|Title||Learning Environments in Design Studio Culture|
The paper reports on a study of design studio culture from a student perspective.
Semi-structured interviews with final year undergraduate students of architecture formed the basis of the study using an interpretivist approach informed by Actor-network theory, with studio culture featured as the focal actor, enrolling students and engaging with other actors, together constituting an actor-network of studio culture. The other actors included social community patterns and activities; the numerous working spaces (including but not limited to the studio space itself); the equipment, tools of trade and material pre-requisites for working; the portfolio enrolling the other actors to produce work for it; and the various formal and informal events associated with the course itself.
Studio culture is a highly charged social arena: The question is how, and in particular, which aspects of it support learning? Theoretical models of situated learning and communities of practice models have informed the analysis, with Bourdieu’s theory of practice, and his interrelated concepts of habitus, field and capital providing a means of relating individually acquired habits and modes of working to social contexts. Bourdieu’s model of habitus involves the externalisation through the social realm of habits and knowledge previously internalised. It is therefore a useful model for considering whole individual learning activities; shared repertoires and practices located in the social realm.
The social milieu of the studio provides a scene for the exercise and display of ‘practicing’ and the accumulation of a form of ‘practicing-capital’. This capital is a property of the social milieu rather than the space, so working or practicing in the company of others (in space and through social media) becomes a more valued aspect of studio than space or facilities alone. This practicing-capital involves the acquisition of a habitus of studio culture, with the transformation of physical practices or habits into social dispositions, acquiring social capital (driving the social milieu) and cultural capital (practicing-knowledge) in the process. The research drew on students’ experiences, and their practicing ‘getting a feel for the game’ by exploring the limits or boundaries of the field of studio culture.
The research demonstrated that a notional studio community was in effect a social context for supporting learning; a range of settings to explore and test out newly internalised knowledge, demonstrate or display ideas, modes of thinking and practicing.
The study presents a nuanced interpretation of how students relate to a studio culture that involves a notional community, and a developing habitus within a field of practicing that extends beyond teaching scenarios.
|Keywords||design studio, student experience, habitus, practice-capital, studio culture.|
|Conference||AAE2016 Research Based Education|
|Publisher||The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL|
|Published||07 Apr 2016|
|Book title||aae2016 curiosity production risk participation|
|Web address (URL) of conference proceedings||https://issuu.com/bartlettarchucl/docs/aae16_publication_volume1/1|
|Web address (URL)||http://www.aae2016.org/?page_id=4223|