiguring Research Cultures in the Design Curriculum,” by Jeffrey Kruth & Elizabeth Keslacy
- “The Design Lodge: Reflections on the ‘studio’ and a lexical shift towards life-centred architectural education,” by David Fortin
- “Inclusive Design Studios: Rethinking the Instructor’s Role,” by Stephanie Pilat and Angela Person
View the abstract for the issue’s introduction and find a link to the full, open access issue below!
In 1992, Sharon Sutton identified the studio culture of architecture schools as one of the roadblocks to diversifying the profession. She cites “An exclusionary definition” centered only on aesthetics and disciplinary autonomy that “leaves the choice to become an architect to those few people who wish to practice a ‘gentlemanly’ art….” as a key challenge. Sutton, Harriet Harriss, and others have argued that the central emphasis on aesthetics and celebration of the “Howard Roark” model of genius has disenfranchised students with broader interests. As Kathryn Anthony’s research has demonstrated, cultural traditions such as final reviews, often undermine rather than contribute to learning outcomes. These cultural norms have created a self-perpetuating cycle: design programs often marginalize those students with broader interests, with social agendas or research interests by celebrating the primacy of the design studio.
While architectural and design curricula have evolved in the intervening decades, the culture of the design schools, teaching methods, and role models remain far too similar to the one described by Sutton and Anthony decades ago. By contrast, this special issue seeks to document, describe and critique evidence-based teaching and learning strategies for creating more inclusive design pedagogies and practices.
Access the special issue here.