Test Design Teachers in Studio..?

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In the age of umpteen architecture rankings, it is perhaps silly to even ask what is required of one to teach architecture studio other than a B.Arch degree or X years of practice. This is a deep and complex subject and I don’t intend to delve into it fully – only brook it by submitting a proposition.

What if teachers and students are both required to produce a design project?

In 3rd year, design studio at SSAA, over the last year I ( with colleagues) have been experimenting with the notion of always starting the semester with time problems – partly to flex and build your design muscles with a quick warm up like an athlete & partly to hit the semester running. This semester, my colleague Manas Murthy and I decided to take part in the 2 week time problem to design a weekend/getaway house. We both started really producing the work, two nights before the final submission. I started drawing the previous night ( really should’ve started earlier)

The site in Gurgaon, right at the foothills of the Aravalli’s. The requirements were open – 50% max coverage, FAR 1 and maximum height of 10 meters. The client profile and space requirements had to be developed by the student – the intent was to show a personal approach to architecture, (or as Eisenman calls it your architectural project) through the process and product. The work was to be HAND DRAWN and there was to be minimal or no text.

Is this is a good exercise – design profs taking part in the design problem? I do not know. Did my students have a lesser opinion of me. I do not know.

Perhaps, if nothing else, it may make some faculty rethink teaching design studio…...


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