Sunday, February 22, 2009

dissertation

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION IN
ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION 1963-2008

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This study was made possible due to the encouragement and endless support of numerous individuals and institutions during the course of the research. Special thanks go to my parents, Cathy and Billy Joe of South Hill Farm, Esme and Mirette Carpenter, Norman Jaffe FAIA, Samuel Mockbee FAIA, Gregory Hunt FAIA, Robert Ford FAIA, James Burton AIA, Dr. George Elvin, Dr. Wilson Barnes AIA, David Pierce, Kevin and Florrie Byrd, James Fausett FAIA, Pat Wheeler, Alan Middleton, Michael and Donna Waterhouse, Dean Jim Low, Dr. Noha Nasser, Julie Pierce, Allan Green and Anne Brown, and the ever insightful Ian Burton of Siberia. Heartfelt thanks go to Ginger Massey who seemed to read my mind and give very valuable critiques in an elegant way. Professor Tom Muir worked closely with me through the entire process to bring rigour and depth to the study.

This study is dedicated to Robert Fisher of Deerfoot Path, Cutchogue, New York. He guided a misfit eighth-grade student onto an alluring path of architecture.


ABSTRACT
Throughout the history of architecture, architects have transformed abstract ideas into tangible, built and meaningful reality. In these buildings of the past, an inseparable unity of design and construction processes existed. Today, however, a complex and segmented process nearly separates the architect from the builder. In recent years, design-build has swept through the building industry as a delivery method offering faster and more cost-effective buildings. These buildings, for the most part, have lost the connection to design that once existed in buildings of the past. These buildings tend to emphasize cost savings and efficiency over design process and rigour. This study is a wake up call to academia and industry to again see the connection between design and workmanship in architectural education.

Architectural education, especially in North America, has mirrored this segmented process existing in architectural practice. It is very rare for architecture students to actually build something they design. In some cases, such as at the Dessau Bauhaus, students were encouraged to build in order to learn and pursue design intentions. This was Walter Gropius' intention as he set up the school as an anti-thesis to the Ecole des Beaux Arts educational system.

This research investigates the recent development of design-build studios (DBS for the purpose of this study) in North America. The dissertation presents two process models and describes fundamental changes in the pedagogical intentions, which result in fundamental changes in the students' education at these programmes. But are these changes better than the traditional paper-and-model-only studio? Most of the existing publications and scholarly literature written on architectural education in North America tend to overlook the interacting factors in the DBS. This is the first study to identify and critically analyse the interweaving factors of design and construction seen against the complex backdrop of the students' experience and the professors' intentions and objectives. This is the first doctoral study to identify the DBS as a potential educational model and describe the potential pedagogical learning outcomes therein.



CONTENTS

Title
Acknowledgements
Abstract
Contents
Preface
Terms Defined

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction to the DBS in Architectural Education 12
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Overview of the DBS
1.3 Interpretivism
1.4 Aims and Boundaries
1.5 Hypothesis
1.6 Critical Framework Used to Examine the DBS
1.7 Literature Review
1.8 Research Methods
1.8.1 Preliminary Data Collection
1.8.2 Preliminary Interviews
1.8.3 Structured Interviews
1.8.4 Case Study Selection Criteria
1.8.5 Validity and Reliability of Case Studies
1.8.6 Interpretivism, continued
1.9 Structure and Organisation of this Study
1.9.1 Chapter One
1.9.2 Chapter Two
1.9.3 Chapter Three
1.9.4 Chapter Four
1.9.5 Chapter Five
1.9.6 Chapter Six
1.10 Introduction to the Study
1.10.1 Assessment in Group Projects
1.10.2 A Concluding Thought
1.11 Summary

CHAPTER TWO: Learning by Doing at the Bauhaus 54
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Bauhaus
2.3 Johannes Itten
2.4 Josef Albers
2.5 Summary

CHAPTER THREE: An Overview of the DBS 90
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The DBS in the United Kingdom
3.3 A Brief History of Construction in Architectural Education
3.4 Construction as a Learning Tool
3.5 The Importance of Materiality
3.6 The Value of Workmanship
3.7 Christopher Alexander
3.8 Design-Build Programmes
3.9 Summary

CHAPTER FOUR: Design-Build Studios 135
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Yale University Building Project
4.3 Auburn University Rural Studio
4.4 The Relationship Between Higher Education and Work
4.5 Summary

CHAPTER FIVE: Design-Build Studios and Technology Transfer 178
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Technology Transfer
5.3 Rapid Prototyping
5.4 Peter Rice and Full-Scale Modelling
5.5 Electronic Media
5.6 Frank O. Gehry and Partners—CATIA Processes
5.7 Computer-Aided Manufacturing
5.8 Technology and the DBS
5.9 Summary

CHAPTER SIX: Conclusions 210
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The Possible Significance of Design-Build Studios
6.3 Practical Skills and Field Work in Academia
6.4 Assessment and the DBS
6.5 Interaction with Clients
6.6 Conclusions
6.7 Recommendations
6.8 Contribution

APPENDIX A: Chronology of the Yale Building Project

APPENDIX B: North American Active DBS Projects Matrix

APPENDIX C: NAAB Criteria—Compiled by the National Architectural Accrediting Board

APPENDIX D: Table of Interviews

REFERENCES
BIBLIOGRAPHY
LIST OF FIGURES

PREFACE
This study discusses a historical precedent at the Bauhaus in order to set groundwork for the case studies to follow. This particular DBS was carried out by Johannes Itten and Josef Albers and overseen by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. As these faculty emigrated to the United States during World War II, they led major schools of architecture in the United States. Josef Albers taught at Yale University, one of the detailed case studies discussed later in the research. The implication is that the Bauhaus became a paradigmatic example for North American schools of architecture and that the DBS owes a debt to the originators of the Sommerfield House DBS.

The two American case studies chosen reveal many student comments and discuss the student and faculty objectives. In the Yale University example, the reader will see a professor who has focused the class efforts on one neighbourhood in New Haven, Connecticut. The projects are usually conceived without direct input from the end user. Students who enter the studio appear to have very different skill sets and quotes, such as “I transferred to Yale because of the Building Project. I have an art degree and when I was put up against these students to design a house in five weeks—these students who had Architecture Degrees and had worked in offices—it was intimidating and they won the design competition. I felt out of place.” This will reveal a weakness in the Yale system and suggest possible improvements in the studio and the learning outcomes. These improvements could include a more collaborative—and less competitive—design selection process and the inclusion of end user clients in the early part of the design process.

Auburn University’s Rural Studio was chosen to contrast with the Yale programme, which is the oldest DBS in North America. The research reveals the strong and relevant contribution this studio has brought to the poorest county in Alabama, as well as the strong collaborative process and clear vision of the studio’s founders, Professors D.K. Ruth and Samuel Mockbee. Through in-depth interviews with students and faculty, the researcher reveals that this DBS provides a valid model that is transferable to most contexts. Student Adam Gerndt describes the idea of community immersion: “The project taught me a lot about listening. First we worked alongside the community members, cutting weeds and repairing houses. We wanted to do a community project so we felt that this way we could identify what the community wanted. That is how we gained their trust and respect. We identified the chapel as the project and worked hard to complete it. My major critique of the Rural Studio is that the project either needs more time or we need to simplify the type of project because we had to work all summer—past graduation—to complete the work. The same thing happened to some of my classmates. We all worked really hard all summer, while our classmates all graduated months before” (Gerndt, 2003).

The concluding chapter conceptually enriches the study by examining the implications of cutting-edge practice-based techniques. A major critique of the cited DBS projects is that they use technologies that are, for the most part, outdated. Beyond even the boundary of this study, the DBS is generally relegated to outdated technologies, such as balloon frame wood construction. This chapter discusses these new cutting-edge technologies, such as CATIA modelling, automated construction, innovative materials and full-scale detail study.

The overall intent of the study is to reveal the relevance and possible significance of the DBS as a type of learning. As with any new educational paradigm, there are inherent weaknesses in the early prototypes. This study attempts to identify some of these weaknesses in order to allow the DBS programmes to refine and enhance themselves through intense and rigorous research and development.


TERMS DEFINED

civic engagement:
social and educational exchange between members of society

Charrette: an intense and concentrated collaborative design session utilising community input to define the goals of a community design project

community: a group of people who are socially interdependent, who participate together in discussion and decision-making, and who share certain practices that define the community

community design centre (CDC):
a non-profit organisation that enables communities to increase their influence, control, ownership and management of community design and development activities.

design-build (DB):
There are two distinct definitions for design-build, one in Practice and one in Academia. It is important to differentiate between the two:

Academia
DB in Architectural Education is defined as the interrelation of conceptual ideas with project fabrication assembly. During this process, ideas are revealed through the process of making. DB is sometimes performed through team efforts or individual exploration depending on the lead professor’s project interest and learning objectives.

Practice
DB in Architectural Practice is defined as a contractual relationship between an owner and an entity that offers both design and construction services, which often saves the owner money and produces completed buildings at a faster pace than the typical architect/contractor paradigm.

design-build studio (DBS):
A university course in which students build selected designs, typically for a community. Collaboration, conflict resolution, finance management and communication with clients are common and necessary elements of these courses. (Emerged in North America in the 1970s and are presently active)

live project (LP):
A university course that incorporates actual practice-based methods into an educational environment for clear learning outcomes. (Prevalent in Great Britain in the 1960s and 70s)

service: an act of benefit to society or a specific community

service learning:
courses and studios that provide an enriched educational experience for students through community-based projects


CHAPTER ONE: Introduction to the DBS in Architectural Education

1.1 Introduction
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the topic and alert the reader to two distinct facets of study. The first facet describes the substantive topic being studied, the design-build studio (DBS) in architectural education. The second concerns the researcher and author of this study and the process used to research, compile and write this study.

Careful research revealed that very little literature on the subject exists, and despite much anguish in the search, conventional means for analysing design studios could not be used. The thesis more accurately considers the case studies and presents a model for consideration as a new paradigm. The case studies and data used were chosen with discernment. They are not a priori and therefore do not attempt to collect information that contains preconceived theories about DBS. The study is structured in a way to best present the information and findings and best present how the information was told, as a story, to the researcher.

Throughout the history of architecture, buildings have been created through the transformation of ideas into physical structures. Today, the practice has been segmented into the architects’ work in designing and preparing documents to build with, and the contractors’ work, which involves actually constructing the architect’s design. These are distinct and separate acts.

This study explores the use of materials such as concrete, wood, glass and steel, and demonstrates how students’ learning can potentially be enhanced when exposed to these real materials in a tactile sense. The study of the nature of the design process has long been of interest to architectural theorists, and some of these theorists have taken a strong interest in construction as an important canon of architectural process (Broadbent, 1988; Nesbitt, 1996). This study concentrates on how the design-build studio (described as DBS for the purpose of this study) is being used in architectural education as a new model, enriching the learning process of the architect (Boyer and Mitgang, 1996).

This study outlines the overall changes, which have brought about new trends in design education. As architectural practice moves toward systems integration and a closer link to the construction of buildings, the presentation of the collaborative process in architectural education is vital. It is clear that DBS must be integrally connected to the curricula and studio sequence of architectural programmes.
Finally, the study describes the development of traditional and progressive attitudes toward design education, arguing that changes are needed in educational philosophy in order to improve the training of the architect. The central aim of this research is to examine the DBS as an educational model.

1.2 Overview of the DBS
Design education models, which are most influenced by the French Ecole des Beaux Arts and the German Bauhaus, pervade the U.S architectural education system. Each university in the United States seems to have its own hybrid of these two paradigms. The Ecole des Beaux Arts centred architectural learning on historical precedent and a linear process of design. The Bauhaus was diametrically opposed to the Ecole des Beaux Arts and fostered a cyclical and fluid design process and a forward thinking pedagogy that was engaged with industry and mass production. Many of the Bauhaus professors migrated to the U.S. after World War II and the closing of the Bauhaus by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi government in 1933. Former Bauhaus directors Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius led major architectural programmes at Illinois Institute of Technology and at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, respectively. The Bauhaus pedagogy specifically aimed to connect the craftsman with the artist. It also put building at the centre of the architect’s training. Most of these programmes in the United States are a unique hybrid of Beaux Arts and Bauhaus methodologies based on the training and influences of their faculties.

The master builders of cathedrals such as Chartres, St. Paul’s and Amiens worked on the design and construction supervision simultaneously, with a direct connection between the designer and the craftsmen. The act of design and making were seamlessly linked (Frampton, 1997). At the Brion-Vega Cemetery in Treviso, Italy, workmen were directly involved in the design process by the forward-thinking artist and architect Carlo Scarpa. Scarpa clearly understood the value of directly involving the maker in the design process. He described this benefit as an integral part of his own work and understood how to integrate these craftspeople directly into the process (Frampton, 1997). Antonio Gaudi at his Church of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona used the same practice. Here Gaudi asked workmen to contribute to architectural ideas during construction. Today, such levels of craft skill are rare, making the architect’s knowledge more imperative.

1.3 Interpretivism
“…(Interpretivism) stems from the view that the world and 'reality' are not objective and exterior, but that they are socially constructed and given meaning by people” (Easterby-Smith, 1991). The interpretive paradigm set forth in this study is derived from Husserl (1946) and his notions of interpretive analysis. The study does not attempt to impose the researcher's own personal theory-driven analysis and instead uses an inductive research process. The researcher must state that this was not the original intent: This emerged only after careful reflection, numerous anguish-filled moments and near stops.

At first, the study was based on a broader survey of the DBS movement to help explain that something was happening in North American architectural education. There were, however, numerous problems with this approach. The first, and most troublesome, was that the broadness of the study limited it to sweeping generalisations, and after close consultation with the dissertation committee, the researcher chose to concentrate on a few select case studies.

The hypothetico-deductive method, such as those used by Easterby-Smith and McCabe, helped to underscore these concerns and helped the researcher see that he was not alone in this vast sea of shallow thinking and dead ends. “The disadvantages (of hypothesis testing) are that its contribution may be quite trivial, (simply) confirming what is already known. And if the results are inconclusive or negative, the approach can give little guidance on why this is so” (Easterby-Smith, 1994). And McCabe states, “Theory—if it has any role at all—need be considered only subsequent to the collection of data” (1999).

To this end, the researcher cut the study into one quarter of its original focus, which revealed an entire new world—that of detail and analysis. Consistent with the principle of interpretivisim, the researcher revisited the schools. The original visit was too shallow and did not reveal the negative aspects.

Most important was the conclusion that the Bauhaus' “learning-by-doing” workshop and studio had to be studied, as it provides consistent definable and indefinable intellectual and pedagogical threads that intertwine their way through this study and each of the DBS programmes. Further, Albers making his way to Yale University and the direct influence on students and faculty is undeniable. More unclear is Albers' influence on the other architectural programmes that integrate the DBS method. But questions kept emerging in the researcher's mind: Is this whole study worthless? Is it too subjective? Perhaps this pessimism is necessary for any successful critical analysis. The empirical data presented in the latter chapters reveals that the DBS programmes have bold intentions for the architectural programmes and for learning outcomes. Interestingly, the learning outcomes can only be deduced by inference through on-site and post-experience interviews with the students and clients; grades and assessment prove difficult and subjective.

The researcher learned from numerous visits, interviews and publications that the DBS professors had a common objective that resonated in their learning objectives: learning by doing.

1.4 The Aims and Boundaries of this Study

AIM ONE
To analyse two selected case studies of Design and Build approaches within North American universities to identify intended learning goals and outcomes specific to these studies in relationship to the wider curricula.

AIM TWO
To determine the extent to which live projects within architectural studios can provide successful simulations of design and build delivery methods, including technology, craftsmanship and design.

Boundaries
Specifically, the study examines one historical prototype: the Itten/Albers “learning-by-doing” workshop of 1922-27 at Weimar, Germany, which was offered at the height of the Bauhaus teaching. Two other significant DBS prototypes have been selected: the Auburn University Rural Studio and the Yale University Building Project. For the boundary of this study these were chosen for their rigorous design intentions and professors' clear course objectives. One model is rural in focus and the other is urban/suburban. One case study is based upon student collaboration to achieve a final design scheme, the other on a competitive structure. Theory testing data was carried out through interviews and on site data collection. Some of the interviews were unstructured, while others involved a more structured format.

1.5 Hypothesis
The interaction between design concept and the project team within the context of the DBS enhances the architecture student’s education. Within the DBS exists a compelling interaction between the emergent design concept and the project team. Unlike the insular esquisse predecessor, the concept in the DBS is alive and changing with the existent dynamic forces, which are exerted. While it emulates the flux and problems of real life experiences, it simultaneously presents a compelling array of concurrent scales and enhanced decision-based thinking. Students learn to cope with crises non-sequentially and are more prepared to deal with practice.

Since the Renaissance, architects have been identified as performing a distinctly different range of tasks separating them from the actual on-site construction processes. Architecture became an expression of upper-middle-class culture, and architects themselves were elevated into this class of society. This separation also exists within architectural education, and this has recently been recognized by many educators as being something that should be addressed through syllabus reform.

At the German Bauhaus at Dessau, Walter Gropius suggested that the separation of craftsman and artisan must be addressed (Wick, 2000). To deal with this schism, Bauhaus faculty members Johannes Itten and Josef Albers authored a learning-by-doing studio. The Bauhaus had an indelible effect on North American architectural education, perhaps in part due to Josef Albers' transfer to Yale University, a site of one of the case studies in this research.

In many American schools of architecture, the design-build studio (Boyer, 1997)(Carpenter, 1997) is the preferred vehicle chosen to respond to this need. This thesis will examine such studio programmes and evaluate their contribution to the pedagogy of curriculum development. The DBS faculty hypothesize that the design-build studio provides a sufficiently accurate paradigm for this process in real life and that the learning outcomes it produces responds to the complex demands of practice.

This study will examine this hypothesis as manifest in several selected examples, and to evaluate them together with evolving educational theories and practice developments, with a view to assessing whether or not they are achieving their objectives and how they relate to the design-build movement overall. It will also examine the evolution of these studios and their response to a rapidly changing world in which technology transfer, virtual reality, sustainability and the like are setting new criteria of performance demands.

Currently in North American architectural education, the DBS has emerged as a developing philosophy. The movement may or may not be creating a watershed change. This study will examine and analyse the learning opportunities for students in the DBS.


1.6 Critical Framework Used to Examine the Design-Build Studios


Description of Studio and Syllabus

• Project type
• Previous projects completed
• Budget
• Schedule
• Team sizes
• Year level of students participating


Course Intentions

• Relationship of the studio to the wider curricula
• Learning Objectives
• Learning outcomes to be demonstrated by students
• Assessment methods


Critique

• Effectiveness of the integration of technology and design
• Effectiveness of craftsmanship
• Effectiveness of team collaboration and leadership
• Success or weaknesses of the university and public service collaboration


1.7 Literature Review
The purpose of this Literature Review is to describe key writings underpinning the thesis of this study, which centres on making and building in design education. Very little literature discusses the DBS, and even less presents a new DBS model. This is the first work to critically analyse the DBS in connection with architectural education in North America.

Much of this research has been compiled from visits to the universities, correspondence with professors and students, and from published articles. In addition, more than seventy face-to-face interviews with architecture faculty and students were conducted. A major reference is the author’s book, Learning by Building: Design and Construction in Architectural Education, which was published in 1997 by E. & F.N. SPON/Van Nostrand Reinhold. It was completed when there were only ten schools practising the design-build methodology in the U.S. Today, there are more than thirty schools using this method in the U.S.

The ideas of making and building have been the interest of numerous practicing architects—Steve Badanes, Christopher Alexander, Tadao Ando and Steven Holl, for example. Frank Lloyd Wright used direct DBS principles at Taliesin, where architectural students often built and studied large-scale elements and constructed the school and residences of Taliesin East and West.

In 1997, Kenneth Frampton offered a powerful critique of modern architecture in relation to making and building titled Studies in Tectonic Culture, The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture. He states: “Needless to say, the role of the Tekton leads eventually to the emergence of the master builder or architekton” (Frampton, 1997). Dan Hoffman, who incorporated craft-based theoretical pursuits at the Cranbrook Academy, writes “We found that rather than eliminating time from construction, the use of geometry allied building processes with the 'dark' knowledge of the body. Despite the increasing rationalization of construction processes through the use of industrialized methods and product building remains a labor intensive activity largely informed by the circumstances surrounding the involuntary actions of the body.” He goes on to state: “The problem statements also force one to reconsider how language is used to define a building process” (Hoffman, 1994).

Both Frampton and Hoffman describe the importance of materials and craft. Hoffman describes a studio at Cranbrook where the student’s first act is to work directly with materials, which is evocative of the Bauhaus methodology and harks back to the master builder in the Cathedral age.

Sam Mockbee, whose teaching will be examined later in this study, adds a social element to the student’s direct contact with materials:

Architects are, by nature and pursuit, leaders and teachers. As such, it is important to focus our critical attention on some basic issues that every architect, regardless of time and place, will have to face. These are not questions of judgement, but rather, questions of values and principals. All architects expect and hope that their work will in some way make a better world for humanity. This is the search that we should always be taking. My own search toward making a better world probes the role of architecture in relation to the issues of education, health care, transportation, recreation, law enforcement, employment, and the environment. In other words, the collective community that architecture should always be in position to nudge, cajole, and inspire. I don’t believe that courage has disappeared from our profession, but we tend to narrow the scope of our thinking and underestimate our moral responsibility to warn and inform. I believe that architects have a duty to participate in the social, political and environmental realities that our students, clients, and communities face and will be facing. This requires looking beyond buildings and toward an enhanced understanding of the whole enterprise to which they belong. It begins with observing the contemporary landscape – before commitments to nudge, cajole and inspire can be started, worked on, and accomplished.

Good building can have a conceptual framework that embodies and expresses the history and theory of the discipline and its role in society. It can be focused on the meaning of a building’s form, or the relationship of an object to various subjects, and finally, it can be defined in terms of the creative and constructive processes from which a building emerges. Combining all three – idea, object and process – defines building in a way that is central to a culture’s vitality and positive outlook. Good buildings are instruments of learning and teaching that create community. They bring people together to be known to each other.

Architecture, more than any other art form, is a social art. Those of us who design and build must do so with an awareness of our social responsibilities. As a social art, architecture must be made where it is and out of what exists there. It also needs to be appropriate for both the well being of the client and for the larger community to which it belongs. The dilemma for each of us is to decide how we will advance our profession and our communities with our talents, rather than allowing our talents to be used to compromise that profession and those communities. As architects, we must survey our own backyards to see what makes them special, individual and beautiful. It is through this study that we are able to create an architecture that is an integral part of its community. An architect’s primary connection is always with people in a place. This focus encourages the architect’s art to be apart from his or her ego, while at the same time, furnishing an identity in and with the community at large” (2002).

Mockbee advocates more experimentation in architectural school along with a social contribution. One of the most terrific aspects of Sam Mockbee’s efforts to house the poor in Mississippi was his decision to bring his students out of the classroom and onto the building site. In this way, they start to understand the consequences of each decision that an architect makes and how it reflects itself in the cost, design and liveability of the work. That kind of knowledge is invaluable and is difficult to come by in most schools of architecture. There is a naivety about how architecture is taught. Most of us enter school without even an elemental understanding about how buildings go together. We often do not have much of an understanding about basic drawing conventions: plans, section, elevations and details. The unconventional, not the conventional, is important in school.

The 1996 book by Ernest Boyer and Lee Mitgang, Building Community, echoes Mockbee's statements:

What was emerging in those early days of campus-based education, then, was a growing impulse to standardize architecture’s expertise through a more specialized, organized, and regulated educational program, and a related need to assure the public that practitioners could assume legal responsibility for the quality and safety of their work. These needs were decisively addressed by the arrival in America of a philosophy of education and practice developed at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the leading center of architecture education in France. William Robert Ware, founder of both MIT’s and Columbia University’s architecture programs, was instrumental in adapting that French philosophy to American schools, and many of Ware’s curricular precepts remain influential to this day.

Ware’s principals were:

• That details of a practical nature that can be learned in the office should be postponed until after formal education
• That courses in construction and history can be taught by means of “cooperative student investigation…”
• That architectural design should be conducted by a competitive method, with judgements by jury
• That the study of design should be continuous through school and that design problems should not be overly practical, but rather should stimulate the imagination through the study of great masters
• That the study of construction should be stressed
• That architectural curriculum should include as broad a cultural background as time permitted (Boyer, Mitgang, 1996).

The Beaux Arts philosophy has remained, for a century, perhaps the single greatest influence on how architecture education is conducted and thought about. As Professor Kathryn Anthony, of the University of Illinois at Champaign – Urbana, states: “The values behind the accreditation process, the way in which the curricula are structured, the jury system, and other key aspects of architectural education continue to primarily reflect an old Ecole des Beaux Arts mode” (Boyer, Mitgang, 1996).

British author Brian Lawson stands out for his rigorous examining of design process. He states, "Design is a highly complex and sophisticated skill. It is not a mystical ability given only to those with recondite powers but a skill which, for many, must be learnt and practised rather like the playing of a sport or a musical instrument" (1983).

Lawson is possibly the one author who has begun to delve into the nature of design. He states, "The division of labour between those who design and those who make has now become a keystone of our technological society. To some it may seem ironic that our very dependence on professional designers is largely based on the need to solve the problems created by the use of advanced technology” (1983).

About the contribution of Christopher Alexander, Lawson states, "Alexander (1964) has presented one of the most concise and lucid discussions of this shift in the designer’s role. Alexander argues that the unselfconscious craft-based approach to design must inevitably give way to the self-conscious professional's process when a society is subjected to a sudden and rapid change which is culturally irreversible" (1983).

He also states, “Changes in the materials and technologies available became too rapid for the craftsman's evolutionary process to cope. Thus the design process as we have known it in recent times has come about not as the result of careful and wilful planning but rather as a response to changes in the wider social and cultural context in which design is practised ... Initially, the separating of designing from making had the effect not only of isolating the designer but also of making him the centre of attention” (1983).

Alexander himself commented on this development. "The artist's self-conscious recognition of his individuality has had a deep effect on the process of form-making. Each form is seen as the work of a single man, and its success is his achievement only" (1964).

Lawson describes the RIBA handbook's description of the architect's design process:

Phase I: Assimilation
The accumulation and ordering of general information and information specifically related to the problem at hand.

Phase 2: General study
The investigation of the nature of the problem. The investigation of possible solutions or means of solution.

Phase 3: Development
The development and refinement of one or more of the tentative solutions isolated during phase 2.

Phase 4: Communication
The communication of one or more solutions to people inside or outside the design team.

Lawson laments that "it is hardly a road map at all” (1983). As the handbook points out these four phases are not necessarily sequential although it may seem logical that the overall development of a design will progress from phase 1 to phase 4. Even a cursory logical examination of this map suggests that there may have to be much coming and going.

Lawson's writing is lucid and to the point. His chapter on creative process is quite helpful as it attempts to define: first insight (formulation of a problem); preparation (conscious attempt at solution); incubation (no conscious effort); illumination (sudden emergence of an idea) and verification (conscious development).

Of specific interest is the process of incubation which involves no apparent effort, but which is "often terminated by the sudden emergence of an idea" (Lawson, 1983). His chapter on Group Dynamics, entitled "Designing with Others," is most helpful for a creative and rigorous study of the DBS.

Richard Burton's states: "At this point, the group has a distinct advantage over the individual, because ideas can become personal property of one's own intellectual territory. The strength of that territory is considerable, and the difficulty of working alone is often in the breaking of the bonds caused by it. With a group the bonds are broken more easily, because the critical faculty is depersonalised" (Lawson, 1983).

Even the definition of group is difficult, but Lawson quotes Hare's (1962) definition: "There are then in sum, five characteristics which distinguish the group from a collection of individuals. The members of the group are in interaction with one another. They share a common goal and a set of norms, which give direction and limits to their activity. They also develop a set of roles and a network of interpersonal attraction, which serve to differentiate themselves from other groups" (1983).

The problem with this definition is that it is not entirely accurate, especially within the context of the DBS. Often, within this group dynamic, the goals for each student are very different and because of the varied backgrounds the norms also are markedly different and sometimes in opposition. An art student from Liberia working side-by-side with a registered architect from Alabama, for example, can bring about helpful and unexpected results.

It is possible that the most important writing in relation to the DBS has not been published, specifically the dissertation of George Elvin in the Graduate Division at the University of California Berkeley. This study describes a segmented profession:

Against this backdrop of architectural practice as a continuous flow we have built a paradigm characterized by the organizational separation of disciplines and the sequential separation of design and construction activities. The paradigm of separation, however, is proving to be incompatible with the principles and procedures of new processes that suggest a rejuvenation of unified architectural practice. The new surge in concurrent, collaborative methods in architecture like design-build and fast-track production demands new models and methods for the integration of design and construction. Design-build, in which a contractually unified team provides both design and construction services, has grown to nearly forty percent of new construction. In fast-track production, construction begins well before design is complete, and design and construction activities proceed concurrently throughout the life of the project. An integrated approach to architecture brings together architects, engineers, contractors and owners dedicated to continuous design improvement during design and construction.

This dissertation presents a process model describing fundamental methods of observation, comparison, exploration, decision, instruction and transformation in design and construction. It describes coordination processes and procedures of team building, project planning, communication, risk management and decision-making. These coordination processes are presented as hypotheses forming a normative model of integrated design and construction. This study contributes a model of design and construction as a whole system, bridging the gap between design-only and construction only models to explore critical interprocess relationships.

1.8 Research Methods
Data collection and individual site visits to the architecture programmes over the last twelve years enhance the presentation and recording of information. Individual interviews with students, faculty, clients and university administrators contribute to the relevance of this data. The data is presented in clear, concise terms with illustrations and drawings. The researcher has attended meetings of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture to listen to presentations by faculty members, referred to periodicals and books, and, through an exhaustive search of current trends in schools today, begun to uncover what could be the most influential movement in architecture programmes since the Bauhaus. The researcher also co-chaired (along with renowned design-build expert George Elvin, PhD) a national symposium on design-build in architectural education. Papers were juried and more than one hundred faculty attended.

The study considers and analyses several examples of design-build studios in the United States. The researcher has looked for programmes that integrally relate design with making. Projects that were exercises in labour only, or did not emphasize design to the researcher’s boundary of study, were not chosen. The study concentrates on programmes operating in the United States within the last thirty years. Most of these studios were founded in the last ten years. Selecting only accredited Schools of Architecture is another method for editing of programmes.

The method of problem definition, data collection and evaluation, literature review and hypothesis testing are used as methodological concepts in the development of design and construction in education.





Figure 1.1: Conceptual Development of Case Study Analysis






Figure 1.2: Development of Analysis Model









Figure 1.3: Overall Structure of the Study













Figure 1.4: Flow Diagram of the Study

Problem Definition
The main goal of this study is to define, test and evaluate design-build studios. The fundamental research problems were identified through a preliminary literature review and interviews with experts in the field. Subsidiary hypotheses were then developed and clarified during the review process.

















Figure 1.5: Interpretive Research Process (Adapted from Practical Research Planning and Design)
1.8.1 Preliminary Data Collection
An initial survey of literature and interviews with educators, students and architects was used to define the research problem and identify appropriate strategies for achieving the research objectives. Analysis of the preliminary data was used to identify key conceptual variables in the design-build process.

1.8.2 Preliminary Interviews
Unstructured interviews with approximately twenty acknowledged experts in the field helped define the research problem and scope. Those interviewed included educators, students, clients and practising architects. The structured interview was the primary means of data collection in this study. The interviews and on site observations of the DBS allowed the researcher to gather data to test the validity of the hypothesis. The researcher conducted face-to-face interviews with numerous students who completed these programmes. Data was gathered and analysed in a narrative and qualitative approach. Rather than look to large databases or quantitative statistics to verify the hypothesis, the qualitative approach looks into a select few case studies to develop a sense of the processes inherent in the projects. In Anthropology, this method has gained favour over structuralist methods for the study of human behaviour (Bourdieu, 1980). This is also used by Cuff (1991) in her analysis of architectural practice and Wallis (2002) in her in-depth analysis of DBS and learning objectives.


1.8.3 Structured Interviews
Case study participants were asked to describe DBS procedures used in their projects and specifically how the learning objectives relate to the projects. Questions in the interviews were aimed at testing the hypothesis. There were some problems with presenting the hypothesis to the interviewees such as:
• Participants were confused between the inherent differences between practice and academia in the DBS.
• Participants could not easily identify weaknesses inherent in these programmes because of immersion in the situation.
• Immersion allowed the researcher to determine the level of commitment from the students and the faculty involved.

1.8.4 Case Study Selection Criteria
Case studies were programme-specific and based on the following criteria. Additional criteria and details are found in the Appendix.
• A high level of design-construction integration, defined as a frequency of iteration between design improvement activities and construction activities (Elvin, 1999) (Wallis, 2002)
• An established programme and curricular involvement
• A continuous dedication to the DBS by the architectural administration and the university administration
• A well articulated DBS philosophy (through writings, course descriptions and conference proceedings)

1.8.5 Validity and Reliability of Case Studies
The validity and reliability of the case studies must be described. In this methodology, they are used in the measurement of the case studies in comparison with the hypothesis. Validity is concerned with the soundness and effectiveness of the measuring instrument. Validity can be divided into the following categories (Leedy, 1997):
• Face validity relies basically upon the subjective judgement of the researcher. It asks: Is the instrument measuring what it is supposed to measure? And is the sample being measured representative of the behaviour or trait being measured?
• Criterion validity is measured upon the performance or criterion. Criterion validity sets a system from which to measure the performance of the case study or problem, such as testing or other measurable means.
• Content validity is sometimes equated with face validity. This is the accuracy with which an instrument measures the factors under study. This reveals how accurately the questions asked elicit information.
• Construct validity reveals the construct or concept that is observed or isolated. In this study, the learning objective, which is described by the professors, is an example of construct validity.
• Internal Validity is the freedom from bias in forming conclusions in view of the data presented. If, for example, the data goes against the hypothesis, a researcher uses internal validity to discern and be open about this in the research.
• External validity is concerned with the generalizability of the conclusions reached through the observation of a sample or case study. In other words: Can the data be generalised, or is it specific to this study?

McDaniel (1988) determines and describes six threats to validity: testing, instrumentation, maturation, history, mortality and familiarity. Since test repletion can result in familiarity or conditioning, validity is difficult. For the purpose of this study, validity and reliability were important issues. To measure the reliability of a case study, the researcher must clearly state up front what the hypothesis is and how it will be measured. In this case, the learning objectives were used as a frame of reference.

1.8.6 Interpretivism, continued
In this thesis, no attempt has been made to use what McCabe calls reconstructed logic (McCabe, 1999). This concept describes the tendency of researchers to present their work to imply that what they have achieved resulted from a method that was entirely sequential. That practice would not have been possible for this study. The reader will be aware of a number of things that have influenced the researcher. The first is that the DBS has emerged as a phenomenon directly concerned with the connection of academia to practice through simulation- even enhanced simulation. The analysis of relevant literature does not suggest that the DBS is very significant; if it were, more theoreticians would be writing critically about it. Given this glaring deficiency, this thesis attempts to remedy this situation through interpretivism.

Positivism as a guiding philosophy in this study would have been, and proved to be, a problem. Positivism has at its root and guiding philosophy (McCabe, 1999) the assumption that the social world exists externally and that its properties should be measured through objective methods (Easterby-Smith, 1991). They explain what the French nineteenth-century social theorist Auguste Compte's positivist research approaches:
• The researcher is independent from what is being observed.
• Value neutrality towards what is to be studied. The use of objective criteria is to be the guiding mechanism rather than personal interests.
• Causality: This refers to the preoccupation with the need to establish definite links between observed phenomenon and the reasons for their occurrence. The use of terms such as independent, dependant and extraneous variables is a direct manifestation of the concern with causality.
• Generalisation: This refers to the assumption that the findings of the research can be used to make predictions that can be applied more widely than the immediate context of their discovery. As such, there are then concerns about representativeness and adequate sample size.
• Reductionism, by which the problem is reduced to simple elements in order to make the research, and therefore the understanding, easier.

1.9 Structure and Organisation for this Study
The study is presented in five chapters. Since the studios in question are of recent origin, they have been selected for their relevance to this study. They have also been chosen because of ease of access, the availability of research materials and the quality of the finished products.

1.9.1 Chapter One
The first chapter presents an introduction to the topic and area of study. It includes historical background, the aims and boundaries of the study, the statement of hypothesis and the literary review.

1.9.2 Chapter Two
The second chapter presents remarks on the teaching pedagogy at the Bauhaus, which emphasized “learning by doing.” The teaching of Professors Josef Albers and Johannes Itten are examined because of their profound influence on the movement. This chapter presents selected student work in the Bauhaus studios and the discovery of a live project at the Bauhaus, the Sommerfield House, which was designed and built by Bauhaus faculty and students.

1.9.3 Chapter Three
The third chapter includes remarks on building in architectural education. Special emphasis is placed on construction as a learning tool, ideas and scale, and materiality. This chapter is intended as an overview of some of the recent ideas that have been presented in North American architectural education.
1.9.4 Chapter Four
Chapter Four includes an introduction to DBS in the United States. These are listed as examples and include a description for each school’s programme. The Yale University’s Building Project and Auburn University’s Rural Studio have been selected. The author has discussed these projects with students and faculty to determine a clear description of the pedagogical goals and learning outcomes of each studio. This is done in order to measure the learning outcomes of each studio.

1.9.5 Chapter Five
Chapter Five describes the relationship of the DBS to current practice. It is a brief overview of some of the current trends in practice. After careful consultation with the project team this chapter organizes some of the most recent practice innovations such as full scale modelling, computer visualization and automated construction techniques and presents them in an overview format for possible relevance to the DBS.

1.9.6 Chapter Six
The final chapter presents the significance and application of the design-build studio. It outlines the conclusions and includes recommendations regarding the DBS. The sixth chapter also presents the contribution that this study makes to architectural education and practice.


1.10 Introduction to the Study

A craftsman spends long years acquiring the skills and aptitudes of his craft, learning the nature of his materials, care for his tools and so on. Once he becomes a master of his craft these traditional ways will be built deep into his consciousness; he will have acquired patterns of coordination between hand, eye and brain which he will not wish to abandon; his interest will be passing on these secrets to another generation (Broadbent, 1988).

This research represents a convergence of practical, educational and philosophical theories. It looks at key architectural theorists such as Vitruvius, Alberti, Semper, Kahn and Frampton, and locates itself within the historical context of architectural education and practice (Broadbent, 1988; Frampton, 1995; Nesbitt, 1996). Design, materials and assembly are knitted into a cohesive whole through the filter of education (Boyer and Mitgang, 1996; Lang, 1986; Pye, 1978). The study examines the relationship of design and construction through selected theoretical texts and places the research into historical and paradigmatic context (Nesbitt, 1996). It aims to unearth new knowledge through research and case studies and to focus on the nature of construction in design and its effect on the design process of the architect. The intrinsic properties of materials are of importance to the architect as materials can influence design. Tacit knowledge is thus developed through sensory perception (Sternberg and Horvath, 1999).

Design is a process of transformation (Broadbent, 1988). A problem is given at any scale and a programme written. Ideas are then sought through various sources. Some designers express clarity of idea and an economy of means. When we see a Philippe Starck chair or a Henry Cartier-Bresson photograph, we are immediately struck by the elegant simplicity of means. As if the final result had been right in front of us the entire time. Architectural treatises discuss construction but its significance has mostly been marginalized. Gottfried Semper’s ideas on the act of building clearly separate meaning from construction. He believed that the process of making was clearly separate from the act of the designer (Frampton, 1997). Techne was therefore compartmentalized rather than seen as an integral way to extend and develop design ideas. The writing of Leon Battista Alberti also separates the designer from the maker. He states: “For it is no builder who should design - this is the task of the architect” (Alberti, 1969).

The use of full-scale models in the design studio allows for the testing of ideas at full scale and working directly with the intended assemblies. Mies van der Rohe found this process useful. When describing Mies’ use of large-scale models, Broadbent states, “Yet the actual details of their use, the ways in which they were jointed, details of corners and so on were worked out afresh for each project, often through the use of full- or half-scale models” (Broadbent, 1988). Architectural education can benefit from the cross-disciplinary approach fostered by industrial designers. Transfer technologies used by industrial designers offer an excellent example of a new type of development in the design studio. These technologies question the fixed ratio that exists between material quality and assembly time and material cost. Automobiles, ships, planes and bicycles have all benefited from this type of design process. Somehow architecture has been immune to this type of change. These technologies have resulted in cars that are of better quality, better design and lower price – while, in sharp contrast, buildings continue to be built at higher costs. The basic way we build has generally remained the same for the past 500 years. We build with a foundation, bricks, stones or concrete panels which are basically the same and do not really undergo a research and development process (Kieran and Timberlake, 2001). The recent work of Kieran and Timberlake expresses this interest.

Our research focuses on these new technologies from industry. We study the interface between four disciplines: material science, product engineering, architecture and construction. We use emerging materials, including development in metals, composite materials, polymers, carbon fibres and gels among others. We will envision and model new architectural uses for these materials, many of which do not currently have practical applications (Kieran and Timberlake, 2001).

Vitruvius separates the duties of an architect and builder in his description of an architect:

Before I go any further, however, I should explain exactly whom I mean by an architect, for it is no carpenter that I would have you compare to the greatest exponents of other disciplines. The carpenter is but an instrument in the hands of the architect. Him I consider the architect, who by sure and wonderful reason and method, knows both how to devise through his own mind and energy, and to realize by construction, whatever can be most beautifully fitted out for the noble needs of man, by the movement of weights and the joining and massing of bodies. To do this, he must have an understanding and knowledge of all the highest and most noble disciplines. This then is the architect (Vitruvius, 1465).

“Making” in architecture has sparked the interest of numerous architects and designers. Tadao Ando, Juhani Pallasmaa, Morphosis, Frank Israel and Steven Holl have all expressed how making is a source for the amplification of meaning and “gathering” (Nesbitt, 1997). Tectonics and detailing are a process of “becoming,” expressing Heidegger’s concept of revealing.

In one of Le Corbusier’s late projects, a small cabin structure which is 366 by 366 by 266 centimetres and built on the island of Cap-Martin, France. The cabin is near Eileen Grey’s most famous house, E1027, just down the hill. Le Corbusier used a design-build process on this project as he experimented with a full-scale model and then made numerous on-site adjustments. He also painted wall panels with planes of colour and murals. This was his retreat. “The cabin is similar to the size of a trunk where a selection of essential belongings is ingeniously stored. If one opens it, the life of the owner is displayed without modesty. There are two beds, a sink, a toilet and a table” (Lyon, 2000).

Alberti explains the deliberation that takes place in the construction of a building:

In my opinion, the labour, an expense of building, should not be undertaken lightly. Apart from everything else that may be at stake, one’s esteem and good name may suffer. A well-constructed building will enhance the renown of anyone who has invested understanding, attention and enthusiasm in the matter. Yet equally, should the wisdom of the designer or the competence of the workman be found wanting anywhere, it greatly detracts from his reputation and good name. These are the materials to be prepared: lime, sand, stone, timber; and like-wise iron, bronze, lead, glass and so on. And I consider it of primary importance to select workmen who are neither inexperienced, nor unreliable, nor inconsistent, and to whom you may confidently entrust the task of executing the work diligently, according to your precise instructions, and finishing it on time (Alberti, 1452).




Figure 1.6: Frontispiece by Abraham Bosse of 1664 expressing the dialogue of theory and practice, which represents some of the possible benefits in the DBS (Kruft, 1995)


The architect Vittorio Gregotti has written an essay on detailing. He states, “Detailing is, surely, one of the more revealing components of changing architectural language” (Nesbitt, 1996). Franco Albini and Carlo Scarpa believed that the display of materials and the laws of construction all expressed architectural concepts and the relationship of the part to the whole.

In his essay, “The Tell-Tale Detail,” Marco Frascari addresses the relationship between the architectural concept and the detail (Nesbitt, 1997). He describes the construction joint as the generator of construction. Frascari’s semiological revealing suggests to us that the detail is the minimum unit of signification within the overall production of meaning. Each detail tells us the story of its making, and architecture is, therefore, a narrative of details which can be read in many layers. Frascari has said that the detail can impose an order on the whole. Thus, located within detailing and tectonics is an endless set of architectural ideas. The techne of logos is the production of an architectural discourse. To Frascari this process is called “construing.” Emanating from Heidegger, this connection between construction and building and construing gives order and understanding to the production of buildings and why we build. Building is linked to construction, dwelling and cultivating. Heidegger describes dwelling as the purpose of life and dependant on building. Marco Frascari is highly influenced by Heidgegger’s ideas on building. Frascari charges that details are generators of architectural production and ideas. He believes that careful detailing is the most important means of avoiding building failure and attaining conceptual rigor. The act of detailing is the joining of materials and elements in a functional and aesthetic manner. Details are how we make and why we make.

In the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the analytique was the way to graphically encode the relationship of the part to the whole. Buildings, which had been hand-measured by the student, or designed to the faculty-created programme of spaces, were represented in this edited abstract method of representation which amplified certain details. Before this time, details were common knowledge among craftsmen and the architect could depend on the craftsmen to elaborate or adjust detail as necessary. In the Bauhaus historical methods were no longer emphasized. Instead, inductive reasoning and intuitive design thinking form the pedagogical framework for this school.

This study presents selected works from the Bauhaus, Yale University and Auburn University in an effort to examine the critical framework, which exists in these projects and how faculty and students envision the outcome of full-scale construction. The study ends in a conclusion of these influences and how they affect, or don't affect, architectural education.

1.10.1 Assessment in Group Projects
When examining the complex topic of group project assessment, it is necessary to consider how professors incorporate their learning objectives into the assessment. Questions such as these emerge: Were the students able to complete the project? Were the clients happy with the work? What is the quality of the craftsmanship?

In his 1998 book Student Assessment in Higher Education, Professor Allen Miller defines a possible description of the assessment of group projects: “An over-simplified distinction between cheating and co-operation could be to ask whether a student who is engaging in this non-competitive activity is profiting from the activity without making any contribution to the success of others in the group. If the answer is ‘yes’, it is cheating. If the answer is ‘no’, it is co-operation.” He goes on to define the potential benefits of these projects:
• Students gain experience working in teams, which is likely to be the norm in their future employment.
• The project is normally larger and more complex than any that could be handled by a student working alone.
• By allocating different, but related, projects to each team in a particular class and requiring each group to report to the whole class, the teacher provides an opportunity for a major area of subject matter to be discussed by each student.
• Material learned by these methods is more likely to be retained by students once the course is finished, provided that each group has adequate opportunities for interacting with other groups, not only when reports are being presented, but during the research phase of the project.
• Students generally enjoy such projects and report that this form of learning is more effective than other forms, such as lectures.

The final point was reiterated in a survey of students in an optometry course at the Hong Kong Polytechnic reported by Conway et al, who added, “The only significant negative elements of the student feedback concerned the fairness of the assessment” (1993). This has always been the quandary of group projects. The question emerges: “If one group member does not perform, does he or she deserve the same grade as the rest of the group?” Group projects help us approximate actual practice, but they are not actual practice. While the concept of team projects is educationally sound, there is a practical difficulty when it comes to assessing the contributions of individual students to a group project. What must be determined is whether each team should be awarded a mark or grade for its work and all students in that team receive the same mark, or whether it is possible to recognize the worth of each member’s contributions to a project and reward each one appropriately. Several students in the survey conducted by Conway commented upon the equity of awarding all group members the same mark. The comments include: “During the group work, if members of the group are not co-operative, the workload of one of these students may be too great to support. Preparation of these projects takes time and requires compromise between group mates. Especially when there is a test or assignment, one group member may think that it is not worth taking so much when they think it is not relevant to their own interest” (Conway, 1999).

Another interesting point posited by Conway involves self-assessment within the group:
• Firstly the remaining members of the class assessed each group’s presentation.
• Secondly, students assessed the contribution of their fellow group members to the work on the project. The aim was to award each student a mark for the project work that was a reflection of the individual student’s contribution to the project (Conway, 1999).

Also interesting is the following list of sample group projects in higher education that relate the activity of the DBS to other disciplines:

• Preparing a report resulting from fieldwork in history, politics, earth science, social science or biological science
• Writing a script for a film in one of the humanities or in social science
• Presenting arguments for and against some theory in philosophy or religion
• Designing and building a model or structure in architecture or engineering
• Suggesting a series of diagnostic tests followed by treatment for a patient with specified symptoms in medicine (Miller, 1987)

1.10.2 A Concluding Thought
This study will present an account of the learning objectives of two DBS programmes, as well as a new DBS model. The learning objectives prove to be the critical element in these DBS programmes. The professor holds a great deal of responsibility with the choice of project type and rigour of study and most importantly how the DBS integrates with the extant curriculum. The gap that exists between academia and practice is a key observation that resonates throughout the study. By presenting a new model, this study offers one way to bridge that gap.

1.11 Summary
Chapter One introduced the historical background of the study in order to set the research in context. References and research relevant to the study were selected and presented. The aims, boundaries and material sources for the study were described in order to clarify the intent and frame the structure of the work. The structure and organisation of the study were then described and provided definition. This chapter identified an important movement in North American architectural education. This movement began in 1962, during turbulent political times, which caused architectural students to further focus on their community rights and responsibilities. This chapter also uncovered the notion of Interpretivism and defined the research methodology.




CHAPTER TWO: Learning by Doing at the Bauhaus

2.1 Introduction
2.2 The Bauhaus
2.3 Johannes Itten
2.4 Josef Albers
2.5 Summary

“Only an Idea has the power to spread so far” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (Naylor, 1968)

2.1 Introduction
The work of the Bauhaus has offered influential design and pedagogical influences to architects and to architectural education. This chapter discusses the “learning-by-doing” workshops at the Bauhaus taught by Johannes Itten and Josef Albers. These workshops offered students the chance to experiment with materials in an open-ended format, which emphasized rigorous process and intuitive design methods. Students were challenged to work directly with materials in the design process. Itten and Albers differed slightly in their approaches as they developed their own ideas about architectural education.

Political forces at the time of the Bauhaus make it a unique educational model for study. Because the school was reacting to political and social forces in Nazi Germany, learning objectives and student output were affected. More specifically, an emphasis on the economy of materials is evident.

2.2 The Bauhaus
In considering architectural education and construction, it is helpful to discuss the inherent theoretical differences between schools of thought. At the Parisian Ecole Polytechnique, C.N. Durand, the first tutor in architecture, sought to establish a universal building methodology. This was an architectural counterpoint to the Napoleonic code by which economic and appropriate structures could be created through the modular permutation of fixed plan types and alternate elevations (a sort of stock plan theory). After winning the Prix de Rome, Henri Labrouste spent five years at the French Academy devoting much time in Italy and studying temples at Paestum. The education of the Beaux Arts architect put an emphasis on the picturesque, an attitude toward the monumental and archival use of history for emotional affect, and a sort of “hands off“ approach. This approach appeared to lead to an elitist attitude, as architects were concerned with drawing elaborate elevations of unbuilt palaces for the wealthy and opulent. In the Deutsche Werkbund movement, which lasted from 1898 to 1927, Gottfried Semper stated that the depreciation of materials results from its treatment by machine lead. Frampton and Semper, at the same time, were asking how industrialization might affect the quality of architecture. Semper wondered if the hand craft would be lost.


Figure 2.1: Sommerfield House, Berlin, Germany 1920-21 was designed and built by Bauhaus faculty and students, completely in recycled teak, from a demolished battleship. This project owes much to the work of Greene and Greene and the Arts and Crafts movement. It is a brooding and unrefined design, which is quite traditional, and not directly expressive of the emerging Bauhaus Pegagogy.

Gropius, bringing the craftsman and artist together, states: “Let us create a new guild of craftsmen, without the class distinctions, which raise an arrogant barrier between craftsman and artist. Together, let us conceive and create the new building of the future, which will embrace architecture, sculpture and painting in one unity and which will rise one day toward heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith” (Proclamation Weimar Bauhaus, 1919).


Figure 2.2: The Entrance Hall of Sommerfield House

Bauhaus educator Bruno Taut stated that within a new art of building, each separate discipline would contribute to the final form and there would be no boundaries between the crafts, sculpture and painting. This revolution of Gesamtkunstwerk was amplified even in the word Bauhaus. Walter Gropius was intentionally recalling the medieval Bauhatte, or masons lodge. He was realigning the architect with the craftsman. He elaborated on this in a 1922 letter to his colleague Oskar Schlemmer: “Originally the Bauhaus was formed with visions of erecting the cathedral of socialism and workshops were established in the manner of the cathedral building lodges” (Whitford, 1984).

Swiss painter Johannes Itten was influenced by a system of learning design that is based on sparking individual creativity by constructing collages of varying materials, textures, and assemblies. Influenced by Froebel and Maria Montessori, he believed in “learning by doing”—a phrase first coined by American John Dewey—in the Voukurs, or preliminary class. In 1922, Gropius modified the craft orientation of Bauhaus. He stated, “The teaching of craft is meant to prepare the student to design for mass production. Starting with the simplest tools and least complicated jobs he gradually acquires the ability to master more intricate problems and to work with machines, while at the same time, he keeps in touch with the entire process from start to finish” (Wick, 2000).

This caused the immediate resignation of Johannes Itten and ushered in the new Bauhaus. Moholy Nagy replaced Itten, which put him in charge of both the preliminary course and the metal workshop. He introduced students to “constructivist elementarism,” a concept that describes the economy of the designed object. He introduced students to wood, metal, wire and glass. He was not interested in collages and contrast of materials. Rather, he was interested in light and space.

The first design-build projects were two houses built on the campuses and furnished by the students. The Sommerfield House, designed by Gropius and Adolph Meyer, and the “Veruchshaus,” or experimental house, were designed as traditional “Heimatstil,” or log houses, with interiors of carved wood and intricate stained glass. The second house was a production object or living machine. The house was organized around an atrium space. All of the fittings, windows, door frames, furniture and light fixtures were built by the students in the workshops of new materials. Josef Albers designed the stained glass and built the installation with student help in 1922.

“The building contractor, Adolf Sommerfield, asked Walter Gropius to build a villa which, for reasons of economy, was to be made of teak salvaged from the wreck of a battleship. The villa was sited near Asternplatz, in the Dahlem district of Berlin“ (Droste, 1990).

The design was not generated and supplied by students, but by their professors, Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer. The foreman on the project, Fred Forbat, was a recent graduate. The interiors were completed in collaboration with the mural-painting, textile and woodworking workshops. “The laying of the foundation stone was celebrated in a precisely planned ceremony, underlining the importance of this first cooperative effort. For the topping out ceremony, the men had to wear guild clothing and the women wore specially designed head scarves to ensure a homogeneous, uniform picture” (Droste, 1990).


Figure 2.3: Marcel Breuer Table

The Breuer foyer table deserves examination. The table sits here as an element for the photograph only. Breuer moved the chair, which he designed, out of the way and placed the table here. It normally sat across from this space near the entry doors. It appears that this was done in order to reflect the explosive Tautian geometries into the polished stone top. The diagonal corner posts are pulled out away from the top and appear to be in dialogue with each other. Overall, the table has an unfinished quality. In the upper right corner of the image, one can see intricate carved patterns evocative of Wright’s Barnsdall House in Los Angeles, which are repeated as a pattern up the rail and newell post of the staircase.

“There was one problem which had nothing to do with the Bauhaus. Gropius attempted to protect the school from the effects of roaring inflation, and in this case, demanded that his client should pay more at each decrease in the value of the mark. Sommerfield was unhappy with Gropius’ persistent demands, and sarcastically asked the director whether Weimar was some kind of enclave within Germany, where the only legal tender was dollars or gold. Similar accounting problems arose with the few other private patrons, for whom Gropius’ practice carried out work in collaboration with the Bauhaus workshops, at or about the same time.” (Whitford, 1988)




Figure 2.4: Entrance Hall of the Sommerfield House

Marcel Breuer designed some of the furnishings for the house as part of his journeyman’s examination. He designed chairs and an entrance table in the foyer of the house. The design itself owes much to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, De Stijl and the Crafts Movement, particularly the work of William Morris. The curious blending of the explosive geometries, expressionist paintings and architecture of Bruno Taut can be seen in the diagonal geometries of apparently knot-free, clear wood. The wood was recycled and this may have led to the use of short pieces. There is also an apparent conflict between the diagonal geometries of the walls, stairs and the floor pattern, which does not harmonize with the explosive geometries.

The furniture also appears to be at odds with the space. In the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, the furniture grows out of the wall, or is made of materials and geometric patterns similar to the design of the building. Here, the furniture appears to stand out from the walls and even block, or partially block, passage to the staircase flow.

Figure 2.5: Sommerfield House, Berlin, Germany 1920-21. Coloured stained glass panels were designed and constructed by Josef Albers and his students.

The coloured glass mural in the stair hall at the Sommerfield house is one of the most exciting pieces created at the Bauhaus. This early work of Joseph Albers exhibits derived influences from Paul Klee and his grid paintings and landscape-inspired collages. The overall composition of the piece is designed to be in harmony with the diagonals of the walls and exterior of the building. The angled and inflected geometry of the glass is expressed both in the stair hall and the exterior of the building. Abstractions, of what appear to be open books, are interspersed through the piece, which make the statement about historical precedent and the importance of past knowledge. This also goes against Walter Gropius’ proclamation that history was not relevant to the Bauhaus.

It appears there was an inherent conflict between the professors and students and the office of Walter Gropius. This conflict caused, during the construction of the house, the resignation of Johannes Itten. Gropius expressed his concern, “Master Itten recently pronounced that one must decide either to produce personal, individual work in complete opposition to the commercial outside world, or to seek and understanding with industry.”(Droste, 2000) Gropius opposed this view and stated, “The Bauhaus in its present form will stand or fall depending on whether it accepts or rejects the necessity of commissions” (Droste, 2000).

The Sommerfield house can be viewed as a prototype that Walter Gropius created to express his vision of the school. This was the school working in partnership with Gropius’ own firm, and he wanted it to express ideas of school- based practice. The choice of client, however, was unfortunate. The client was a wealthy businessman, which created the image that the school was catering to elitist patrons.

The idea of the Live Project, or school-based commissions, was pivotal to the Bauhaus. Gropius constantly sought contact with outside industry and potential clients.

Figure 2.6: Prefabricated house by the Bauhaus students and faculty, 1924

The educational situation that forged the Bauhaus in Germany after WWI showed the chaos of post-war society compounded by the vestiges of a traditional, rigid division between the (academic) arts and (practical) crafts. Walter Gropius created the first Bauhaus in Weimar. In his Bauhaus Manifesto, Gropius declared that "the ultimate aim of all creative activity is the building." The building was jointly erected and embodied both the arts and the crafts, which were taught side-by-side at the Bauhaus. Students started as apprentices, progressed to journeymen, then completed their studies as young masters. Students had two master mentors: one for form (art) and the other for craft. In contrast with both history and other cultures, the Bauhaus embraced design for an industrial society, as opposed to a craft society. Its pedagogy was a leap forward that fused the best from the predecessor approaches and bridged gaps, art versus craft, for example, and academics versus practitioners.

In 1922, Gropius documented this pedagogy as a group of concentric circles depicting workshops of increasing skill and art as the student moved inward and deeper into mastery. Bauhaus students spent their first six months in the basic workshop studying fundamentals of form and materials by making arts and crafts. Those selected to continue spent three years studying "components" of design and building. In all stages of learning, students actually built what they designed.







Figure 2.7: “This diagram, which Gropius published in the Bauhaus statutes of 1922, illustrated the structure of the school curriculum. Training started with the six-month preliminary course (‘Vorlehre’). The two middle rings represent the three-year period of workshop training together with form theory. In reality, form theory was taught less systematically than this diagram suggests. Building (‘Bau’) – the final, highest stage of education – was not yet offered. Compared to the programme of 1919, the handicraft basis of workshop training is here supplemented by the Illinois Institute of Technology” – Mies van der Rohe, IIT Archives

Speaking to American educators later in his career, Gropius discussed the DBS as an educational model:

The designer should become a person of vision and of professional competence, whose task it is to coordinate the many social, technical, economic, and formal problems, which arise in connection with the building. He/she must recognize the impact of industrialization and explore the new relationships and constraints dictated by social and scientific progress.

In an age of specialization, method is more important than information. Training should be concentric rather than sectional with an emphasis on relations.

Design knowledge only comes by individual experience, where feedback on one’s own work is of paramount value. Through the feedback students receive when trying to build their designs, they quickly learn to account for constraints. The aim is to provide a rich and deep learning environment, facilitating a student to design and build ubiquitous computing, not only within human capability constraints, but also for human enjoyment, spirituality, etc.
At the start, basic design and shop practice combined should introduce the students to the elements of design and simultaneously the ideas of construction. In succeeding years, the design and construction studio should be supplemented by field experience. Construction should be taught with design, for they are directly interdependent.

Students should be taught to work in collaborative teams.

Case history studios should be studied in later years, rather than first, to avoid imitation and intimidation. Students learn to design better when first encouraged to explore, try, reflect upon, and integrate design and construction. (Walter Gropius, ACSA National Meeting, 1959)

The Bauhaus was closed by the Nazis in 1933, only 14 years after being founded, and having produced less than 500 graduates. These students had very progressive attitudes toward architecture and collaborative design. Gropius states: “The school set out, in the resurgence of optimism after World War I, to train a generation of architects and designers to accept and anticipate the demands of the twentieth century, using all of its resources—technical, scientific, intellectual and aesthetic—to create an environment to satisfy man’s spiritual and material needs” (Naylor, 1968).

…Let us create a new guild of craftsmen, without the barrier between craftsman and artist. Together let us conceive and create a new building of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity which will one day rise toward heaven from the hands of a million workers, like the crystal symbol of a new faith” (Gropius, 1919).

These words could have been written by William Morris fifty years earlier. In England, the first country to feel the effects of the Industrial Revolution, Joseph Paxton was creating a new aesthetic vocabulary in iron and glass. Architects preferred to follow John Ruskin. “We want no new style of architecture, the forms already known to us are good enough for us, and far better than any of us” (Ruskin, 1848). In The Seven Lamps of Architecture, William Morris described his dislike of the Machine Age. He believed in the artist’s responsibility to society and in the possibility of improving man by improving his environment. Morris rejected the machine on aesthetic and social grounds. “Unlike the British Guilds and craft societies of the nineteenth centuries the Werkbund was an association of manufacturers architects and craftsmen. Its aims laid down in its statutes were to unite artists, craftsmen, experts and patrons intent on an improvement of production through the collaboration of art, industry and the crafts” (Naylor, 1968).

When Walter Gropius took over the Bauhaus, he was 31. Even having grown up without the benefits of the Machine Age, he embraced technology. He studied architecture in Berlin and Munich. He trained with Peter Behrens beginning in 1907. Behrens' office was a training ground for other architects, including Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, who greatly influenced Gropius.

In 1908, when I had finished my preliminary training and embarked on my career as an architect with Peter Behrens, the prevalent conception in architecture and architectural education were still entirely dominated by the academic stylisation of the classical “Orders.” It was Behrens who introduced me to logical and systematical coordination in the handling of architectural problems. In the course of my active association with the important schemes on which he was engaged, and frequent discussions with him and other prominent members of the Deutscher Werkbund, my own ideas began to crystallize as to what the essential nature of building ought to be” (Naylor, 1968).

Gropius had demonstrated his ability to grasp the potentials of the new materials and techniques that were becoming available to architects and to suggest entirely new ways of using them. He also demonstrated foresight in the recognition of outstanding talent and the potential for talent. One of the most distinguishable aspects of the Bauhaus is the exceptional talent that he was able to assemble in such a short period of time. This talent, in architecture, industrial design, graphics and art, would later change the future of architecture profoundly.

2.3 Johannes Itten
Johannes Itten was one of the most influential Bauhaus professors. His inventive ideas involved integrating materials to enhance the design process. Itten stated, “The ability to invent through construction and to discover through observation is developed, at least at first, by undisturbed, uninfluenced and unprejudiced experiment that is a playful tinkering with concrete goals and experimental work” (Itten, 1932). The institution of the preliminary course, as a step in artists’ training, was not an invention of the Bauhaus or of Johannes Itten. Rather, it goes back, as we have seen, to the nineteenth century and it was expressly encouraged in the early twentieth century by numerous art school reformers. Itten describes the course objectives:

1. To liberate the creative forces and thereby the artistic talents of the students. Their own experiences and perceptions were to result in genuine work. Gradually, the students were to rid themselves of all the dead wood of convention and acquire the courage to create their own work.

2. To make the students’ choice of career easier. Here, exercises with materials and textures were a valuable aid. Each student quickly found the material with which he felt the closest affinity; it might have been wood, metal, glass, stone, clay, or textiles that inspired him most to create work....

3. To present the principles of creative composition to the students for their future careers as artists. The laws of form and colour opened up to them the world of objectivity. As the work progressed, it became possible for the subjective and objective problems of form and colour to interact in many different ways” (Wick, 2000).

Figure 2.8: Student work at Bauhaus (Wick, 2000)

According to Itten, everything perceptible is perceived through difference, and so a general theory of contrast formed the basis of the entire course. Itten stated, “The chiaroscuro (brightness-darkness) contrast, the material and texture studies, the theory of forms and colours, the rhythm and the expressive forms were discussed and demonstrated in terms of their contrast effect.” Itten would have his students in the preliminary course work through a number of contrasts, such as large-small, long-short, broad-narrow, straight-curved and pointed-blunt” (Wick, 2000).


Figure 2.9: Student work at Bauhaus (Wick, 2000)

Itten uses materials to teach design. It is through the process of montage that he lets these materials be understood as a learning tool. In a sense, each material is seen as a different representation of building materials. In order to heighten the students' senses, both optically and haptically, Itten carried out studies with materials and textures in his course that were taken over, in modified form, by his successor Laslo Moholy-Nagy. Itten remarks on these: “At the Bauhaus, I had long chromatic series of material samples made for the tactile assessment of the various textures. The students had to feel these sequences of textures with their fingertips and their eyes closed. After a little while their sense of touch improved dramatically. I then asked them to make texture montages of contrasting materials. Fantastic structures were produced and their effects were completely novel at the time” (Wick, 2000).

Itten goes on to express his interest in student-based material studies: “Experiment with materials. Attach pieces of straw, wood, iron, and cloth to a wooden board and then give all of them a coat of paint, go wild .... I am looking for a formative principle based on the knowledge of the form that determines the connections“ (Wick, 2000).

Itten’s essay, “On Materials,” describes his great interest in researching the materiality of things and their haptic qualities. A diary entry from 1918 shows that Itten’s ‘material studies’ were embedded within the overarching context of his theory of contrasts: “The study of nature is, above all, a study of the purely material. Contrasts: loose-solid, soft-hard, fluffy-smooth, rough-smooth, pointed-blunt, shiny-matte, fibrous-consistent, tight-knit-holey, cloudy/airy-rigid. Veil, wool, silk, knits, weaves, crocheted, hammered, filed, sawed, marbled, fur, glass, brush, metallic, leather, wood, flesh, grid, wheel, hair, stone” (Wick, 2000).

Itten integrated his ideas about materiality into his teaching: “So I hope that in this way the stroke, the line, will also be felt as something material, that the love of the line will grow from the love of silk” (Wick, 2000). These exercises with materials and textures were not an aesthetic end in themselves for Itten; rather, they occupied a precise place within his pedagogical process. Through a playful approach to various materials, he intended to give those starting their studies assistance in choosing from the subsequent teachings offered in the Bauhaus workshops. At the same time, the haptic, optic, and even emotional experiences acquired while putting together and “copying” the “material compositions,” along with the elementary light-dark exercises (scales and ribbons), would serve as a prerequisite for the study of nature, to which Itten devoted particular importance in his teachings, and which would remain at the centre of his own work during the Bauhaus years and long after (Wick, 2000).

It is also interesting to isolate Itten’s interest in natural studies, as evidenced in the following quote: “In order to train their observational abilities to be sharp and exact, beginners must make precise, photographically accurate drawings—in colour as well—from nature. I want to train the eye and the hand, and memory as well. That is to say, to learn to see by heart. First I train the physical body, the hand, arm, shoulder, and senses. That is the training of the external existing human being. The education of the mind follows step by step: clear, simple, thoughtful observation of that which can be perceived by the senses” (Wick, 2000).

The design process, according to Itten, sharpens the ability of the senses to recognize and to expand concrete thinking. He once expressed this connection in a concise formula, but did not further explain: “sharp senses exact real thinking.” Itten was not concerned with anatomically precise reproduction of an external reality, but with finding the typical “expressive form” and “inner movement.”




Figure 2.10: Student work at Bauhaus (Wick, 2000). This student's work involved surface treatments, using a single material and different tools.

Figure 2.11: Student work at Bauhaus using a single material and different tools (Wick, 2000). This image allows us to see the student working with different tools on similar size pieces of paper. The markings are Braille-like in nature and totally engage the haptic realm of learning. The first impression is that of building blocks, or terra cotta bas-relief. One then discovers that the student did each piece and then assembled the montage.



Dimensions of the optic, as well as the haptic, were followed around 1922-23 by a series of glass windows that reveal a strictly geometric, formal construction as well as a return to a traditional technique of craftsmanship, namely, lead glazing. Examples include the glass windows in the Sommerfield House in Berlin-Dahlem that was furnished by the Bauhaus workshops, which was one of their first design-build studios. “The forms were constructed by means of cutting out stencils for sandblasting; that is to say, the sandblasting removes some of the flashed colour and exposes the white under layer” (Wick, 2000).

Even at Weimar, the glass workshop, which was initially under the direction of Johannes Itten and then under Paul Klee in 1922-23, had difficulty asserting itself. After the Bauhaus moved from Weimar, it was not thought necessary to continue the glass workshop at the Dessau Bauhaus. Albers actually created his single-disk glass pictures, with their technical and formal innovations, without any institutional support, somewhat against the official trend, and without any connection to architectural tasks.

Critics of Itten’s Vorkus called it a kind of brain-washing, where students were to forget everything they had learned before the course, and the course opened them up to become receptive to these new ideas (Whitford, 1984). Josef Albers had enrolled in Itten’s preliminary course and was the same age as his teacher. Walter Gropius asked Albers to remain at the Bauhaus because Itten had praised Albers’ work as a student.

2.4 Josef Albers

Josef Albers' view of the Bauhaus was unique. He felt the school had strayed from its original goal:

The old school seeks, in addition to its main goal of popular education, to pass on abilities but only a few essential ones: language, writing, arithmetic. Today people want knowledge and so they want scientific departments. There, people are teaching, writing things up and writing things down, reading things aloud and looking them up, finding snacks everywhere but never eating their fill. The highest students are called auditors, they take many books and turn them into a single one, after which they are called doctor and they call up their own auditors: the teaching moves in circles. Today, passing something along without increasing its value is called wrangling. So the school produces wranglers rather than creators. Rather than having the students design, it has them take notes.... That is a way to make managers, not designers… Today’s youth notes the wrong direction: that ... historical knowledge hinders production. And that hearing teaching without being allowed to forget is like taking a meal without a stool to follow, and that the substitute for the latter—regurgitating in exams—is unhealthy… A lot of history leaves little room for work. The reverse—little history and much work—is our task” (Wick, 2000).

Albers was fascinated by the properties of materials and their potential when shaped. A piece of paper when cut and folded is remarkably strong and rigid. Insights gained from experimentation with sheets of paper, metal and fabric were used in his course. He elaborates on this point:

... Invention, and reinvention too, is the essence of creativity ... Learned working methods and their application develop insight and skill but not creative energies. The ability to invent through construction and to discover through observation is developed, at least at first, by undisturbed, uninfluenced and unprejudiced experiment which is initially a playful tinkering with a concrete goal, which is to say unprofessional (i.e., not burdened with instruction) experimental work. Sometimes the results of these experiments represent innovations in the application or treatment of material. But even when we evolve methods, which are already in use, we have arrived at them independently, through direct experience and they are our own because they have been rediscovered rather than taught. We know that this instruction by learning takes longer routes, even detours and false paths. But, no beginning is straightforward. And mistakes that are recognized encourage progress. Conscious detours and controlled false paths will sharpen criticism, will make those once burnt twice shy, and will produce a desire to find the right paths” (Wick, 2000).

The pedagogical ideas of John Dewey (1859-1952) had a profound influence on Albers, as evidenced by his belief in “learning and not teaching, the principle of trial and error as the condition for the creative process, and learning by discovering as a necessary element of teaching creativity.” With these two points, Albers demonstrated that he was an educator who took the progressive educational ideals of the pedagogical reform movement of the period around and after 1900 and productively applied them to the field of artists’ training. Dewey’s writings on pedagogy, including The School and Society and Democracy and Education, were published during the first two decades of the twentieth century in German translation and were helpful for the reform pedagogy movement, especially for Kerschensteiner. Dewey’s pedagogical pragmatism, which he himself characterized as “instrumentalism,” can be summarized briefly as follows: The school should prepare students for practical life; consequently, dead book knowledge (ancient languages, to some extent mathematics as well) should be abandoned. Thus, “learning by doing” is the fundamental pedagogical principle.

Albers saw his own view of practical instruction in deliberate contrast to the practical instruction of the work school, which was focused only on craft skills “where there is a bit of cabinetmaker’s work, a little bookbinding, a bit of tailoring. Then, sawing and planing (the most difficult of the cabinetmaker’s tasks), filing and driving, pasting and gluing all remain unproductive” (Wick, 2000). Although Albers was drawn to the handicrafts, he tried to expand the dimension of the creative, which he considered essential. In his “Werklicher Formunterricht” (instruction in form through work), Albers rigorously limited the use of tools at first in order to order to activate the students' creative energies and to counteract a tendency to fall into actions guided by tradition. He explains this point:

... Out there [in the handicrafts and industry], paper is usually used lying down, flat, and glued, which means that one side of the paper usually loses its expression, and the edge is almost never used. That gives us an opportunity to use paper standing, uneven, sculpturally vivid, with both sides and an emphasis on the edges ... Thus the material is intentionally treated differently than it is outside but not on principle. Not in order to do it differently (that usually means considering the norm) but in order not to make it like the others do (whereby the emphasis is on the method). That means not to imitate but to search on one’s own and to learn to find on one’s own constructive thinking“ (Wick, 2000).

In contrast to the official opinion at the Bauhaus (as stated in the founding manifesto) that art cannot be taught, Albers took a somewhat modified standpoint on the issue. He believed that art could not be taught directly, but that it could be “learned.” This linguistic nuance contains that which distinguishes the principles of Albers’ concept of education from the practical training of the old school, as manifested in the activities of the art academies.

The teaching of design by Josef Albers and his intention to abolish hierarchy and integrate the arts remains the core belief at the Bauhaus. Albers' teaching methods were very different than those of his colleagues. “His particular approach did not include the teaching of theory (at least not directly), and here he departed from the teaching methods of Itten, Klee and Kandinsky (Wick, 2000). Albers was more concerned with exposing his students to making and later infering theoretical principles. Albers promoted the notion of flexible teaching, by which experimentation is encouraged and failure acceptable.

Hired in 1923 by Walter Gropius to teach one section of the preliminary course, Albers was asked to expose his students to materials and methods of craft. Where Itten encouraged students to make collages using different materials, Albers limited the students to a single material. This reductive process allowed for the students to learn about basic design elements such as texture, surface, structure, space and form. Many of these exercises were done in paper or cardboard and offered an open-ended approach. In 1929, Albers wrote a description for the course that included the phrase “inductive learning experiences without instructed leadership, to achieve one’s own experiences through self-selected and directed assignments. Albers was not interested in all the students following the same method; instead he allowed each student to find his own way of solving a problem.

Understanding the difference between “material studies” (Materialstudie) and “matter studies” (Materiestudie) is helpful for grasping Albers' method. In the material studies, the students made projects that emphasized the materials' inner energies or capacity. In the matter studies, students studied the materials' external image and concentrated on texture, form and contrast. “[Albers] brought wood, metal, glass, stone, textiles and paint into his class and discussed their properties, and took his students on visits to local factories and workshops” (Horwitz, 2002). He was not interested in the students' prior knowledge. He wanted them to be inventive and work without preconception through direct experience.

From 1923 on, this work-study was an integral part of the preliminary course and compulsory for all new students. The work-study [Werkarbeit] should not be confused with the practical instruction [Werklehre] that followed the preliminary course.

The work with materials in this course was planned to prepare the first semester students for later craft-studies in the various Bauhaus workshops. The students were introduced to a simple and elementary, but appropriate use of the most important craft materials, such as wood, metal, glass, stone, textiles and paint, and to an understanding of their relationships as well as the differences between them. In this way we tried, without anticipating later workshop practice, and without workshop equipment, to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of materials and the principles of construction. To this end we analysed typical treatments and combinations of materials, and worked them out with our hands” (Wick 2001).

Albers' studio visited the workshops of box-, chair- and basket-makers, of carpenters and cabinet-makers, of coopers and cart wrights, in order to learn the different uses of wood; the different characteristics of flat grain and quarter-sawing, split, bent and laminated wood; and to learn the various methods of joining: gluing, nailing, pegging and screwing. He states, “We tried to apply our knowledge to the making of useful objects ... Thus, at first, we studied material more or less on a traditional handicraft basis” Albers abandoned the method of taking from various crafts an eclectic mix of specific techniques, considering it pedagogically inadequate (“finding snacks everywhere but never eating their fill”) (Wick, 2000).

Albers saw the importance of a connection to industry. His preliminary course instruction was based upon two pillars: exercises with matter (matiere) and exercises with materials (material). The matiere exercises aimed to help develop the sensory recognition of the surfaces of materials. The material exercises were concerned with exploring immanent features of the materials, such as stability, load-bearing capacity, strength, and so on, that is, to examine their “inner energies” (Wick, 2000).

The exercises with matiere show that Albers was building on the work of Itten and Moholy-Nagy. Later in Moholy-Nagy’s course, the equilibrium studies were given more time than the exercises with tactile and surface aspects; in Albers’s course, by contrast, the real emphasis was placed on the material exercises. This practice was Albers’ most original and unmistakable contribution to the pedagogy of the Bauhaus.

Albers further describes the connection to industry: “We find ourselves in an economically oriented age. Formerly the bonds that came from world-views were more important. Today no one can exist without considering economic aspects: We are concerned with economic form ... Economic form results from the function and the material. The recognition of the function is, of course, preceded by the study of the material. Thus our considerations of form will begin with the study of the material” (Wick, 2000).

This decision to abandon a basic instruction, in which students merely paint and draw, in favour of a systematic study of materials, of their constructional, functional and economic requirements and possibilities, was didactically significant in that it related to the Bauhaus founding manifesto of 1919, which read that the “mere drawing and painting world of the pattern designer and the applied artist must become a world builds again” (Wick, 2000). The basic purpose of these material exercises was to develop the general ability of “constructional thinking,” as construction does not relate exclusively to architecture.

Hannes Beckmann, a student at the Bauhaus from 1928 to 1931, describes his first impression of Albers’ preliminary course (at length):

Josef Albers entered the room, carrying with him a bunch of newspapers, which were distributed among the students. He then addressed us, saying something like this: 'Ladies and gentlemen, we are poor, not rich. We can’t afford to waste materials or time. We have to make the most out of the least. All art starts with a material, and therefore we have first to investigate what our material can do. So, at the beginning we will experiment without aiming at making a product. At the moment we prefer cleverness to beauty. Economy of form depends on the material we are working with. Notice that often you will have more by doing less. Our studies should lead to constructive thinking ... I want you now to take the newspapers you got and try to make something out of them that is more than you have now. I want you to respect the material and use it in a way that makes sense—preserve its inherent characteristics. If you can do without tools like knives and scissors, and without glue, the better.' And with these words he left the room, leaving us quite flabbergasted. He returned hours later and asked us to put the result of our efforts on the floor. There were masks, boats, castles, airplanes, animals ... little figurines. He referred to all this as kindergarten products, which could have been made better in other materials. He pointed then at a study of extreme simplicity, made by a young Hungarian architect. He simply had taken the newspaper and folded it lengthwise so that it was standing up like a folding screen. Josef Albers explained to us how well the material was understood and utilized; how the folding process was natural to paper, because it resulted in making a pliable material stiff. He further pointed out to us that a newspaper lying on the table would be hidden. Now that the paper was standing up, both sides had become visually active. The paper had lost its tired look, its lazy appearance. After a while we caught on to his way of seeing and thinking. Fascinating studies in all kinds of materials, like paper, corrugated cardboard, kitchen matches, wire, metal, were produced” (Wick, 2000).

Albers stressed optimal use, or doing as much as possible without loss or waste. Teaching economy of materials meant teaching rational, planned action. “Nothing unused is permitted in any form, otherwise the calculations will not work out, because chance has played a role” (Wick, 2000). Economy of materials implies discipline, and cleanliness and exactness are the most important factors in discipline. Economy in the use of materials leads to an emphasis on lightness, which was a widely accepted goal at the Bauhaus (in Moholy-Nagy’s course, for example). This was realized in the realm of product design by Marcel Breuer and his steel tube chair.

2.5 Summary

The Bauhaus significantly influenced architectural education. Many of the professors migrated to the United States during World War II to teach and practice, profoundly affecting North American educational pedagogy.

Both Johannes Itten and Joseph Albers taught in the United States and the concept of learning-by-doing was a central theme in their coursework. These professors revolutionized design education through the use of simple teaching methods, which did not emphasize preconceptions. Their interest in the nature of materials and the importance they placed on the basic understanding of these materials are paramount.




CHAPTER THREE: An Overview of the DBS

3.1 Introduction
3.2 The DBS in the United Kingdom
3.3 A Brief History of Construction in Architectural Education
3.4 Construction as a Learning Tool
3.5 The Importance of Materiality
3.6 The Value of Workmanship
3.7 Christopher Alexander
3.8 Design-Build Programmes
3.9 Summary


3.1 Introduction

The only way you can build, the only way you can get the building into being, is through the measurable. You must follow the laws of nature and use quantities of brick, methods of construction, and engineering. But in the end, when the building becomes part of living, it evokes unmeasurable qualities and the spirit of existence takes over. —Louis I. Kahn

“Before I go any further, however, I think I should explain exactly whom I mean by architect: for it is no carpenter that I would have you compare to the greatest exponents of other disciplines; the carpenter is but an instrument in the hands of the architect” (Alberti, 1988). With this quote, Alberti demonstrates that he does not see the architect’s role as a builder. Was this the beginning of architects seeing themselves as above and different from builders? Perhaps it was a slight miscalculation that slowly guided the profession in this particular direction? The Latin word architectus is derived from the Greek words archi (a person of authority) and tekton (builder, fabricator or craftsman), indicating that the architect is involved in both the conception and construction of buildings. The interrelationship of theory (conception) and practice (construction) has not always assumed equal status. Over time the role of theory has been eclipsed by practice. As a result, the aspects of building originally linked with construction are given to the constructor, as the architect has elevated himself to a higher role and is more concerned with theoretical and aesthetic aspects.

Building is a cyclical process, capable of connecting the realm of idea to its reality through the act of construction itself. The Greek word techne, in which the word technology is rooted, refers to both “art” and “skill.” The notion of techne, the art of making, and its relationship to architecture is very important. During the Renaissance, when the architect gained professional standing between the patron (client) and the constructor (contractor), a schism formed between the architect and constructor. It placed the architect above the builder, altering the course of the profession.

This chapter will demonstrate how “making” in architectural education has emerged as a learning tool. Steve Badanes leads a design-build course at the University of Washington. His firm, the Jersey Devils, has always advocated designing at full scale and the act of making. Recently, a number of schools have formed design-build programmes, which were discussed in a recent article called “Learning from Construction” in Architecture magazine: “The term design-build is a slight misnomer for these courses, which are intended less as surveys of the popular alternative delivery method than as hands-on clinics to teach students about sites, structures, materials and joinery. Academic design-build programmes remove design projects from the studio vacuum and push students to reconcile their drawings with real structures they can build, weld wire and plumb. They encourage students to work as part of collaborative teams, resolving conflicts, managing finances, and communicating with clients“ (1996).

3.2 The DBS in the United Kingdom
The Live Project and the Design Build Studio had similar intentions, such as the notion of connecting the student’s education with architectural practice, but the DBS concentrates on actual design through building where the LP concentrates on an emulation of the process within the architectural firm such as the preparation of construction documents.

The Live Project ideas as a pedagogical method rapidly spread through the UK and culminated in the well attended 1971 RIBA Forum for Teachers in Schools of Architecture (discussed later in this section). The professors appeared to see a distinct benefit in the LP Learning Objectives as a way to bring a layer of practice-based reality to the abstract thinking and learning processes present in most UK Schools of Architecture.

The projects were undertaken between the years 1958-1972 at numerous schools in the UK from Birmingham, to Oxford to Brighton and to the Architectural Association in London appeared to reflect an energized movement amongst professors. This movement was certainly cajoled and led by Professor Denys Hinton who became a national figure and organized numerous conferences on the subject and published white papers on the subject.

During the 1950s and 60s, a working DBS programme was operational at the Birmingham School of Architecture. Through a series of on-site interviews, the researcher found that Professors Denys Hinton and Douglas Jones, two well-regarded teachers, felt strongly that academia and practice should be better connected. Another professor, Oscar Naddermir, also felt strongly about implementing a DBS programme, termed “live project” in the U.K. Though this study concentrates on North American architectural education, findings from the U.K. prove directly transferable and beneficial to architectural education. Two interviewees in particular provide a great deal of insight for the study: Alan Green, who was a student from 1955 to 1960, and Professor Denys Hinton.

Alan Green reminisces about his experience with the live project as a student:

The Live Project was very formative in my career, really. These professors were passionate about what they did, and it made its way to the students. We had thirty people in our class and designed a fire brigade in Coventry, at Tile Hill. We designed the building in competition and then actually prepared construction documents for the project during the first semester. Then during the second semester, we went out the site. At first we observed, but when the workmen felt comfortable with us, we were allowed to work with them to some extent. It let us see how difficult it is to build. One bricklayer told me to design all of my buildings so that the mason did not have to cut the bricks. That idea really stayed with me through my whole career. I always designed around the module of the brick. I don’t know if I would have done that without the experience on site (2002).

Green goes on to describe how the contractor normally sees the architect as an enemy, telling of how the workmen joke that RIBA actually stands for “Remember I am the Bloody Architect.” He lists three guidelines that, if adopted by an architect, could improve the process:

• Everyone on site contributes to the project;
• Allow suggestions to be made during construction and you will have a better building; and
• Design is never perfect. It always changes, whether you are designing a spoon, a boat or a building.

Professor Emeritus Denys Hinton, who is 82 and lives in Greetham, discusses the live projects from his point of view:

Theory is unintelligible. We sought for a fuzzing of the boundaries between training and practice. I want to emphasize that we did not want to to be seen as practice; we wanted to integrate this with the learning. For us the maturity of the student was very important. This was not just an academic project and this was not just working on a site, it was more. If you consider Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion, then you must think of making a fine wine: It takes confidence; it takes time. The slower students needed to build confidence in themselves. They were good at running meetings; some could not really design well. They had other strengths. Some people enjoyed running the meetings or managing the project. The group would develop public sector projects working with the College of Art and the City of Birmingham. We had Eric Abbott and Jim Roberts working with us—they did a fine job. The city architect helped us find and select the projects and we had about thirty students on the live projects at a time. As you know, assessment was difficult in group projects. We also set up policies for the projects just like a firm. We also met with the local architects to let them know we were not taking their bread and butter. Architecture is not a discipline—it is a Portuguese man-of-war.

An impressive number of U.K. schools participated in the RIBA Forums for Teachers in Schools of Architecture held in March, 1971. Following are briefs from the schools, which closely approximate the case studies in this study:

From Newcastle:

The operation is non-profit making. By agreement with the client, the number and value of projects is adjusted to enable the office to operate to the optimum educational benefit without financial liability to the university. All expenses and salaries are paid from the professional fees, and the University Finance Officer acts as bank manager and accountant. The aims of the office are predominantly educational, that is to take fourth- and fifth-year students through a totally realistic design situation with direct confrontation with clients, consultants, manufacturers and statutory authorities in a controlled educational programme. The results of on-going research in the Building Science Section of the school are fed into the design process where applicable by direct consultancy and through the normal educational processes. The construction process is supervised by the professional staff that conduct tutorials on the site with students form all years of the school (Professor J.H. Napper, 1971).

The brief from the Birmingham School of Architecture:

• Aims: Improve professional competence by direct contact with live designing/building situations and the creation of a discipline as a framework to architectural studies.
• Potential: By replacing some simulated projects with real ones, it is possible to develop full design involvement, sequential responsibility and techniques for adapting to the tempo of the project.
• Criteria: Both the system and the project should permit comprehensiveness, a continuity of experience, flexibility and a controllable scale of project and operation.
• Growth of Discipline: Essentially experimental, live projects led to the use of professional techniques and revealed new aspects of the learning process.
• Methods: The Live Project Office is administered by a principal with supporting staff forming separate working units within the school and responsible to the director.

Some of the best schools in the U.K. were interested in and participating in this movement. The conference included Alan Balfour of Dundee, as well as faculty from the Architectural Association in London, the Bartlett School, Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Oxford, Brighton and Leeds.

The aims of the live projects were twofold:

• To improve, by direct experience, the design/build process and the professional competence of students
• To create a discipline within the educational system

As part of the pattern of higher education, the study of architecture aims at developing maturity. Professor Hinton describes this (in students) as:

• Achieving a sense of one’s own identity
• The ability to form warm and rewarding relationships
• Developing awareness of one’s own environment
• The ability to perform practical tasks

He continues with D.W. McKinnon's description of creativity:

• A response that is novel, or at the very least, statistically infrequent
• Adapting to reality, serving a problem, fitting a situation of accomplishing some recognisable goal
• Sustaining the original insight, evaluation, elaborating and developing it to the full

The live project received criticism not only from practitioners, but from within the academic department, as Hinton discusses:

There were other more serious criticisms on the academic side. It was said that because of their limited scope and the need to work within the experience of the student, The live project failed as a mind stretching exercise, and represented an abject compromise with the lowest common denominator in architectural practice. It was also said that the live projects disrupted the syllabus and that it was impossible to achieve the flexibility, which they demanded. Furthermore, no school could really provide either the professional service or the continuity that was needed and that, in attempts to do so, all kinds of ad hoc arrangements became necessary which tended to take the project away from the students who were supposed to be benefiting from them. Finally, it was claimed that with all the talk of realism, a school could not effectively reproduce the conditions of practice and that therefore, the experience which students were getting was not in fact real, but a sort of laboratory reproduction of the real thing (2002).

The researcher shared the work of the students at Yale, Auburn and Southern Polytechnic State University with Professor Hinton, who was not aware that a parallel movement existed in North America. He describes, thirty years after the Live Projects Conference, his thoughts:

One of the justifications of a live project organisation is to offer a closer study of the design process and of the results in practice. In the past, we have been able to achieve the former, but only to a limited extent the latter. We have had limited resources, a lack of professional continuity and very few research facilities. In addition, the diversity of projects has meant that there has been few opportunities for taking the same problem on a second time. In other schools, particularly where single clients have offered a series of similar projects, the opportunities have probably been greater. The need therefore for a permanent ongoing professional base and for a parallel research unity with easy interchange between the two is clear now. The introduction of practical training after the third year of schooling—in addition to supplanting of the original aims for practical experience—interposes a break, which makes it unsuitable for every project. Projects are more likely to be commissioned and allocated to the most appropriate year in the course. Often, if they are sophisticated projects, they should follow the senior year following the practical training. It follows that if the scope of the project is considerable that students will not be able to see them through (2002).

Following is a diagram of the typical architectural student in North America in comparison to that of a student in the U.K.:






Figure 3.1: North American Architectural Education







Figure 3.2: U.K. Architectural Education

The new characteristic of live projects, therefore, is the experience will be cyclic, that students will participate in projects initiated by other students and even take over for them. [Researcher's note: Professor Mockbee has put this practice into effect in the Rural Studio.] Projects will not only be larger and more complex, but will have extended research programmes attached to them. Our own work at Hodge Hill has already been extended in this way both in the field of liturgical planning and acoustic design and also in studies of the building in use. Some projects will grow out of programmes originally conceived in purely academic terms. The simultaneous setting up of a permanent office with its own professional staff and an interdisciplinary research unit means that we can handle projects that grow in either direction. Some commissions will be for the design of buildings in the course of which research requirements will be generated. In others, research commissions will develop the need for work in the Project Office in development schemes. In all of these we see the continuance of links with other areas of study in management, architectural science, history, sociology, constructional design and information services and retrieval. Live projects have grown in scale and prove to be an exciting template for the future of architectural education. So far as we know, Birmingham is the only architectural school in the country where students can design real buildings, the only school to depart significantly form the accepted belief in a training isolated from practice or from the industry (Hinton, 1958).

Hinton was interested in the combination of working and training and the live projects offered a new way of teaching. “The reasons why we carry out these live projects hardly need stating. However we do feel that the present academic approach to the teaching of architects is too abstract in that they design buildings without enough access to the facts. This is not only a bad example to them for the future, but to the intelligent student it is boring, learning should be attractive, but to be attractive it must be comprehensible. If it is comprehensible it will be easy. It seems to us best to gain an insight into building the direct way, because this is the comprehensible way to learn” (Hinton, 2002).

3.3 A Brief History of Construction in Architectural Education
In the very beginning of formal architectural education, in the early 1800s at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the designer was encouraged to formulate an esquisse drawing to capture the intention of a design. This drawing was then stored and, as the project was developed, the integrity of the idea had to be maintained. Students took classes in geometry, perspective, stereometry, mechanics and the Architectural Orders. The tectonics of the buildings only emerged in the detailed watercolour plans, elevations and sections. Construction was removed from the design process. A two-dimensional analogue replaced the building itself. Even the three-dimensional model was removed from the design process on most projects.

In the German Meisterklasse, architectural workshops were offered by practising architects. During the early 1900s at the German Bauhaus, under the direction of Henry Van de Velde, Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, this Beaux Arts attitude was eschewed for a craft based approach. In this school, the allied arts were collaborative. The education of the architect entered the tectonic realm of study again, harking back to the Medieval arts and crafts guilds and a spirit of making.

Many American schools followed this model when formulating their programmes, but somehow the concept of building full-scale prototypes or studying details in the tectonic realm was eclipsed and replaced with a representation-based pedagogy. These representations in elevation, plan or three-dimensional models were rarely at full-scale. This analogue-based approach changed architecture as these students graduated with a view of architecture removed from the actual act of making.

Architects like Thomas Jefferson, Frank Lloyd Wright and Tadao Ando learned architecture with little formal instruction and mostly from personal reading, travel, and building experience. Jefferson made many trips to visit architecture and undertook a lifelong design-build project, which went through many conceptual and tectonic changes for his house, Monticello, in Virginia.

When the American Institute of Architects was formed in 1859, a clear demarcation was made that isolated the architect from the contractor. In the early 1970s, Atlanta architect John Portman, who advocated that the architect not only design, but also construct and own the building, breached this dividing line. The AIA immediately condemned this activity. Since then, the AIA’s decision has been reversed, and design-build firms have emerged across the country. Still, most of the current design-build work lacks substance and innovation, perhaps partly due to the fact that construction is not yet a part of the education of the architect.

The University of California at Berkeley College of Architecture devised an example of how construction can enter education. The college centres on the building process, a process developed with the advice and coursework of Professor Christopher Alexander. These students build full-scale study models using scaffolding and plastic sheeting on site to test design ideas. “Both the practising architects and students entering the profession lament the lack of understanding that architecture students today have for construction and the built reality of their designs. Their lack of building know-how comes not from any deficiency on their part, but from two characteristics inherent in the institution of architectural education. The first is the growing fracture between design and construction, which finds the architect drifting further and further from the contact with the craft of building. The second is the growing imbalance between conceptual thinking and “the idea” (Elvin, 1993).

The Parkstadt Workshop was one example in which 1:1 models at full scale and on site were used. In this case, the professors (Hajo Neis and George Elvin) encouraged the students of the Fachhochschule in Frankfurt, Germany to build arcades.

This method weaves design and construction into a continuous, unified building process—one with several advantages over the traditional way of designing at the drafting board and handing the drawings over to a contractor for execution. Design takes place on site, where we feel the wind, see the way the light falls, and experience the view through the columns to the open field. This takes us away from the once-removed world of the office to the site, and engages our body as well as our mind in the design process. It also gives us a more shareable language of design. In the course of working in this way, I have seen time after time how many arguments about specific design issues that can go unresolved in the office or classroom can be resolved quickly once we get together on site and test things directly. This happens naturally because, when we talk about an object abstractly, we each have a slightly different view of the thing. But when we stand in front of it, and experience it as built reality, we are dealing with the thing itself, and this eliminates some of the confusion that inevitably results from discussions based on drawings and explanations once-removed from the real thing (Elvin, 1993).

Cranbrook in Michigan has always held that the theoretical development of a student should include tectonics. Similarly, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Wisconsin and Arizona has included on-site work. At Yestermorrow in Vermont, non-architects and architecture students learn the ideas and skills of building side by side. It is Yale University and Auburn University, though, that set the paradigm for the DBS in architectural education. The Building Project and the Rural Studio have been incorporated into the curriculum and are integral parts of their programmes.

3.4 Construction as a Learning Tool
Marco Frascari, an architecture professor at the University of Pennsylvania, comes closest to describing the relationship between construction and thinking in his essay “The Tell-Tale Detail.” He describes learning as an exchange between the construing and the construction and a balance between the thinking about and the making of an artefact (Frascari, 1987).

The word techne describes the creative revealing of ideas through construction. This revealing can only be approximated in chipboard and graphite on trace paper. The model materials and drawings are part of an interconnected process from idea to testing ground (in model and drawings) to reality and construction. The designer’s task is to then return a project back to the realm of ideas.

Alberti defined construction as a linking of the lineamenta (design) and structura (construction). In this way, he sees architecture in the Vitruvian sense—that is, as a composition of the actual work and the theory supporting it. The lineamenta derives from the mind in thoughts, ideas and drawing; the structura and its materia derive from the natural forces of nature and are presented by skilled craftsmen.

In architecture today, the construction documents define the limit of the architect’s role. “Despite the designer’s customary obligation to oversee construction of his work to completion, rarely does this supervisory experience in making find its way back to the drawings. The drive for maximum efficiency in today’s processes do not allow it” (Zambonini, 1986). Compare this to the realization of Richard Serra, who said of his projects in large sheets of welded plate steel: “the work is the work.” In a sense, he echoes Frascari because the work must have an idea to be work. Without the idea, design is simply labor.

3.5 The Importance of Materiality
Materials should be presented as tools for design. The architectural curriculum should include the teaching of these materials at full scale so students have an understanding of construction techniques, forms making possibilities and symbolic qualities. A possible order of presentation follows:
1. Wood
2. Stone
3. Brick
4. Steel
5. Concrete
6. Experimental materials, i.e., composites, carbon fiber,plastics, etc.

A building can be made without skill, without ideas, without inspiration, but it cannot be built without labour. The Shakers of the Northeast U.S. built communal villages as a cooperative and social project. We can study the wood connections of mortise, tenon and dovetail joints and see how the components were assembled by many. One beam in a Shaker building could take up to twenty people to lift into place. When the balloon frame was invented in the early 1800s, a new type of wood framing was discovered—one of very light construction that required only two people to assemble piece by piece. This invention made building by a smaller group of people possible, and therefore, less of a communal act.

Perhaps the most valuable part of the construction experience is viewing the role of details as design generators. The detail holds the genetic information for any design project, allowing the entire design to be revealed in the smallest piece. In this way of making, the parts inform the whole. Marco Frascari describes this process of revealing: “Details are much more than subordinate elements; they can be regarded as the minimal units of signification in the architectural production of meanings. Alberti’s definition is helpful in that it implies a harmony of the parts of construction. He defines beauty as the concinnity of all of the details in unity to which they belong- in other words nothing can be added or taken away“ (1987).

Some Japanese temples are rebuilt every twenty years. Such ritual rebuilding is a purifying act, during which the craftsperson is involved in a societal rebirth. “Due to the relative perishability of untreated wood, Japanese structures were everywhere subject to cyclical rebuilding, the most famous instance being the monumental Naiku and Geku precincts at Ise that, with their attendant buildings, are rebuilt every twenty years. On these occasions a new shrine is built on the adjacent site of a previous shrine, this sacred domain lain dormant over the intervening twenty year period” (Frampton, 1995).

3.6 The Value of Workmanship
It is now appropriate to discuss the notion of “workmanship” as an integral element of this study. Worksmanship, and the idea of craft, have constantly been debated amongst architectural and art historians. The Bauhaus attempted to fuse art and craft and harness the power of mass production without losing hand craft in the design of objects and buildings. This debate is presented in a 1979 essay by Wendell Berry entitled “A Good Scythe.” In the essay, Berry discusses the difference between a power scythe or weed cutter and a hand scythe. He describes some of the problems with the power scythe:
• The power scythe was heavy.
• It was clumsy to use, and got clumsier as the ground got steeper and rougher. The tool that was supposed to solve the problem of steep ground (actually) worked best on level ground.
• It was dangerous. As long as the scythe was attached to you by the shoulder strap, you weren’t likely to fall on the naked blade. But it was a naked blade and it did create a constant threat of flying rock chips, pieces of glass etc.
• In rank growth, the blade tended to choke, in which case you had to kill the engine or it would twist the drive shaft in two.
• Like a lot of gas engines not regularly used, this one was temperamental and undependable, and dependence on an engine that won’t run is a plague and a curse.

He comments: “When I review my own history, I am always amazed at how slow I have been to see the obvious. I don’t remember how long I used that “labour-saving” power scythe before I finally donated it to help enlighten one of my friends- but it was too long. Nor do I remember all the stages of my enlightenment” (1979).

Berry discovered that the modern power scythe was actually not really an improvement on the hand scythe. He purchased a hand scythe and reflected on its benefits:

• It is light.
• It handles gracefully and comfortably even on steep ground.
• It is far less dangerous than the power scythe
• It is quiet and makes no fumes
• It is much more adaptable to conditions than the power scythe- in ranker growth, narrow the cut and shorten the stroke.
• It always starts, provided the user will start. Aside from reasonable skill and care in use, there are no maintenance problems.
• It requires no fuel or oil. It runs on what you ate for breakfast.

He concludes, “Once the fundamentals are mastered, the Marugg grass scythe proves itself and excellent tool. It is the most satisfying tool that I have ever used. In tough grass it cuts a little less uniformly than the power scythe. In all other ways, in my opinion it is a better tool” (1979).

Berry's account captures the art of workmanship and the DBS. It relates to the study because it describes the struggle of the arts-and-crafts movement and the Bauhaus: the loss of hand craft. The “improvements” were not always seen as improvements. The hand versus the power scythe is a parable describing the struggle and loss of hand tools, and as Berry later describes, handwork.

It is now important to delve into the debate over handwork and relate it to the DBS in a critical sense. It is difficult to describe what craft really is. Frampton, Metcalf and Carpenter, who are art and architectural historians and writers, all argue over the core and appreciation of hand craft and the need to instill this in students. Metcalf refuted the viewpoint that craft is distinguished by usefulness, stating that “that definition has the unfortunate effect of insisting that many kinds of objects, from silver centrepieces to contemporary sculpture in clay and glass, are not craft” (2000). He continues, “As an alternative, one could propose that craft is identified by the traditional mediums of metal, clay, fiber, wood, glass, except that plastics, found objects and dozens of other materials have been used to make craft objects. So this definition is incomplete, too. Nonetheless, there remains on absolutely necessary component of any craft object: it must be made substantially by hand” (2000).

One of the primary determinants of the DBS is handwork. Even in the studio, with the creation of models and drawings, handwork is present and is vital to good design. So it is important to determine the difference between process-oriented handwork and product-oriented handwork. With the advent of computers, these hand drawings and models have taken on a new direction. Metcalf states, “We have become accustomed to the idea that hand craft can include some mechanical assistance. What the exact proportion should be is subject to debate, but most people agree that a craft object is made largely by hand, in a small studio setting and in fairly modest numbers. Studio crafts are clearly distinct from objects made by machines, or in large numbers in factory settings” (2000).

Not since the late-70s has a scholar critically analysed and investigated the nature of craft. In his two books, The Nature and Art of Workmanship and The Nature and Aesthetics of Design, author David Pye proposes a definition of design and craft and describes the design-build process across disciplines. Metcalf addresses craft in relation to industrial production: “... The new century seems to bring an atmosphere of crisis to the crafts. How under the double onslaught of consumer culture and the new technology does one justify craft practice?” (2000).

Critics such as Lechtzin and Clark question why anyone would be concerned about this crisis and why anyone would bother making anything by hand today. Technology, automation and manufacturing cause the people of today to question the hand crafts, as demonstrated in Berry’s story about the hand scythe.

Metcalf describes the development of the human hand. “So it is now theorized that hand use, language and cognitions all evolved interdependently. You can regard the hand as an instrument of language and an extension of the brain” (2000). He reveals that research has shown that the ability to learn language is genetic. “The hand speaks to the brain as surely as the brain speaks to the hand. Self-generated movement is the foundation of thought and willed action, the underlying mechanism by which the physical and psychological coordinates of the self came into being. For humans, the hand has a special role and status in the organization of movement and in the evolution of human cognition” (Hinton, 2002).

Howard Gardner, an expert in human cognition at Harvard University, proposed that the human brain has at least six discrete types of intelligence, including musical intelligence, spatial intelligence, personal intelligence and bodily kinaesthetic intelligence. Metcalf comments on this information: “The evidence for bodily kinaesthetic intelligence is founded, again, in the study of brain damaged individuals. To support his separation of bodily intelligence from other types of cognition, Gardner sites various motor-control disorders caused by selective left hemisphere injuries. Brain-damaged individuals have shown the impairment of the ability to dress, to carry out verbal commands or to sequentially execute certain directions, in spite of their being in good physical condition and in spite of having understood the directions” (2000).

Gardner states, “Bodily intelligence is marked by the ability to use one’s body in highly differentiated and skilled ways, for expressive as well as goal directed purposes … Characteristic as well is the capacity to work skilfully with objects, both those that involve the fine motor movements of one’s fingers and hands and those that exploit gross motor movements of the body” (1985).

This type of intelligence exists in the athlete, the musician, the dancer and the craftsperson. “All crafts demand exceptional motor control, from the rapid dexterity required by glassblowing to the subtle coordination required in weaving” (Metcalf, 2000).

Metcalf’s reflection is included at length here because it is integral to the study in that it offers teachers a unique reflection on studio work:

Every craft teacher is familiar with the pattern of students taking an introductory studio course. A few might have some experience, but for most, the medium and processes are completely unfamiliar. The majority suffer through the course, get an adequate grade at the end of the semester and never return. But an occasional student—maybe one in 30 or 40—undergoes a transformation. Like everyone else she puts her hands on the material, she pushes it around, she gets a product. But unlike the majority, she recognizes something in the business of handling a material. She awakes; a light goes on. She’s motivated, hungry for more. She takes the next course and the next. Maybe she switches her major. And just maybe she changes her life and starts down the road to becoming a woodworker, a glassblower or a jeweller. What happens is this: A person who has a strong bodily kinaesthetic intelligence tuned to fine motor skills and good spatial intelligence will feel very comfortable working with their hands” (2000).

Metcalf confirms what the researcher has experienced at his own university. There appear to be some students who simply respond to working on DBS projects more than others. The student discovers that the work—the physical labour—conforms to a pre-existing knowledge and uncovers a gift he or she never knew existed.

Metcalf uses a story of twin sisters to make his point:

…When I taught at Kent State University, we once had identical twin sisters enter the art school. Most people couldn’t tell them apart, and they were inseparable at first. They took a wide range of introductory courses together, but one settled I ceramics and the other in jewellery. The clay major couldn’t stand the stiffness and resistance of the metal, and the jewellery major couldn’t stand the mud. I can’t imagine those aversions were learned; they seemed completely intuitive. In the craft world, it’s widely known that there are clay people, glass people, fibers people and metals people. Even within these mediums, there is room for different sensibilities: There are jewellers and silversmiths and blacksmiths; there are throwers and handbuilders; there are hot glass and cold glass workers. Each person is responding to some innate predisposition for a particular material, and a particular way of working it.“ (2000).

Therefore, it helps to see architecture students as craftspeople, working with their hands, attempting to design in the academic realm. The DBS attempts to connect students with the design process that a practising architect experiences, as well as the process of constructing a building that a contractor experiences.

The experience of architecture school for the typical student is daunting. There is much to learn: Drawing, models, scales, structures, theory and history all are being experienced at varying levels and intensities. Metcalf expands:

There is so much to learn, so many skills to perfect. It turns out that becoming skilful actually changes the brain. Think of a violinist playing scales; the idea is to make the operation so familiar that it can be performed flawlessly without thinking. This is not simple: It involves activating many different muscles in a very precise sequence. Playing scales also involves a feedback loop: The musician listens to each note to make sure it is on key and corrects as required. After awhile, it becomes automatic because neural pathways in the brain are altered with constant practice. Inside the brain, learning a series of movements consists of groups of neurons firing in a certain sequence (2000).

Three main factors are at work within the DBS experience in architectural education. They are characterised in the following diagram:



Simultaneity

Flow


Figure 3.3: Diagram of the DBS Experience

Simultaneity
Within the context of the DBS, simultaneity is central to the learning objectives and outcomes. This concept revolves around design and making (thought and construction) occurring at or near the same time. Simultaneity allows the emergent design ideas to be tested in a reality filter and re-tested repeatedly. This process is often aligned within the team context in the DBS and, sometimes, by an individual designer. The idea is tested in reality and at the same time, the real construction mock-up, or detail, is tested for allegiance or representational accuracy with the idea. The idea is often changed or adjusted in this process.

Materials are selected for their direct connection to the original idea. For instance, poured concrete was selected for the fluid Fallingwater project of 1942 by Frank Lloyd Wright because that material directly expresses the design concept. Within the team concept, simultaneity quickly reveals inherent weaknesses in the original design idea. It is an exciting and dynamic process, which, when understood, allows for a greatly enhanced design process and better architecture.

Process Flow
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi terms “flow” as a “type of pleasurable action,” and states, “Activities that induce flow have clear goals. These goals are challenging, but not impossible to complete. They provide immediate feedback and they are characterised by a deep state of concentration that is set apart from everyday experience. The combination of all of these elements causes a deep sense of enjoyment that is so rewarding people feel that expending a great deal of energy is worthwhile simply to be able to feel it” (1991).

Csikszentmihalyi describes the process of flow as needing rules and demanding skill. The activity cannot be so simple as to become boring, nor so complex as to result in failure, frustration or anxiety. The skill—earned only through practice and training—ensures that the individual has the tools needed to rise to the challenge (Metcalf, 2000).

The flow state is not easy to realize and the connection between the work and the craftsperson is very close. “Although the flow state appears to be effortless, it is far from being so. It often requires strenuous physical exertion, or highly disciplined mental activity. It does not happen without the application of skilled performance” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1991).

This discussion of flow can be applied to the DBS. When connected, these discreet acts of pleasure form a process. The notion of “process flow” is rich with potentialities. It is important to see this idea in its abstract terms and to allow for transformation to occur both in the individual and the work. The loss of preconceptions about both is what allows the inductive reasoning process to take place and for haptic cognition—between the work, the maker and the idea—to occur. After handing out a recent assignment for a community group project, the researcher waited to see how the group would respond. Not a lot of work happened for weeks as the group struggled to find its own way of working. Finally, almost at the point of exhaustion, the group became proficient and entered this zone of process flow. The final outcome was outstanding and the level of craft exemplary.

Haptic Cognition
Metcalf describes the notion of haptic cognition:

So I return to my initial question: Why bother to make anything by hand today? Because for those who practice it and for those who need antidote to the alienation of modern society, handwork can be meaningful. Individuals with a certain kind of bodily intelligence will find handwork to be a rewarding form of labour and expression. Some people use handwork to enter the flow state of intense and satisfying concentration. Handmade objects embody a human presence against a background of anonymity, and sincerity against a background of cynicism and irony. Handwork symbolises resistance to the culture of bigger, faster and right away. All of this is meaningful. As long as people have hands, some will try to use them carefully, attentively and with passion.

An awakening to the possibilities of working a particular material is only the beginning. In a sense, all mature craftspeople have served an apprenticeship. They spent years learning how to control their chosen medium; the learning process is slow, sometimes tedious, and often difficult. The individual who endures the apprenticeship used to be called a master, but Peter Dormer’s idea of tacit knowledge is more useful. Tacit knowledge comes only from practical, hands-on experience and cannot be learned simply by reading or recitation. It takes a lot of practice to learn how to solder with confidence, how to blow a thin glass vessel, or how to cut a perfect dovetail. This knowledge resides in the person, and recent research suggests that it consists of permanently altered neural pathways. In effect, it’s equivalent to the first definition of craft I offered: skilful labour (2000).

Pye states, “Any material has certain characteristics—hardness, strength, ductility, stiffness, etc.—and a certain amount of each is peculiar to any given kind of material“ (1978). He goes on to define six requirements of design:
1. It must correctly embody the essential principle of arrangement.
2. The components of the device must be geometrically related—in extent and position—to each other and to the objects in whatever particular ways suit these particular objects and this particular result
3. The components must be strong enough to transmit and resist forces as the intended result requires.
4. Access must be provided.
5. The cost of the result must be acceptable.
6. The appearance of the device must be acceptable.

Pye’s theory is valuable because no one else has written about the correspondence between craft and workmanship. He introduces us to the quandary that with an increase in the notion of design there has been a decrease in the interest of workmanship. “This has not happened because the distinction between workmanship and design is a mere matter of terminology of pedantry. The distinction between workmanship both in the mind of the designer and of the workman is clear. Design is what, for practical purposes, can be conveyed in words and by drawing; workmanship is what, for practical purposes, cannot. In practice, the designer hopes the workmanship will be good, but the workman devises whether it shall be good or not. The workman’s decision depends a great part on the environment” (1978).

For architectural education, the introduction to the notions of design and workmanship could be helpful. This distinction would call attention to the importance of materials and workmanship in the design process. Pye inspires us to rethink the theory of design, which he defines as what we convey in words or drawing. This definition is not enough, however. An element not discussed in his writings is how design is conveyed in the final building as an artefact of design process. An attractive definition of design is “what we convey through words and drawings through the built artefact.“ This is a tidy and lucid definition, but it leaves one area uncovered: the visionary architect. Architects such as Piranesi or Boulee, who never built, have designed and contributed to the history of architecture. This definition will be used, though, as it works for the purpose of this study.

We will now look at the notion of workmanship in more depth, beginning with a quote from Pye: “There is in the man-made world a whole domain of quality which is not the result of design and owes little to the designer. On the contrary, indeed, the designer is deep in its debt, for the workman put every card in his hand there originally. No architect could specify ashlar until a mason has perfected it and shown him that it could be done. Designers have only been able to exist by exploiting what workmen have evolved or invented” (1978).

Terms such as “quality,” “best-practice” and “defective workmanship” come to mind when discussing the notion of workmanship. Quality can be used as a measure of good workmanship with specificity toward architecture and then architectural education. “This domain of quality is usually talked of and thought of in terms of material. We talk as though the material of itself conferred the quality. Only to name precious materials like marble, silver, ivory, ebony is to evoke a picture of thrones and treasures. It does not evoke a picture of grey boulders on dusty hills or logs of ebony as they really are, wet dirty lumps all shakes and splinters! Material in the raw is nothing much” (Pye, 1978).

The next association with workmanship and materials is “craftsmanship,” or “craft.” For the purpose of this study, craft will be considered as a means to measure the quality of the DBS. The word has gone in and out of fashion, and it is now back in. Pye offers an adequate definition: “If I must ascribe a meaning to the word craftsmanship, I shall say as a first approximation that it means simply workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on judgement, dexterity and care which the maker exercises as he works. The essential idea is that the quality of the result is continually at risk during the process of making, and so I shall call this kind of workmanship ‘the workmanship of risk,’ an uncouth phrase but at least descriptive” (1978).

When considering craft and the DBS, it is important to distinguish between risk and certainty. If we consider architectural elements, such as doors or windows, the difference in production time and cost between prefabricated elements and hand made one-offs is enormous. The distinction here helps us define the craft of risk and the craft of certainty. “It may be mentioned in passing that in workmanship, the care counts for more than the judgement and dexterity, though care may well become habitual and unconscious. With the workmanship of risk, we may contrast the workmanship of certainty, always to be found in quantity production and found in its pure state in full automation. In workmanship of this sort, the quality of the result is exactly predetermined before a saleable thing is made” (Pye, 1978).

Quality in workmanship must also be considered. Pye describes this in a quantified manner as good or bad, precise or rough. He also tells us that rough workmanship may be excellent, while precise workmanship may also be rough. So we will apply these terms as we examine the DBS and the quality of workmanship.

The goodness or badness of workmanship is judged by two different criteria: soundness and comeliness. Soundness implies the ability to transmit and resist forces as the designer intended: there must be no hidden flaws or weak places. Comeliness implies the ability to give that aesthetic expression which the designer intended, or add to it. Thus the quality of workmanship is judged in either case by reference to the designer’s intention, just as the quality of an instrumentalist’s playing is judged by reference to the composer’s. In some cases, precision is necessary to soundness, but in many others it is not and rough workmanship will do the job just as well. In some cases, precision is necessary to the intended aesthetic expression, but in others it is not and, on the contrary, rough workmanship is essential to it. All workmanship, as we shall see, is approximation to a greater or less degree. A designer may perfectly well expect and intend the roughest of approximation. Just as a composer by a notation like “con brio” may indicate how he wants to be played, so may the designer. If, on the other hand, the designer intends precision and gets it in the main, but finds it interrupted by passages of approximation he never intended, then the effect will be horrible: and this is bad workmanship. Good workmanship is that which carries out or improves upon the intended design. Bad workmanship is what fails to do so and thwarts the design (Pye, 1978).

So in the DBS, workmanship must be considered, and when examining workmanship, materials and weathering must be considered. One could also ascribe the use of the end product, such as client satisfaction, as being part of good workmanship, for we cannot take Pye’s very poignant writing as perfectly ascribed to architecture. The work performed in the DBS must be of sound workmanship, but like self-taught art or folk art, the precision does not always have to be present. In the case of the Rural Studio DBS, the precision may actually differentiate and contrast in an unpleasant way with the existing architectural context.

3.7 Christopher Alexander
In the work and teaching of Christopher Alexander, the process of making is inseparable from the design process. In his project, a sense of care and thought infuses the architecture because of his emphasis on listening to the client and site forces of a project. Alexander has called for architects to understand the process of building and the needs of the users in architecture for many years:

Quite apart from my desire to work as a builder, quite apart from my desire to see buildings with this quality built, and quite apart from my belief that architects should be builders, there is just the simple, plain, ordinary fact of the necessity for having first-hand acquaintance with building and making things. And it seems ridiculous to have to mention it except for the fact that most architects today do not understand this. In a woodworking shop, one of the distinctions between somebody who understands working with tools and somebody who does not is to realize that the process of sharpening or sweeping up are absolutely fundamental to the activity of making something. Most people who do not really understand tools properly, do not realize that sharpening the tool is an integral part of its use. For example, I used to spend day after day, out on the site in Martinez, trying our gunnite experiments. It is the love of making, and the instinct for making, which has led me in the right direction” (Grabow, 1983).

Interviewed in Progressive Architecture in 1991, Professor Alexander presented a prescription for architects to follow—one that emphasizes construction labour in the learning and practice of the architect. He explained that current architectural theory is out of touch with human needs and that the current theory has no connection with the process of construction.

He also drafted a Hippocratic Oath for this new architecture:

• The architect should do some craft work on every building designed.
• The architect should design the building on site involving the users.
• The architect must be able to recognize that process, not the design, is the crux and that beauty and functional harmony comes from these steps.
• The architect should develop an awareness that every part of a building has its life.
• The architect is committed to making buildings that are deeply and genuinely liked. Above all, a commitment by the architect to make only a work which he or she can love.
• The architect is dedicated to research and the process of craft (1991).

3.8 Design-Build Programmes
Architectural education today has undergone profound changes in an effort to connect with the construction industry. The rise of design-build, the shift from a product-based practice to a knowledge- and service-based practice, and the expansion of professional services beyond traditional disciplinary and project life-cycle bounds are changing the face of practice. And, as Peter Gauchat, Dean of the New Jersey Institute of Technology School of Architecture, points out, “The rapidly changing context for architectural services has created a host of problems for architectural education” (Gauchat, 2002).

The architectural school is the testing ground for experimentation that informs architectural practice. In the world of practice, integration occurs at three levels—the personal, interpersonal and inter-organizational—and design-build education strives to address all three. Personal integration harks back to the image of the Gothic master-builder, the project leader who championed integration through an impressive array of knowledge, skills and values that transcended specific disciplines. Without a broad base of interdisciplinary knowledge and experience, students cannot hope to communicate or coordinate successfully with project team members from other disciplines. Whether through discussion, studio assignments or hands-on experience, a principal aim of design-build education is to instil a broad knowledge base in students, enabling them to share experiences, goals and insights across traditional disciplinary bounds.

Successful collaboration requires a high level of inter-organizational integration to unite the vast number of firms that must work together to successfully complete a project. Students must understand the strategies and methods required at the project level in order to coordinate the work on complex projects. New courses addressing project level collaboration are beginning to appear around the country. Certain collaborative courses, for example, require not only a design for a proposed building, but its construction budget, schedule and structural plan as well. These new courses are empowering students to transcend the traditional studio boundaries and develop inter-organizational skills of collaboration, communication and cooperation required in the world of design-build.

The rise of design-build practice may prove to be the catalyst that finally motivates schools of architecture to integrate design and technology across their curricula. John Jeronimo of the National Architectural Accrediting Board frames the problem as a universal one, stating that the “lack of integration of technical and practical knowledge into design work is probably the single most widespread area of programme weakness.” And while none of the architecture school alumni surveyed in a recent study felt their schools provided them with too little design training, 43% wished they had learned more about how buildings actually get built.

Bernard Tschumi, Dean at Columbia University School of Architecture, sums up the generalist approach when he suggests, “You want to teach people how to think rather than just to learn the code. We do not try to simulate a professional architectural office...” Meanwhile, Ernest L. Boyer and Lee D. Mitgang, drawing from their comprehensive study of architectural education, concluded that “...schools of architecture should embrace, as their primary objective, the education of future practitioners.”

Backing up Boyer and Mitgang’s recommendation was their finding that while 93% of alumni felt they left school ‘well-prepared as lifelong learners’, only half as many, 46%, felt their school did a good job fostering their ability to work cooperatively in interdisciplinary teams. Regardless of where particular faculties or instructors stand on this issue, all accredited schools offering professional degrees acknowledge their obligation to prepare students for their potential role as professionals in society.
Because of their extensive education, training, knowledge and skill, professionals have a unique place in society. They are entrusted with the health, safety and welfare of the people whose lives their work touches, and they have earned the right to carry an exclusive professional license and title.

All of the issues dealt with in today’s design-build courses are critical to architectural education, and many may only be dealt with in a design-build studio setting. But the comparison highlights the dichotomy between design-build as taught in the schools and design-build as practised in the profession. If students interested in an in-depth investigation of design-build practice must look outside of architecture school for their training, what are the consequences to the profession?

The most common vehicle for design-build education is the individual course. These courses generally fall into one of two categories: hands-on construction of student designs (the design-build studio commonly offered by schools of architecture) and lecture/discussion on management issues in the design-build method of project delivery (more often available in civil engineering departments).

Every year, roughly 5,000 students graduate from schools of architecture with professional architecture degrees. Of these, only about half will go into traditional architecture practice; the rest will follow alternative career paths. Architectural education has long been recognized as preparing graduates to be creative, problem-solving innovators in whatever field they choose to pursue. In fact, the nation’s largest employer of architecture school graduates in the 1990s was not an architecture firm at all, but the professional services firm Andersen.

In the United States, accreditation is undertaken by the National Architectural Accrediting Board in Washington DC. This board visits existing programmes approximately every five years and accredits new programmes. They have recently published a list of criteria which all design studios must adhere to as minimum criteria. These visiting teams as part of their accrediting visits must judge the DBS programmes at each architectural school.

The National Architectural Accrediting Board has prepared a list of the minimum requirements for accredited architectural programs. This list relates the DBS to accreditation criteria by which all North American architectural coursework are analysed. The following criteria appear in the learning objectives of DBS projects in this study. (See the entire list of NAAB criteria in the Appendix.)

Note that NAAB varies the weight of these items by structuring three related categories: ability to, awareness of and understanding of. These are minimum criteria and can be exceeded or expanded.

Verbal and Writing Skills: ability to speak and write effectively on subject matter contained in the professional curriculum (Students must communicate with each other, coordinating professors, clients and public agencies. The Yale DBS has students hold public presentations and invites guest jurors from other courses into their reviews.)

Collaborative Skills: ability to identify and assume divergent roles that maximize individual talents, and to cooperate with other students when working as members of a design team and in other settings (The DBS is based on the idea of collaboration and each project takes on a different structure.)

Human Diversity: awareness of diversity of needs, values, behavioural norms, and social and spatial patterns that characterize different cultures, and the implications of this diversity for the societal roles and responsibilities of architects (The Rural Studio mission statement is built upon the idea of instilling an understanding of human diversity into the architectural curriculum.)

Environmental Conservation: understanding of the basic principles of ecology and architects' responsibilities with respect to environmental and resource conservation in architecture and urban design (Several of the DBS projects in this study use environmental systems that employ basic principles of sustainability.)

Structural Systems: understanding of the principles of structural behaviour in withstanding gravity and lateral forces, and the evolution, range, and appropriate applications of contemporary structural systems

Building Systems Integration: ability to assess, selects, and integrates structural systems, environmental systems, life-safety systems, building envelope systems, and building service systems into building design

Building Code Compliance: understanding of the codes, regulations, and standards applicable to a given site and building design, including occupancy classifications, allowable building heights and areas, allowable construction types, separation requirements, occupancy requirements, means of egress, fire protection, and structure

Building Materials and Assemblies: understanding of the principles, conventions, standards, applications, and restrictions pertaining to the manufacture and use of construction materials, components, and assemblies

Building Economics and Cost Control: awareness of the fundamentals of development financing, building economics, and construction cost control within the framework of a design project

Detailed Design Development: ability to assess, select, configure, and detail as an integral part of the design appropriate combinations of building materials, components, and assemblies to satisfy the requirements of building programs

Comprehensive Design: ability to produce an architecture project informed by a comprehensive program, from schematic design through the detailed development of programmatic spaces, structural and environmental systems, life-safety provisions, wall sections, and building assemblies, as may be appropriate; and to assess the completed project with respect to the programs design criteria

Architects Leadership Roles: awareness of architects' leadership roles from project inception, design, and design development to contract administration, including the selection and coordination of allied disciplines, post-occupancy evaluation, and facility management

British educator Jeremy Till discusses the Rural Studio's pedagogy:

The causes of malaise in the architectural profession may be traced back to education. Four weeks into first year and students are exposed to the barbarity of the review/crit/ jury. Power, hormones, fear, vanity, genius and individuality form a rich mix that sets the ethos for what is to come. Architectural education is still guided by the Victorian values of the (male) individual genius architect silently supplying aesthetic delight for rich patrons. The Rural Studio explicitly challenges these paradigms. It champions collaboration, communication and process over product. It exposes students to a range of issues that they are sheltered from in normative architectural education—group working, social responsibility, lateral thinking, building skills, new ways of building procurement, sustainability, contingent creativity. But at the same time, one should not get too misty-eyed and see it as a completely non-authoritarian structure. Mockbee and his successors are far from shrinking violets; one needs this overarching vision (and it is vision not mindless control) to avoid the work descending to a level of worthy mediocrity, as so easily could have happened (Till, 2003).

Till describes the Rural Studio as a vibrant place. Perhaps other architectural programmes could study this structure for potential concepts to use.

3.9 Summary
Design-build education in North America appears to have had a strong influence on architectural programmes. The definitions of design-build vary greatly between education and practice. In education, the definition describes an extension of the design studio where students actually build. In practice, design-build is a delivery method where architects work closely with a general contractor to reduce construction time or budget.
CHAPTER FOUR: Design-Build Studios

4.1 Introduction
4.2 Yale University Building Project
4.3 Auburn University Rural Studio
4.4 The Relationship Between Higher Education and Work
4.5 Summary

4.1 Introduction
Design studios have been a feature of American architectural education since the first architecture programmes appeared at MIT, Columbia and Cornell in the 1860s and 1870s. At first limited to the final years of these programmes, the design studio has expanded to its current status as the backbone of architectural pedagogy. The centrepiece of each year of study in most programmes, the traditional studio ideally functions as the crucible where practical skills and technical knowledge of construction and engineering meet the artistic and poetic aspirations of a design-centred professional culture“ (Hinton, 2002).

Many in the human sciences laud the design studio as a model for professional education—an ideal way to combine objective factual analysis with real-world conditions. Architectural education critic Dana Cuff observes that in traditional studios students are most often exposed to “pure design” divorced from the dynamic context of practice (1991). The result, according to Cuff, is a skewed understanding of design and a missed opportunity to teach students the “social arts” essential to effectiveness in intra- and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Cuff and other critics of architectural education note that collaborative projects and interdisciplinary work are generally marginalized in architecture schools today. This could hinder the architecture student's ability to work effectively in a professional setting. Christopher Barlow of the Graduate School of Business at IIT notes that in interdisciplinary settings, a new kind of complexity comes into play in which the “truths” of different perspectives conflict with each other. In these contexts, differences in cognitive style, cultural backgrounds, personality and values can destroy all hopes of collaboration. Barlow also notes that in our intensive efforts to teach students to understand a certain perspective, we generally only expose them to problems that can be solved in that perspective. The more success students realize in solving these single-domain problems, the more likely they will encounter problems applying their knowledge in the complex and messy multiple-domain context of the real world.

In architectural education, students generally construct models of their studio projects, small pieces of custom furniture and the occasional full-scale mock-up. However, in part as a reaction to a renewed interest in materials and a desire to ground students' understanding of the connections between design and the construction process, the late 1980s and 1990s saw a resurgence of the craft-based pedagogy in the form of the design-build studio.

One of the most valuable aspects of architectural education is the studio environment. The studio allows for knowledge to be learned in a cyclical way, by drawing and building models, by critiques and lectures by faculty, and by interaction with other students. The atmosphere created is often charged with energy and a sense of competition. Businesses and other disciplines have observed how valuable and unique this way of learning can be. The studio allows the student to learn how to listen, how to innovate, and how to practice.

The DBS seeks to augment and compliment the architectural design sequence by adding the dimension of the real. The real and the analogue are connected by a process of thinking and making. Thinking and developing design ideas at real scale—with real clients, actual budgets and tangible work—offers a new way of seeing design. The construction studio should compliment the design studio sequence.

The projects chosen should be small enough to allow for class interaction and experimentation. The programmes should involve some component of giving back to the community or the school. The following projects present a wide variety of approaches and are the beginning of one way to improve architectural education for both the practitioner and the theoretician. Cross-disciplinary projects provide an interesting dynamic to these construction studios. The effect of other disciplines, such as landscape architecture, art, literature or construction, all add new dimensions to the architecture student’s focus.

4.2 Yale University Building Project
Professor Paul Brouard
New Haven, Connecticut

The Building Projects have given my students an opportunity to develop a sense of humour and perspective about architecture. The drawn line turns into a blob of concrete, the measured frame becomes a battered thumb, and the considered detail bends to a negotiated nightmare of codes and materials. More than a thousand students have taken the course. Many have practiced their skills in leadership, organization, craftsmanship, and design. But all of them have formed an opinion about how the process works (Brouard, 1996).

The Yale Building Project was started by Charles Moore more than thirty years ago in an effort to focus on the building process as a way to discover the architectural profession. About forty students start the fourteen-week building programme in spring with a five week studio design competition involving presentations to faculty, building inspectors, project sponsors and prospective homeowners. Four teams of students complete construction documents. Usually about ten students complete the project as paid interns during the summer months, and often they work with the family who will actually live in the house. Some of the studios recent projects are single- and multi-family housing units constructed in partnership with not-for-profit organizations and several open-air pavilions at local parks. Moore founded the project because he believed the process of building to be valuable to architects for many reasons. Presenting a complete professional experience of design, offering hands on construction experience, and allowing a view of architecture within a social context are goals of the building project, which closes the distance between the academic design studio and the world in which we live and work. In the midst of student unrest in the late 1960s when the project began, Moore saw the project as a way for students to commit to positive social action by building for the poor. At the suggestion of a group of Yale students who had spent the summer building housing in eastern Kentucky, Moore selected a community center in New Zion, Kentucky, as the first project in 1967. He shepherded the students through the process of designing the building, and during the second half of the spring term, the class traveled to Kentucky to build it. Subsequent projects under Moore’s leadership included another community center in the town of Lower Grassy, Kentucky and a series of camp buildings closer to home in Connecticut.

“Yale’s Building Project helps demystify construction and gives students the means and the confidence to make decisions in the field. It also helps them understand the difficulty of translating design ideas and concepts into physical form, and gives them a healthy respect for construction workers who interpret the construction documents that architects produce” (Brouard, 1996).

Figure 4.1: Students prepare foundation for a Habitat for Humanity house in New Haven.

Professor Brouard has also produced a pamphlet to help disseminate the information Yale has developed to other architectural schools. His primary interest is in giving students a view of the contractor’s position in interpreting the architect’s plans and specifications. He describes the change in project types: “Although the houses do not permit the sort of formal inventiveness or structural exploration found in the pavilions, they allow students the experience of working with a client and the opportunity to respond to the challenges of affordable housing and urban infill” (2001).

The administrative procedures and cost of running the project must be considered. The university must fund two part-time faculty members: a project coordinator and a project director. In addition, the school provides two paid teaching assistants for ten hours per week over the academic year. The school also budgets $1,200 for studio expenses including supplies, printing, transportation for class field trips and a workshop stipend.

The university is interested in reaching out to New Haven and helps support the projects. It takes overall legal responsibility for the project. The University and the Counsel for the Yale Corporation (The University Board of Trustees) are actively involved in the approval of all contracts with the sponsors. One of the more unique aspects in the Building Project is the paid summer internships. Eight students are paid a total of $30,000 over nine weeks. Students help raise these funds themselves with contributions from the University and from various work-study programmes.

The faculty roles concentrate on administration, organisation, design and building. The administrative and organizational work involves identifying and contracting with sponsors for the project, preparing material for class workshops, organizing material for class workshops and presenting the project to other schools and to the profession. In the design stage, faculty monitor students' progress and critique design work. In the field, a faculty member manages the construction site, observes construction techniques and consults on design revisions in the field.

The project director manages student participation and plans and conducts various workshops. He or she provides instruction in construction techniques and detailing. The director is pivotal in the link between the design studio and the fieldwork (Brouard,1996). The director takes attendance, monitors student participation and completes the class assessment.

Four faculty members act as studio critics. They give desk critiques for the design project and sit on formal juries organized by the project director. Each student in the studio has primary contact with one of these teachers. Construction and technical specialists on the architecture faculty participate on a consulting basis. Specialists in engineering, mechanical design, project planning and management and computer visualization consult with the student designers. It appears that the students are encouraged form a very early stage in the project to examine technical issues.

From outside the school, city zoning and code officials, material suppliers and product manufacturers representatives visit the studio and offer expertise. Practicing architects from the community—usually one per student team—are sought as outside consultants as well. Each team consults with these contacts during both the design and the construction phase.

The teaching assistants are critical to the project's success. These assistants are usually from second- or third-year studios and have already experienced the building project first hand. These students work closely with the project director and monitor the studio to see that individual talents are being properly employed and that teams are participating on an equal basis (Brouard, 1996). These assistants also prepare printed material, grant applications, exhibition and programme media kits.
During the construction phase, the project director works to maintain the momentum of the class to accomplish as much work as possible during the six weeks of required fieldwork. To do so, the director must know when to let the students lead and when to step in to prevent the project from slowing down or stopping (Brouard, 1996). He also makes sure that adequate tools and equipment for the job are available, including a vehicle to transport supplies. The director also ensures that outside contracting work is arranged, scheduled and competitively bid.

WORKSHOPS
A series of weekly two-hour workshops complements the studio portion of the project and informs the students of related studio topics. The topics of discussion shift from the general to the specific over the semester with an increased technical emphasis. The first workshop deals with the organization of the project. Team structure, tasks and assignments are defined during this workshop. The next workshop occurs on site and students participate in neighborhood studies. City officials and residents are interviewed.

The work of Yale University is built around the number of students in each class—usually around forty or so. This number provides adequate personnel for the final stage of the competition, when each team needs approximately ten people to produce a professional set of construction documents that can be used in the field without revisions.

The First-Year Building Project has, for the past fifteen years, focused on the building experience as a means of understanding the process, practice and scope of the architectural profession. A curriculum requirement, the Building Project consists of weekly workshops that present and test all aspects of design and construction, including client contact, programming, design, budgeting, working documentation and construction. Six weeks of the core design studio is devoted to design and documentation with student teams collaborating with design faculty, client representatives and technical experts. The project extends beyond the end of the spring term with on site construction scheduled during the summer.

PLACE IN CURRICULUM
The First-Year Building Project is a required part of the core curriculum at the School of Architecture, with more than forty graduate students completing the Project each year. The programme extends the scope of design education to include actual construction in the field with students working alongside neighbourhood residents during the summer to construct on site. The projects are designed during the spring term. The Building Project is part of a required three-course sequence that includes Materials in Architecture; the second-term Architecture Design Studio, which includes design for the Building Project; and a third-term Housing Studio, which follows the Building Project. Field and technical components of the Building Project are structured as a separate three-credit course. The curriculum design of the Building Project has served as a model for other schools of architecture. As shown in the following diagram, the course sequence is layered in that information on housing is introduced and project complexity increases.




Figure 4.2: Yale Housing Emphasis Model

Five teaching assistants serve as project managers to introduce the client’s programmatic needs and coordinate the budget, programme and schedule. Faculty members usually negotiate contracts and resolve conflicts between students and clients. Conflicts have arisen in the past with the student’s response to context, which has intensified their study of the existing context.

The students perform most of the work in the field unless the work requires a license. They contribute about 360 worker-days in addition to the 280 worker-days for which they are paid. Student Mark Roehrle remarks, “I am getting hands on experience. It is always hard to tell if what you are going to create is what you realize, because often the numbers on the drawings are wrong.”


The following table describes the students' tasks in the Yale DBS and shows both individual and collaborative work:

Student Task Organisation Number of Students Task Description Additional Duties
Project Managers 2 Lead overall project Work with archivist
Public Relations Manager 1 Promote project to local and national press Work with sponsor to monitor relations in the neighbouring context of the site
Fund raiser 2 Raise money to hire student interns to complete the construction Solicit donations of tools and supplies from manufacturers and distributors
Archivist 1 Maintain a photographic archive of the project using still media and video clips Work on archive book and with public relations managers
Mentorship Representative 1 Helps run high school outreach project and plan for summer interns Visit high schools and present project
Purchasing Planner
1 Maintain a notebook of materials and inventory in the sponsor’s warehouse Assist winning design team in estimating materials for the project
Construction Planner 1 Maintain weekly job schedule, updated each day, and work with purchasing planner to ensure timely delivery of materials Notify archivist of important construction events
Food Planner 2 Work with the project director to develop a balanced inexpensive and filling lunch menu
Engineering Coordinator 1 Gather structural, mechanical and electrical information from past project as a reference during the design process; serve as liaison to consultants Work closely with the budget coordinator and working drawings coordinator
Budget Coordinator 1 Learn software programme and collect information on building costs Work closely with the other design teams to assist in making cost-related decisions
Working Drawings Coordinator 1 Archive past projects as a current reference (requires prior professional experience) Work with each team to help prepare the construction documents
Code Officer 1 Determine project's compliance to current building codes Serve as code-related liaison during design and approvals process
Detail Coordinator 1 Assemble a reference book of relevant details (requires some prior professional experience)
Field Crew Managers 4 Oversee student construction teams, working half-day shifts three days a week Delegation and leadership with inexperienced workers is important with this position.

Figure 4.3: Yale DBS Tasks

STUDIO COMPETITION
The studio competition that determines what project the class will build is a highly structured and productive event (Brouard, 1996). Students work closely with faculty and consultants over a period of five weeks. The competition is divided into three stages. The first stage is the introduction to the site and programme. One week is spent individually working on a design scheme. All of these schemes are then pinned up. Faculty critics suggest how groups might be formed based on similar design schemes. No single project is favoured or selected at this time. During this stage, the class also builds a site model for use by all the groups.

During the second stage, students form groups of two to ten people based on similar design approaches, personal relationships or mutual respect (Brouard, 1996). There are about eight teams working simultaneously during this stage. Plans, sections and elevations are produced at 1/8”=1’-0” as well as a model at the same scale. This model is inserted into the overall model to study the design's relationship to context. This phase lasts two weeks, and at the end, the faculty selects four schemes.

The final phase lasts two weeks. Four finalist teams accept members from the unselected groups, creating teams up about ten people. Students prepare a larger scale model and detailed construction documents.


Figure 4.4: Students present DBS project to architecture professors.


EDUCATIONAL GOALS
1. To teach awareness of the multifaceted nature of the architectural profession early in the curriculum so that the students’ further studies can benefit
2. To provide an integrated curriculum that prepares students for professional practice and leads them through the process
3. To provide an opportunity for students to see through an entire building project, experiencing the pleasure and accomplishment of completion
4. To introduce the idea of public service in revitalizing neighbourhood infrastructure, to present realistically the successes and frustrations of work in the public sector, and to provide students with first-hand experience
5. To accomplish educational goals in a limited time (Currently, the Building Project includes five weeks for design and preparation of working documents, and 15 weeks for construction, from excavation to completion of the building.)
6. To enhance the educational experience and demonstrate the range of participants in building projects by using outside professional experts, non-profit developers and city officials as consultants
7. To document the process and results and to provide information and advice to other schools interested in implementing a similar programme (Those schools include the University of Texas in Austin, Ohio State University and the University of Virginia.)


TEACHING STRATEGIES
The teaching strategy for the Building Project has three distinct parts that enable it to use the talents of first-year architectural students, who generally lack technical design and performance experience. The three elements are:

1. Weekly workshops conducted by the faculty to make clear the technical and social implications of design. The workshops are very specific in their discussion of detailing, structure, budget, and regulations, as well as the impact of design decisions on families and neighbourhoods, and communities. The non-profit developers, city officials, and faculty members involved in developing the project attend the workshops; their participation provides context, history and local knowledge. Students from previous Building Projects also participate, presenting visual and verbal reviews of their experiences, showing pictures of the final project, and helping to assess prior efforts. Teaching assistants, veterans of the Project themselves, organize formation of a student-run project management team through a nomination and ballot procedure.

2. Incorporating the Building Project into a sequence of required classes, including the second-term design studio, which is taught by four core design critics. The studio is set up as a five-week competition to select the design that will be built. The studio critics provide review and criticism throughout the process. During the first week, students work individually. Then, with the help of the faculty, the students form teams based on their design ideas and during the next two weeks, these teams develop preliminary design presentations. The preliminary jury composed of faculty and representatives of the non-profit project sponsor selects designs for the final competition. The studio critics then continue to review the teams’ progress on a regular basis and provide desk critiques of design development. During this period, a number of consultants also participate in the studio, teaching technical skills, providing advice on detailing, and helping to structure working documents. After two weeks, the jury meets and chooses the winning design, which will be built by the students in cooperation with the non-profit sponsor.

3. Construction of the winning design in order to gain an understanding and respect for the construction process and those who do it. Working under the full-time supervision of a faculty member who is also a registered architect, the students gain an opportunity to learn first-hand the skills related to every aspect of building construction, except those requiring licensing. The process involves dividing- the class into four teams of ten students. The teams work in tandem and do all masonry, carpentry, and interior and exterior finishing.

ASSESSING STUDENT WORK
Academic assessment of student work has two components. The first is based on the quality of studio design work related to the Building Project as reviewed by the core teaching critics. Students work both individually and in teams, but are evaluated as individuals. The second component of academic evaluation is based on technical knowledge and the quality of a student’s participation in on-site construction. The faculty’s Project Director performs this assessment.

Between 1990 and 1995, students built affordable single-family housing in New Haven working with Habitat for Humanity. In 1996, the Building Project decided to work with Neighbourhood Housing Services to build the home, which range in size from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet and cost $50,000-$60,000 (about one-third less than the New Haven market rate). Yale and New Haven Community groups supply funds for the project. Beginning in 1997, a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has funded the building project’s construction of local community centres. A chronology of the projects is included in the appendix.

CRITIQUE
The Yale Building Project is the most developed and rigorous design-build programme in U.S. architectural educational. Under the leadership of Charles Moore, this programme has grown into one of the most respected programmes in the country. The students have concentrated on societal concerns beginning with outreach in Kentucky and growing to inner-city projects and most recently single-family homes for Habitat for Humanity in New Haven. With Professor Brouard's focus on design rigour and excellent craft, the projects are of outstanding quality. The more recent projects, however, have received mixed reviews from participating students. Some students note that the ability to work on a construction project allowed them to experience the difficulty of building and realizing a design idea. Other students express that they were not able to effectively design and that a normal design studio would have been a more rewarding experience.

The major weakness of the Yale Model is the limitation of the single-family Habitat for Humanity house. These homes come with a strict set of guidelines to which the students must adhere. This project type, while challenging in a reductivist sense, limits the students' design freedom.

The other major weakness of this model of academic learning is the competitive nature of the design competition. The positive side of this critique is that it closely approximates the actual way architects compete for projects. It also closely approximates the inner-office competition that occurs in architectural firms. The problem, however, is that resentment sometimes occurs among the students who did not win the competition, particularly once building begins. Unlike the Auburn Rural Studio model, which incorporates a more inclusive and collaborative design process, this process can instil student unrest. One student states, “I transferred to Yale because of the Building Project. I have an art degree and when I was put up against these students to design a house in five weeks—these students who had architecture degrees and had worked in offices—it was intimidating and they won the design competition” (2002).

Another serious flaw in the Yale Building Project is the fact that students rarely work directly with clients. The projects are chosen independently of the client, and therefore, students must predict the preferences of the future inhabitants of the building. Brian Bell, a former student of this DBS, states, “These projects could have been so much better if we had direct client contact” (2003). Bell also taught at the Rural Studio and thus offers us a rare direct link between the two studios. He states, “Why do smart people do not so smart things? These projects are missing the richness and complexities offered by working with the people who would live in the projects. At the Rural Studio, the students leave campus, turn off the television sets and immerse themselves in the culture. This gives them a unique glimpse into the clients needs“ (2003).

The Yale programme is strong and, according to several students, the DBS experience is a major attraction (2002). The Building Project might be stronger if the design competition lasted longer than five weeks so students could develop detail in a more comprehensive manner.

4.3 Auburn University Rural Studio
Professors Samuel Mockbee FAIA and D.K Ruth
Mason’s Bend, Alabama

We want to expose students to their social responsibility as architectural citizens, along with the principles of design and construction (Mockbee, 2002).

The Rural Studio's roots are deeply planted in Southern culture. For one quarter each year, second- and fifth-year students travel three hours away from the main campus to to live and work in rural Alabama. Students attend class in a large farmhouse. They eat together on most nights and work together during the day on community outreach projects.

The Studio began designing and constructing houses in the fall of 1993, under the supervision of Professors Mockbee and Ruth. The Alabama Power Foundation initially gave funding for the programme. Ruth states, “We wanted the students to share the sweat and swing the hammer. Architectural education is in lots of ways very abstract. A design-build studio takes one layer of abstraction away” (2002).

The Rural Studio focuses on developing within students an understanding of social concerns in addition to building skills. Its mission is to enable students to create, design and build while putting their educational values to work as citizens of a community. Mockbee states, “The social development of the architect is at the heart of our program. We are bringing students face-to-face with the rural South. It's hands-on, real-world work with clients” (Ivy, 1994).

The ultimate goal of the founders was to educate the students while concurrently improving the quality of life in rural Alabama, one of the poorest regions in the United States. The studio is located in Hale County, Alabama, centred in what is called the “Black Belt” region. A per capita income of $12,292 means that a quarter of the population currently receives food stamps, and 13.1% of the residents are unemployed. This unemployment rate is more than double the state average for Alabama. Each semester, fifteen to twenty second-year students leave Auburn’s campus to study at the Rural Studio, working together with the Hale County Department of Human Resources to identify a needy family, review its needs, and design a home based on those needs. Each quarter, a different group of students modifies the design and actually builds the home. At the fifth-year level, the students form small groups and find the funding, resources and client for their projects as part of their thesis intention.

The Rural Studio has been one of the most popular educational prototypes in American architectural education in recent years. Professor Mockbee was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship two years ago and the Studio’s work was featured most recently in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial exhibition in New York—the first for an architectural school.

Figure 4.5: Samuel Mockbee, co-founder of Rural Studio

An example of the Rural Studio's work efforts is the Harris House, which was built by second- and third-year students during the 1996/97 academic years. Referred to as the “Butterfly House” because of its sharply angled roof structure, the house presented the students with several challenges. First, one of the tenants was handicapped so the entire house needed to be wheelchair accessible. Since the tenants were economically unstable, the students implemented several energy- and cost-efficient features. Ventilation allows the house to be heated and cooled as inexpensively as possible. A wood-burning stove located in the central portion of the house heats it. Vents located at the roof of the house may be opened to allow for air circulation during the warmer months, and shut during the colder months to trap the heat inside. A huge fan in the rear of the house pulls air through for cross ventilation. The roof is angled to collect rainwater into a cistern where it is used to wash clothes and flush toilets. The house has a constructed wetlands sewer purification system, which provides fertilization to a garden in the backyard and purifies septic system emanation before it reaches the well that holds the drinking water. The budget of the house was less than $30,000. To help meet this goal, the roof was clad in tin and the walls constructed of 105-year-old salvaged wood.

Another project is the Bryant House, or the “Hay-Bale House” because the walls are constructed with bales of hay. Eleven schemes were presented to the client, and a single scheme was chosen and constructed by subsequent classes. The donated student labour allowed the studio to keep the construction costs at about $16,500, which was donated by Alabama Power Company. The students are always tasked with creating a structure that is not only inexpensive to build, but also inexpensive to maintain. The 80-pound hay bales create two-feet-thick walls, which are lined with chicken wire and covered in stucco, giving the house natural and inexpensive insulation. The house is heated in the winter with a central stove and cooled in the summer with cross ventilation. As a thesis project, a student built a smoke house with rejected rubble from the Alabama Department of Transportation so the family can cook outdoors. The front of the house features a Southern-style porch.

Student Scott Stafford describes the studio as a way to learn about people: “In school, you tend to think of your design for your portfolio, for your grade. I learned more in ten weeks than I had in the previous two years. I grew up along the same river as our client Shep [Bryant]. Now I see how people in my community ignored places like Mason’s Bend” (2002).

The students also built a community centre in Mason’s Bend. The multi-functional building includes a transportation stop, an outdoor area and a small chapel. The students used a solar energy system that was researched and designed with a professor of aerospace engineering at Auburn University. The community was involved in the construction in hopes that it will take pride in the building and use and protect it. The Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization uses it for various purposes, such as a bookmobile and a health centre.



Figure 4.6: Mason’s Bend Community Center, 2000

CRITIQUE
When Samuel Mockbee started the Rural Studio, he thought it would be a one-year experiment. He did not realize at the time how profound the effect would be on architectural education. “When Mockbee founded the Rural Studio in the early 1990s, American architecture had retreated from social and civic engagement to a preoccupation with matters of style. The architectural stars, swept up in the global economy and entranced by new technologies, were designing increasingly audacious buildings for affluent clients world-wide” (Dean and Hursley, 2002).

Mockbee made an ethical commitment to improve the living conditions of a few families and make design accessible to people who normally would have no access to it. He also placed sociological understanding forefront in the minds of the students attending the Rural Studio. He states, “Architectural education should challenge the status-quo into making responsible environmental and social change” (Dean and Hursley, 2002).

The creativity of the students has resulted in inventive structures in Hale County, Alabama. Recycled materials such as hay bales, license plates, automobile windshields and used tires have been implemented in these buildings. This simultaneously connects the projects to the ad-hoc rural South and the American folk art movement. Folk artists, such as R.A. Miller and Howard Finster, have used recycled materials— bicycles, street signs, building parts—in their sculptural assemblies.

The students of the Rural Studio appear to have become an integral part of the community. Former student Bruce Lanier states, “At least eighty percent of the time, we are welcome.” He continues, “ You see, I had only driven through that kind of poverty on my way into private school. Here I learned that economic poverty is not a poverty of values but a fact of birth. You learn that poor people are like you and me. You get to know and respect them” (Dean and Hursley, 2003).

Each semester, as the fifteen sophomore level students design and build a house in a collaborative fashion, they take elective courses in Greensboro. These courses are most often Materials and Methods of Construction, Southern Architectural History and Watercolour Painting. Second-year student Jen Stanton states, “We do everything as a group and learn to compromise. Sometimes we yell at each other, but we learn to figure things out together” (Dean and Hursley, 2003).

Professor Ruth, who currently runs the program, states, “Architectural education has become more about academics and less about construction.” His efforts to help integrate the studio with the coursework on the main campus appear to have helped attract new students to the Auburn programme.

The Rural Studio clients appear to support its mission. Client Teresa Constanzo, Director of the Hale County Department of Human Resources, states, “One of my employees came into my office to say that she needed several hundred dollars for repairs to a family substandard trailer. The Auburn students and Professor Mockbee have worked to meet our needs.” Constanzo gives guest lectures to the students and states, “I speak about the county’s social needs, about child abuse and why it occurs. We also speak about welfare and food stamps so that the students know and understand the environment they are working in” (Dean and Hursley, 2003).

The studio’s current emphasis and direction appears promising as it moves to more community-based and integrative buildings. The complexity of the projects appears to increase each year, as does the technology employed. One of the most recent projects, the Thomaston, Alabama Food Market, engages an urban context and is unlike the other, more rural, projects. The project is sited on a main arterial street and ventures into economic small-town development. It is made of steel tubing and a galvanized metal roof. The first steel building by the Rural Studio, it sits on the street and integrates with the surrounding buildings.


Figure 4.7: Thomaston Alabama Farmer’s Market, 2000

Critics have accused the Rural Studio of exploiting the poor for the interests of architectural students and professors. This is possible and needs to be explored. In response to this criticism, Professor Mockbee states, “It is a two-way street. We don’t judge or ask questions. No one is feeling like anyone is taking advantage of anyone” (Mockbee, 2002).

Some clients have expressed concerns about the length of time the projects take. Hale County District Court Judge William Ryan defended the Rural Studio by stating, “...You have to understand they are learning as they go. It is a trade off ... We got a livelier, more imaginative and much less expensive building than we would have gotten on the common market” (Dean and Hursley, 2002).

Another improvement that could be implemented at the studio is the level of craftsmanship. Some of the projects show deficiencies, such as bowing plywood sheets and poorly ageing materials. This aspect could be improved with proper weatherproof coatings and better care taken in the implementation and assembly of the buildings. It also appears that the shop-build components, such as the steel trusses, are of much better quality because of the smaller tolerances allowed in shop-build construction. This aspect could be integrated in the future projects.

Mockbee’s death in late 2001 presented the studio with another difficult obstacle. Because he was such a luminary figure, he could be difficult to replace. Like Taliesin architects, who attempted to practice after the death of Frank Lloyd Wright, the Rural Studio will have to adopt a more integrative approach in leadership. One option worth consideration is bringing in outstanding architects practising in the field to work with the students on a rotating basis.

A current weakness of the programme is the lack of future visioning and planning. Professor Mockbee seemed to have an ability to envision the direction of the studio and to identify its future projects. Without his leadership, the current leaders, such as Professor Ruth, will have to work to identify these projects and to implement them.

Another weakness was uncovered during on-site visits to the studio and in several of the student interviews. It appears that four families predominantly reside in Greensboro. The studio has concentrated mainly on two of those families. The other residents appear to resent this emphasis. One possible solution is for the studio to focus on public projects and perhaps institute a random lottery system, which would make selection more clear. The studio could also let the public officials play a more active role in the client selection.

4.4 The Relationship Between Higher Education and Work
This section further refines the notion of taking a live project, which has practice-based intentions, into the academic realm. It offers recommendations that can be used in conceiving and implementing the interactive live projects. Group and peer assessment are also discussed, as the professors at both Yale and Auburn state that it is a challenge to fairly assess group projects.

A conceptual framework can be created between higher education and the work environment. At its essence, the DBS provides an accurate and transferable model that describes this connection. Academia is separate, but sometimes attempts to approximate—through analogue or simulation—work practices. Sometimes academic projects are allowed to be real projects such as the Yale Building Project or the Auburn Rural Studio. These projects attempt to directly connect student learning with service learning.

“In the discussions of the relationships between higher education and work, three assumptions are usually found. First, the topic is viewed as only comprising graduate employment. Second, the topic is frequently viewed as being the exclusive domain of the economists. Other disciplines may have only a marginal interest. Third, reflection and research on the relationships between education and employment are frequently depicted as being ideologically bound to support a belief that higher education should subordinate itself to the needs of the economy” (Brennan, Kogan, Teichler, 1999).

“At a subject and discipline level it is clear from the analysis of the form and extent of curriculum change that subject communities vary in their power to resist change and in their openness to new influences. This difference is attributable to the intrinsic characteristics of subjects. Those with a shared paradigm or over arching theory or set of theories, which rely on an exclusive language or technique in the execution of their work, and are clear about the knowledge and criteria of determining merit in their work are likely to be less responsive to external influence” (Brennan, Kogan, Teichler, 1998).

This quote explains that outside forces, such as the formulation of design-build in practice, might have an affect on academia as an outside force. The professor, through the formulation of learning objectives, then attempts to approximate actual practice. In the case of the Yale DBS, this is done in conjunction with on-campus coursework. In the case of the Auburn DBS, this is done off-campus with almost total focus and immersion in the DBS. “Responsiveness at institutional levels also varied according to several complex dimensions. A potent factor was the status of the institution; the vulnerability was another (which could outweigh status). The objective of curriculum relevance increased in economic pressures even in high status, long established programmes. The test ought to be, therefore, not whether each subject pursues the same skills but a common emphasis on the value of skills which are transferable and which have either a general or specific relevance to employment” (Brennan, Kogan, Teichler, 1998). The importance of such core skills is shown in the following diagram:
















Figure 4.8: Transferable Personal Skills (a developmental model)







Figure 4.9: Professional verses academic skills

Learning in academia and learning in practice appear to be very different acts. In academia, a certain openness and insular protection seem to allow students and professors to both operate in safety. Liability, for example, seems to be a term not relevant in academic projects. Another aspect is surface learning verses deep learning. “Subsequently there have been various attempts to clarify the nature of personal transferable skills and competencies which are appropriate as defined both by educators and employers and those which are considered as essential or core skills as compared to more specific work related skills” (Brannon, Kogan, Teichler, 1998).

Group Assessment has always been a difficult aspect in academic projects. In the DBS, it is even more difficult and often not discussed until student complaints or accreditation criteria are discussed. When a group produces work, it is extremely challenging to determine authorship of ideas or work because of the hectic and collaborative process which emerges. As described by Miller, Imrie and Cox (1988), group projects can offer the following benefits in an academic realm:

• An improved capacity for interpreting the evidence and analysing concepts
• A more sophisticated and systematic approach to problem solving
• A more critical approach to reading
• An enhanced sense of the personal meaningfulness of the material
• A fuller appreciation of the rich variety of opinion and experience
• A keener appreciation of the provisional nature of the current state of knowledge

Group project assessment is important for the architectural curriculum. Clear learning objectives as well as assessment criteria need to be outlined by the professor for the student’s understanding prior to the beginning of the projects. The following points have been described by Gentle (1995):

• [Clear assessment] gives students a clear statement on assessment criteria, advice on how to plan and execute the project, and information on how to write a thesis
• Giving new staff, and remaining old hands, information about the assessment criteria, how to run a typical project and cope with problems, and how to produce an objective final mark
• Ensuring a reasonable degree of commonality of standards across different assessors and providing arbitration advice in any disagreements between examiners

The comparative worth of individual contributions in group projects should also be discussed here. “The easiest approach and, in some respects, the most desirable when comparing a university class with the ideal situation in industry is for all members to share the mark or grade allocated to their team. If this convention is explained to the class and accepted by them when projects are allocated, it may be the best and simplest procedure to adopt for that component of the total assessment” (Miller, et al, 1988). Conway (1993) reminds us that students undertaking group projects are usually very enthusiastic and “highly motivated”; consequently they tend to score well in these projects. It is very difficult to describe the difference between the performances of different students. Collier (1985) states that successful group projects are likely to have the following qualities:

• The problem to be solved is an example of the type of problems found in the community, in industry or in commerce
• Solution of the problem requires the use of knowledge, skills and attitudes which are part of the students’ curriculum
• The problem can be solved by a small team of students, none of whom possess the necessary knowledge of skills to solve the problem alone, yet each member is able to contribute to the solution
• Decisions regarding investigative methods and the respective investigative methods and the respective tasks for each team member are the responsibility of the group rather than being decided by the teacher
• The final report needs to be brief and suitable for presentation to an audience (of other class members)
• It should be possible to judge the relative value of each students contribution to the project
• Assessment procedures should be such that they will be accepted by students and faculty as valid and realisable

It appears, based on the research of Collier (1985) and Miller (1988), that several distinct factors emerge in group projects in the academic forum. Students appear to have a heightened motivation level as evidenced by the extra time and energy they put into the projects. They appear to develop a stronger sense of mutual obligation among the student team, and they appear to develop a new set of skills, which Collier calls “a higher order set of skills.” Students appear to develop a better capacity to apply learned concepts in new situations (Collier, 1985).

Self assessment within the DBS is also important. Recent literature dealing with assessment in higher education strongly supports the use of self assessment at both the peer and self levels. Woods, for example, describes a self-assessment method as such: “Self assessment is the ability of a person to accurately evaluate or assess his or her performance, and his or her strengths or weaknesses. Mature self assessment recognizes that evaluation concerns the performance and not the person. When an assessment is made, the judgement is not whether the student is good or bad; rather, it is whether the performance of a task was good or bad. To emphasize this point, self assessment might be renamed “self performance assessment” (1988).

These comments relate to the case studies, to the DBS and to architectural education in general. In architectural education, the use of the jury review system, by which students present their work to a jury, is still used. Rarely are group projects undertaken in the studio, and assessment is always a difficult and amorphous problem. Assessment appears to be greatly enhanced when learning objectives are clearly stated to the students. Brown and Knight (1994) posit a reminder to us that assessment can be done by the students. “Students will be expected to practise self evaluation in every area of their lives on graduation and it is good exercise in self development to ensure that these abilities are extended. In many of the types of assessment that students undertake, they are expected to assess the process as well as the product and while the assessment of the product is very often best undertaken by a third person, assessment of process necessarily involves those involved in the process” (Brown and Knight, 1994).

How do we assess design process? How does the professor do this, is it appropriate for architecture students to assess themselves? A simulation of practice, albeit an abstraction, of actual design and construction occurs in the DBS. When assessing group work, it is essential that if the process of group working is to be assessed, the participants themselves should be involved in doing so. Brown and Knight also uncover another interesting aspect of self assessment—that of student ownership. This aspect may affect the malaise that we often associate with student work. They add, “Assessment is not then a process done to them, but is a participative process much more one of learning because learners are able to share with one another the experiences they have undertaken” (1994).

Another aspect to self assessment is peer assessment. It is a variant on self assessment and could potentially add value to the learning process. It is possible that the student’s cognitive skills may be enhanced by peer assessment because of the reflective nature of this act. Ausubel offers support for this statement: “If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: The most important factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach accordingly” (1968).

The following are some of the points described by Miller:

• Two students sharing each other’s assessment can be more objective when basing the assessment on a shared set of criteria and assessment schedule.
• The active and interactive experience can develop insights and enhance understanding through the process of articulating assessment comments.
• The peer experience of shared assessment can encourage shared study and teamwork thus developing a related transferable skill.
• Peer assessment can contribute to group or team assessment and is likely to be used when two or more students are involved in project work, which is intended to develop cooperative learning and team skills (1998).

A strong case for peer assessment of group projects is made by Rafiq and Fullerton (1996) who have used this approach within their civil engineering classes at the University of Plymouth, England. Like architecture students in the DBS, these civil engineering students work in teams. In both professions, industry looks for graduates who are able to make continuous assessments of their own contributions to a project as well as the work of other team members (Miller, 1998).

Rafiq and Fullerton state, “Continuous project meetings, consultation and project coordination are an essential part of the stage of design. Generally the success or the failure of a project depends on the coherence of the design team’s activities. Every member of the team monitors, discusses, assesses and criticizes the activities of the others throughout all stages of the design process. This is how a real live project develops from initial thoughts and ideas” (1996).

Conflict can occur, however, during the peer assessment process in the DBS. Students have commented in interviews that they are feeling policed by their own friends. This aspect should be repaired and analysed.

Another very helpful recourse is the following list by Rafiq and Fullerton (1996):

Students should have demonstrated or were proficient in (such as in the DBS):
• An overall level of participation
• An understanding of what was required (of them)
• Suggesting ideas
• Extracting something useful from ideas
• Performing routine tasks
• Drawings things together (consolidation)
• Keeping the group going through difficult patches
• Sorting out problems

This list should prove transferable to any group project. Miller urges us to “strongly support these views regarding the value of self and peer assessment and urges all university teachers to ensure that their students practice these at some stage in their teaching” (1988).

The following list by Miller (1988) assists in formulating a marking system for group projects:

Marks
• for a major contributor to the team
• for an average contributor to the team
• 1 for a below average contributor to the team
• 0 for no contribution to the team
• -1 for a hindrance to the group on the project

4.5 Summary
The introduction of design-build approaches in North American architectural education may provide measurable learning opportunities for students to integrate technology, craftsmanship, social responsibility and collaborative design. This chapter reveals a clear difference between two award-winning architectural programmes.

The Yale model centres on housing issues in a neighbourhood near the New Haven, Connecticut campus. The projects are required to fit into a historical context and work within very strict review processes and building code requirements. The curricular integration within the housing studio sequence is a major strength of this programme. The faculty's objective to use the DBS project to integrate real-life ideas into the curriculum appears to be successfully met. A possible weakness is the client choice: the Habitat for Humanity guidelines appear to limit the students in terms of design response, material usage and learning outcomes.

Auburn's DBS also appears to be quite promising, but with some weaknesses. One strength is the vigorous design responses in this rural context. Another is the creative integration of sustainable and environments responses. A third is the outstanding media and public support for the projects, which have been widely covered. The major weakness is the dependence on a luminary figure. With the death of Professor Mockbee, the studio appears to be having a difficult time visioning for the future and maintaining focus on learning objectives. As the studio grows, this could be solved through guest faculty. Unlike Yale’s programme, the students must leave the main campus for this DBS. This requires a great deal of dedication on the student’s part, yet it appears to recharge the students rather than discourage.

The following table summarizes the differences between the two models:

Comparative
Matrix Yale University Building Project Auburn University
Rural Studio
Team Sizes and Level 14-30 students in DBS
First-year graduate students 20-30 second-year level students and 3-4 teams of fifth-year thesis students
Type of Projects Completed
Urban housing Rural housing and community-based projects
Learning Objectives (as stated by the professor) “Let the students understand the complexities of building.” “Let the students be members of the community.”
Assessment Methods No grades A-F grading scale; no peer assessment
Client Interaction Very rare Frequent; clients often work with students
Workmanship Very high level of craftsmanship—projects appear to be weathering well High level of craftsmanship—
some projects are not weathering well

Diagram 4.5: Transferable Personal Skills (a developmental model)

CHAPTER FIVE: Design-Build Studios and Technology Transfer

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Technology Transfer
5.3 Rapid Prototyping
5.4 Peter Rice and Full-Scale Modelling
5.5 Electronic Media
5.6 Frank O. Gehry and Partners—CATIA Processes
5.7 Computer-Aided Manufacturing
5.8 Technology and the DBS
5.9 Summary

5.1 Introduction
The role of this chapter is to describe some of the forefront process based approaches in current engineering and architectural practice. Its purpose is to encourage and help reconcile DBS projects and faculty to consider Syllabus Design, which will incorporate some of these approaches. This will help push the educational learning objectives forward and allow the Learning Outcomes within the DBS to be focused and informed by some of these cutting edge ideas in Architectural Practice.

The Chapter allows us to forecast where architectural education might go in the future as DBS Professors might include new materials such as carbon fibers, dichroic glass, sustainable methods, and CATIA design processes. These studios could also work with materials scientists and Architectural Practitioners to study new materials and test them before they come to market. Within the boundary of this study this Chapter is not a comprehensive look at these new ideas, Rather it is a survey of some of the ideas present which help act as vector forces for the DBS professors to analyze and consider.

Technology is reshaping the face of today's architectural practice. Email and video conferencing is now routine and geographic barriers that once prevented collaboration have now been removed. Design drawings can be priced more accurately because of the computer, and spaces can be visualized to a precise extent, including materials, lighting and spatial perception.

Technology has also changed architectural education. Students now use the computer to build study models and walk-throughs that simulate the experience of assembling and experiencing architecture. It appears, however, that architectural education is a step behind architectural practice. This chapter examines several cutting-edge methods being used in the field. Its purpose is to encourage DBS professors to align more closely with these trends so architectural students will be better prepared for practice.
5.2 Technology Transfer
Technology transfer has been one of the most exciting areas of research in the design-build method. It is the practice of evaluating how technologies from one discipline can transfer to another, sometimes unrelated, discipline. Technology transfer is most typically used in the automotive, aerospace and shipbuilding industries. Kieran Timberlake, a leader in this area of research, advocates an
integration from four related disciplines involved in the construction
process which are architecture, construction, materials science and product
engineering (2003). Researchers believe this integration will transform the way architects practice.

Transfer processes appear to reinvent the construction process. “Many of the recent production advances within the automotive or aerospace industries can be traced back to advanced organizational or management models. Contemporary automotive design is based on a model of integrated design and rapid prototyping that utilizes a collective knowledge from many sources throughout the entire design and fabrication process. This contrasts with the typical design/construction model, which is based on a linear design process where each source of expertise operates independently before passing the work on to the next expert” (Timberlake, 2003).

Timberlake also states, “The coordination effort between the architect's construction drawings and the installation of a particular trade’s work is based on a process of redundant drawing, checking and redrawing and rechecking that is systematically organized to catch mistakes before they are installed on site. A typical architect might take the following path:

(1) The architect and engineer submit construction documents (CDs) to a contractor;
(2) The contractor passes these CDs to a fabricator of choice;
(3) A fabricator hires a company to execute the shop drawings;
(4) Based on an interpretation of the architect’s CDs, the detailer drafts a series of shop drawings that indicate exact scope, specific fabrication information, and installation details;
(5) The shop drawings are passed back through the fabricator to the contractor and on to the architect/engineer for review;
(6) After reviewing and checking the shop drawings to see if they comply with the intent of the CDs, they will be passed back down the line (Timberlake, 2003).

This circuitous task process is quickly being overtaken by computer modelling techniques, which are now combined with fabrication software that connect the architect directly to the fabricator. In the future, it is likely that the architect’s precise computer model will become the shop drawing, and fabrication will be executed from this. “This research initiative is intended to evaluate, for their potential transfer to the building realm, a wide range of technologies (including both process innovations and cutting-edge material applications) used beneficially in other industries” (Timberlake, 2003).

5.3 Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping refers to a wide range of state-of-the-art techniques in which a three-dimensional design specified by a computer file is fabricated in a machine that calculates the object’s cross section, then sinters, laminates or solidifies hundreds of very thin cross-sectional layers (Hart, 2003). Rapid prototyping allows for the testing of materials and systems. These prototypes allow an architect to input size and shape data so that building details, such as a wall or roof connection, can be tested. The technique can also be used to test the overall performance of a building model, including its aerodynamics, solar patterns and thermal efficiency. It allows for the quick testing of multiple conceptual frameworks early on in the design process, which appears encouraging.

In automobile production, the assembly line has streamlined the way that cars are built. “These techniques are based on principles of repetitive actions taking place in controlled conditions. Other than minor improvements to the tools of construction, which remain reliant on manual operations, the possibility of transferring automated techniques to the industry has not been a realistic goal. A series of conditions related to project scale, precise engineering techniques and computer integration have conspired to make automated construction one vision of the future of construction” (Timberlake, 2003).


5.4 Peter Rice and Full-Scale Modelling

“Each time you go out to discover something which gives you another direction to turn to but of course there’s a big problem. People say to me again and again. Oh, you’ve had so many interesting projects, why doesn’t anyone else get them, why do they always come to you? But in a way this is the point: although you have to do commissions, you have to make what you can out of the commissions you get. And, you know, gradually people come to you to buy surprise I have no idea of what I am going to give them either. It’s not like I’m going out of my way to surprise them, I’m actually quite often surprised myself by what the outcome is because I’m a bit like a hound following a fox; I’m following something really close to the ground and I can’t actually see where it’s going. I’ve got my nose to the ground to make sure I’m following properly” (Rice, 2003).

The work of engineer Peter Rice offers an important process model. A particularly helpful project to study is the Menil Collection in Houston, which was a collaboration between the architect, Renzo Piano, and the engineer, Peter Rice of Ove Arup and Partners. The project involved housing an art collection for the DeMenil Family. The client's desire for natural light guided the project. “By this she meant that in daytime there would be a direct relationship between the levels of light inside the museum and the outside: that is, when the sun came out, the inside would light up with the extra external light” (Rice, 1993).

During the time of Piano and Rice, we had experimented with various materials. Ferro-cement and ductile iron were two of these materials. In combining them we sought to weave together the porcelain-like fragility of the ductile iron with the soft, grainy like texture of the Ferro-cement into a continuous melded whole. Renzo, with active support from me, decided that the Menil Gallery roof would be in ferro-cement. This is a highly reinforced thin sheet of concrete. Pier Luigi Nervi, the outstanding designer of the age in Italy in the 1950’s, invented me. The ferro-cement, which is usually made by a plastering technique and is seen its principal uses in boats, is a material dependent on very high quality workmanship to make it sound and durable. In its normal condition it is 1.5-4 centimetres in thickness with six to eight layers of wire mesh reinforcement. When it is used in boats, a steel cage is made to approximate the shape wanted. This cage, which has occasional longer rods to help keep its shape, becomes a rigid hull. Very dry mortar is then made and the cage is plastered and then finished on the outside by wooden and steel towelling. It is very important for the quality of the final project that the plastering is done in a single continuous application and that no dry joints occur, that is joints between the mortar which has already started to harden and wet mortar which is being applied (Rice, 1993).

The collaboration between Rice and Piano enhanced the design-build process. The project is an amalgam of both of their ideas, and the ideas are totally and inextricably linked to the process of ferro-cement making, on which Rice expands:

The essence of ferro-cement is that it has a very high toughness and uses the minimum amount of materials. It was invented for a situation where materials are expensive and labour costs are low. Low labour costs usually indicate that good-quality craft labour will also be available. Most of the recent development and research into the material has been done in India. But it is also a material, which because of its fineness, low thickness and plastered finish is capable of very elegant shapes and surface quality. The plastering is an essential feature of the manufacturing process. It guarantees a very dense matrix of mortar in the spaces between the mesh, and the quality of the matrix can be inspected while finishing the outer surface. So, in deciding to use ferro-cement, we were choosing to use craft-produced material in an industrial environment. Houston, we thought, being near the sea would have an important boat and yacht building tradition. We could be lucky (Rice, 1993).

Rice and Piano's collaboration included input from lighting designers, the client, art consultants and other related engineers. This amount of input at such an early stage of the projects could have confused other lead designers, but Piano and Rice incorporated this information into a clear and consistent whole. They also created a template, which included careful hand craft as well as the benefit of steel and ferro-cement prefabrication. “When Renzo produced his first sketch design, he showed a space frame with the ferro-cement louvers integrated into the structure as shear elements, replacing the diagonals. I quickly realized that this would not work, as it defined the form of the louvers before we knew the requirements for the light. I proposed instead that the louvers be separate elements, forming the lower members of a truss with the steel elements above to complete the structure of the roof” (Rice, 1993).

Another Texas museum, designed about twenty years before by Louis I. Kahn, directly influenced this project. The lighting system implemented in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas also used the notion of diffused light and naturally lit paintings. For this project, Kahn had full-scale mock-ups of the lighting diffusers made and ultimately chose the 50% perforations for the desired lighting affects. The illustrations at the end of this section include Kahn's sketch for these diffusers and the ultimate realization in the gallery space.

Rice states that the full-scale prototype model was a critical element in the design process:

We made a fibreglass mould of a leaf and then made a back-up mould to act as a surface to spray on to; we developed a way to manufacture the multi-layers of mesh to place into the mould. The key problem was how to guarantee that the mortar matrix was dense. Obviously, it came through the steel layers in dense form and looked solid and sound on the formed surface; that was a good indication. The second part of the project was the trussing structure. Here I decided that we should use ductile iron. Ductile iron is a form of iron, which does not have the usual brittleness of cast iron. It was invented in Britain at the end of the 1940s. Cast iron is different from cast steel, the casting materials used in the Centre Pompidou. Ductile iron gets ductility because the carbon crystals coagulate into round balls and do not have the sharp surfaces of normal cast iron. I had long wanted to use ductile iron, another idea carried from my past (1993).





Figure 5.1: Early sketch of leaf prototype. De Menil Museum, Fort Worth, Texas






Figure 5.2: Section Drawing. De Menil Museum, Fort Worth, Texas


Figure 5.3: Section Drawing. Kimbell Art Museum, Louis I. Kahn Architect, Fort Worth, Texas


Figure 5.4: Interior. Kimbell Art Museum, Louis I. Kahn Architect, Fort Worth, Texas


Figure 5.5: Interior. Kimbell Art Museum, Louis I. Kahn Architect, Fort Worth, Texas


Figure 5.6: Full Scale Prototype in Ferro-Cement. De Menil Museum, Fort Worth, Texas


Figure 5.7: Full Scale Prototype in Ferro-Cement. Installed Version, De Menil Museum, Fort Worth, Texas


Figure 5.8: Full Scale Prototype in Ferro-Cement. Construction Process showing casting Jig, De Menil Museum, Fort Worth, Texas


5.5 Electronic Media
In Visions Unfolding: Architecture in the Age of Electronic Media (1992), Peter Eisenman argues that architecture is out of pace with electronic age:

During the fifty years since the Second World War, a paradigm shift has taken place that should have profoundly affected architecture: this was the shift from the mechanical paradigm to the electronic one. This change can simply be understood by comparing the impact of the role of the human subject on such primary modes of reproduction as the photograph and the fax; the photograph within the mechanical paradigm, the fax within the electronic one. In photographic reproduction, the subject still maintains a controlled interaction with the object within the object. A photograph can be developed with more or less contrast, texture, or clarity. The photograph can be said to remain in the control of human vision. The human subject thus retains its function as interpreter, as discursive function. With the fax, the human subject is no longer called upon to interpret, for reproduction takes place without any control or adjustment. The fax also challenges the concept of originality. While in a photograph the original reproduction still retains a privileged value in facsimile transmission the original remains intact but with no differentiating value since it is no longer sent. The mutual devaluation of both original and copy is not the only transformation affected by the electronic paradigm. The entire nature of what we have come to know as the reality of our world has been called into question by the invasion of media into everyday life. For reality always demanded that our vision be interpretive (Eisenman, 1992).

The description of reality, whether virtual or constructed, relates directly to the DBS, which is largely out of step with actual practice. Eisenman discusses the connection between vision and the designer, which is the primary reason that the DBS could be an important teaching tool:

How have these developments affected architecture? Since architecture has traditionally housed value as well as fact, one would imagine that architecture would have been greatly transformed. But this is not the case, for architecture has traditionally been a bastion of what is considered to be the real. Metaphors, such as “house and home,” “bricks and mortar” and “foundations and shelter,” attest to architecture’s role in defining what we consider to be real. Clearly, a change in the everyday concepts of reality should have had some affect on architecture. It did not because the mechanical paradigm was the sine qua non of architecture; architecture was the visible manifestation of the overcoming of natural forces such as gravity and weather by mechanical means. Architecture not only overcame gravity, it was also the monument to that overcoming; it interpreted the value society placed on its vision. The electronic paradigm directs a powerful challenge to architecture because it defines reality in terms of media and simulation; it values appearance over existence, what can be seen over what is. Not the seen as we formerly knew it but rather a seeing we can no longer interpret. Media introduce fundamental ambiguities into how and what we see. Architecture has resisted this question because, since the importation and absorption of perspective by architectural space in the fifteenth century, architecture has been dominated by the mechanics of vision. Thus architecture assumes sight to be refinement and also in some way natural to its own processes, not a thing to be questioned. It is precisely this traditional concept of sight that the electronic paradigm questions (1992).

The DBS connects the abstract realm of envisioning with the haptic realm of hand-to-mind connection and material assembly. “Sight is traditionally understood in terms of vision. When I use the term vision, I mean that particular characteristic of sight which attaches seeing to thinking, the eye to the mind” (Eisenman, 1992). Sight, which includes seeing the team on the project and seeing ideas turn to reality, is critical to the DBS. The electronic visualisation methods allow these ideas to be seen more clearly. “It might be said that architecture never adequately thought about the problem of vision because it remained within the concept of the subject and the four walls. Architecture, unlike any other discipline, concretised vision” (Eisenman, 1992).

5.6 Frank O. Gehry and Partners—CATIA Processes
Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application, or CATIA, was first used in the 1992 fish sculpture designed by Frank Gehry for the Vila Olimpica in Barcelona. This software was originally developed for the aerospace industry by Dessault Systemes of Paris, France and has revolutionized the way that irregularly shaped buildings can be produced. According to a project architect in the Gehry office, Gerhard Mayer, “Gehry’s designs are worked out at length in physical models, which are then laser scanned in three dimensions by a mechanical arm” (Architecture Magazine, 2002).

“Frank Owen Gehry opened an efficient architecture studio in 1962. But sixteen years later, almost all at once, he overthrew the canons of daily professionalism for a new and audacious experimentation. He began an intense research presented in 1986 that launched him into the international spotlight” (Lindsey, 2002).

Frank Gehry's experimentation involved using the computer as a design tool and working with cutting-edge engineering and fabrication contractors in order to reinvent the construction process. Gehry’s design process incorporates a “skin-in” approach, meaning he works from the envelope of the building in, as opposed to the strict modernist doctrine of working from the structural grid out (Le Corbusier, 1929). This approach is linked to a paradigmatic approach to architecture as a whole. The modernist method was similar to an assembly line: pieces were developed that made up the machine/architecture, components were standardised and the various systems (of architecture, plants, exterior panels) were made as autonomous and independent as possible. Gehry’s method is relational: The secret is the relation between the parts instead of their independence. Underneath the curvature of his architecture, lies an electronic system that Gehry developed.

In the early 1990s, the Gehry office had only three outdated computers, which were mainly used for accounting purposes. The office purchased discarded IBM computers at a garage sale and then began a computer revolution in architectural design.

Frank Gehry was trained in an era when becoming an architect was an act of social responsibility. Gehry was forty-nine years old and had been practicing architecture for sixteen years when he had designed his own house in Santa Monica, California in 1978. When asked how he starts a project, he replies, “through drawing.” When asked how he gets his ideas, he states, “we talk to the client, a lot.” These self effacing comments by Gehry himself, and the tendency of others to dismiss his hard work to the exigency of genius, hide the exceptionally efficient entity of his design process. Similarly, the designation of Gehry as an artist, and his work as sculptural, had unexplainably delayed the recognition that he and his office deserves in contributing to changes in architecture and architectural practice. His matter-of-fact manner also hides the obvious importance of the statements themselves—he does begin with a project through drawing and he does talk “a lot” to his clients” (Lindsey 2002).

Jim Glymph joined the firm in 1989 as an executive architect. He was hired because of the problems arising in the design of the Disney Concert Hall. “The office worked with French aerospace engineers who helped design the Mirage fighter plane. They developed a computer model of a doubly curving stone panel of the concert hall exterior. The model was used to generate tool paths that automated the carving process and demonstrated the feasibility of the process. Despite this graphic proof showing that the complex forms could be constructed economically, the project was plagued by budget overruns. In a manner typical of many architectural offices, Gehry produced design documents that were subsequently developed by another firm designated as Executive Architect” (Lindsey, 2002).

The first digital project fully realised in the Gehry office was the Barcelona Fish.

Glymph, with extensive experience as an executive architect, began to develop the in-house expertise to realize that increasingly exuberant formal developments of Gehry. A “technical genius” as described by Gehry, Glymph immediately saw the deeper potential for the computer to assist in the construction of more complex shapes. The first real test would come in a building for the 1992 Olympic Village in Barcelona—part of a residential and commercial master plan designed by Bruce Graham of Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM). The 54-meter-long and 35-meter-high fish-shaped canopy was part of a 14,000-square-meter commercial development designed by Gehry. The dynamic shape was to be realized in a steel frame clad in woven stainless steel. With an extremely tight construction schedule of ten months, Glymph faced a familiar architectural problem—how to build a complex object, in a short amount of time, within the budget allotted (Lindsey, 2002).

As Gehry’s first fully digital project and a turning point in his design process, the Barcelona Fish project warrants elaboration.

The design was initially developed from Gehry’s sketches and translated into a wood and metal model. With the design work complete, the problem emerged: how to construct and support a fish. Glymph and the office worked with William Mitchell, Professor of Architecture and computer guru at Harvard, and student Evan Smythe to model the complex form with Alias software. They produced a digital model that was visually accurate but lacked the necessary information to construct the form. The surface of the Alias computer model, defined as a grid of polygons approximating the shape, did not allow for the precise spatial location of points on the surface. The majority of the software written for the architectural field at the time consisted of either two dimensional drafting programmes or modelling programmes designed for visualization. This software could not support the connection of the digital model to computer aided manufacturing that Glymph felt was an essential step in building the computer forms (Lindsey, 2003).

Knowing that the software that could produce the required accuracy and depth existed in the automotive and aerospace industry, Glymph went searching for the right application. He found CATIA, a software company developed for the aerospace industry by Dessault, a French software company associated with IBM. With that, he became a pivotal figure in the development of the Gehry office. Not only did he have the foresight to adopt the CATIA programme, he understood its value to Gehry in that irregular forms could be realised and linked to the construction process. Another of Glymph's contributions was recruiting Rick Smith. Smith states, “He contacted me at my office. I was working for IBM at the time. They said they wanted to build a building in the shape of a fish. You know we’re in the aerospace industry and we were all kind of laughing, but I liked the idea. I could take this on. I always wanted to be an architect” (2000).

Gehry's methods shifted radically at this time in his career. Using methods previously employed by his office to produce the tedious hand drawings—string, plumb bobs and countless measurements—a digital model was produced. It was based on CATIA’s complete numerical control, developing descriptions for the surface that were described by polynomial equations. The surface was literally “built” using the mathematical equations of descriptive geometry. This allowed the spatial location of any point on the surface to be determined precisely. Smith’s digital model was used to generate a laser-cut paper stack model in order to verify the accuracy of the translation. It matched. Working from the surface of the digital model, Smith developed a series of connection points that located where the woven skin could be attached to the steel frame. These points were converted to AES format and used by the structural engineers of SOM to develop the structural skeleton. The skin was offset from the structure an average of ten inches and was supported from the frame with steel strakes of varying sizes. This system—a skin, a space for connection and a space for the structure—was later used on the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (1991-97) and the Experience Music Project (EMP) in Seattle (1995-2000).

“Working from the structure to the skin, and hampered by the difficulty of understanding a complex three-dimensional form with two-dimensional drawings, they failed six times” (Novitski, 1992). Smith flew to Italy, and, for eleven days worked with the construction team to “get it out.” Working from the skin to the structure, they determined the exact dimensions of each strake and produced paper templates that were used.

The next project developed in the CATIA design process model was the Hanover Bus Stop. This project, built for Expo 2000, allowed Gehry’s team to further the design process begun with the Fish project and to completely build the project in CATIA without any other type of construction documents.

Digital information is malleable. Once the information of the final design model is in a digital form, it can play a number of other roles; simulation, direct detailing, and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) being the most recent. While Smith recites an office rule, “model all and only necessary design information,” the digital models have become increasingly more detailed. This occurs through the continued development of the model by the design team, as well as contributions by consultants and manufacturers who relay their work back. Jim Glyph has stated, 'The cost of producing and reviewing shop drawings in a large project far exceeds the architectural and engineering fees'” (Cocke, 2000).



Figure 5.9: Hanover Bus Stop, CATIA study drawing

Figure 5.10: Hanover Bus Stop, study model


Figure 5.11: Early Developmental Study model in wire screen and chipboard of the Museo Bilbao


Figure 5.12: Early Developmental Study model in wire screen and chipboard of the Museo Bilbao


Figure 5.13: Early Developmental Study model in wire screen and chipboard of the Museo Bilbao



Figure 5.14: Bilbao Museum—Entry study model






Museo Bilbao
Process Image CATIA Process in the Gehry Office


1

Step One

Jim Glymph or CATIA engineer traces sketch model for digital input in the Gehry offices.




2

Step Two

Surface model is created in CATIA from the digitized points.


3

Step Three

Shaded surface model is created in CATIA from the surface model.


4

Step Four

CNC fabricated milled model is created to verify the accuracy of the computer model.



5

Step Five

After verification and possible revisions, a model is created which designates the primary structural framing members in CATIA.



6

Step Six

Immediately following the previous step, the secondary structure, such as purlins and skin attachment, is created.









7

Step Seven

Frank Gehry and Jim Glymph and office staff examine the models again and check for aesthetic and functional soundness. Shop drawings of the frame are emailed to the office from the structural fabricator and carefully checked in the Gehry office.


8

Step Eight

After about a 5 month period of checking shop drawings and fabrication, the structural frame is assembled on site and checked by the general contractor, project engineers and architectural team.



9

Step Nine

After about an 8 month period of construction, titanium cladding is applied to the secondary structure.


10

Step Ten

The completed building is tested and occupied.
Figure 5.15: CATIA Process



Figure 5.16: Frank Gehry CATIA Process Drawing
5.7 Computer-Aided Manufacturing
Perhaps the most innovative use of digital information in the Gehry office, and the most relevant to this study, is computer-aided manufacturing.

…Computer-aided manufacturing allows the continuity to extend from the design through construction. This continuity crosses traditional professional boundaries and practices, reconstituting the architect in a central role in the process of construction. For architecture, it promises to be as important an influence as the adaptation of industrial practices over the last fifty years: mass production, standardization, prefabrication and the industrial production of building component selection and arrangement. These practices have changed the role of the contractor into one of management and assembly. With the opportunities offered through “mass-customisation,” the traditional rules of economy, where regular organizations and straight repetitive elements cost less, are no longer operative. While the assembly is still required by the contractor, the continuity of the process allows for the manufacturer and the contractor to be a part of the design team as a significant partner (Lindsey, 2003).

One of the other exciting new technologies that directly affects the future of the DBS is the three-dimensional printer. “Even in the age of high-quality renderings and fly-through CAD applications, the value of the old-fashioned scale model endures. For computer-phobic clients, investors, or tenants, the ability to absorb the programming, layout and themes of a miniature structure built in balsa wood or polyurethane foam is instantaneous, even comforting” (Ivy, 2004).
5.8 Technology and the DBS
This chapter demonstrates that architecture is a rapidly changing practice. In just ten years, an entire design process and methodology within the Frank Gehry office changed. The production process of the architecture also changed. How does this type of inherent change affect architectural education? How does it inherently affect the concept of the DBS? It appears that if the DBS would more closely align with some of these practice-based changes, it might prepare the students in a more effective way for the rapidly changing practice. Most of the DBS programmes that have been discussed use, for example, stick frame construction. This method is more than one hundred years old and may need to be re-evaluated in order to prepare students for new technologies.

5.9 Summary
This chapter presents an overview of some of the most cutting-edge practices within current architectural practice, including transfer technology, full-scale prototyping and CATIA processes. In relation to the DBS, transfer technology allows for interdisciplinary collaboration so the field of architecture can benefit from the successful methods of other industries. Full-scale prototyping allows students to see detail assemblies at full-size and to test their design ideas. The electronic model puts the architect in control of the building project. This study illustrates these methods in order to inspire DBS faculty to incorporate the rapidly changing technology into their learning objectives, thus better preparing students for practice.


CHAPTER SIX: Conclusions

6.1 Introduction
6.2 Practical Skills and Field Work in Academia
6.3 Assessment and the DBS
6.4 Interaction with Clients
6.5 Conclusions
6.6 Recommendations

6.7 Contribution


6.1 Introduction
The conclusion of this study identifies a possible growing trend in North American architectural schools. This trend is creating productive results and fervour among architectural students and faculty. Each programme appears to adapt the ideas of construction in the design studio in idiosyncratic ways. Some of the programme studies foster an altruistic social agenda where societal needs are primary and synthetic. These programmes layer this socio-political obligation onto the basic intent of the design and construction based studios. This is most evident in the work at Auburn University, where community needs have been identified with stunning abstractions of the Alabama vernacular. The work of the Southern Polytechnic State University students in Atlanta focuses on a more urban condition. Students begin with urban planning projects and move to site-specific installations, which begin to solve larger city-based issues, such as community identification and the definition of park and public urban space. The community has responded to these students in an unparalleled manner and expanded and reified the need for experimental and high-quality design.

Some of the programmes studied are more insular in intent. At Cranbrook Academy, for example, the students work on campus. They have built lighting, bridges, entry pavilions, gatehouses, mail centres and gallery installations. The students' craft-based work continues the Saarinen-based traditions in that they cast bricks in special shapes and colours, cast metals for fittings to a jewellers level of perfection and use the projects as full-sized study models. Because they do not need to go through the rigours of city-run permit processes, they have more freedom in the construction process.

As the trend grows in North America, it is important to recognize the often profound effects this type of learning has on architectural students during schooling and after graduation. Employers state that these students are much more helpful in the office setting and more comfortable with site-based work. One student explained that he has now become a general contractor, electrician, master plumber and architect. He states, "I was just missing out on too much when I tried to let builders construct my work. I needed to extend the design process into the field" (Kreiling, 2002).

“What is so badly needed is for architects, and the developers who employ them, to be more sensitive to the deep-rooted feelings of ordinary people and to find ways of integrating their opinions and their needs into the creative processes from which new buildings emerge” (Charles, Prince of Wales, 1989).

“There is, on one hand, a dangerous trend towards limiting architecture to an aesthetic experiment detached from life, and on the other, towards making technology an end instead of a means. It would be preferable to see the architect develop varied forms and expressions, not always meant to live too long, not always taken too seriously, but rather an architecture that is more alive and can add delight to our environment. A divertimento mood seems to be lacking in architecture today. The majority of buildings we see around us are a result of careful and factual but dull analysis” (Sweeny and Sert, 1960).

6.2 The Possible Significance of Design-Build Studios
As shown in this study, the recent advent of DBS programmes indicates that the recent design and construction integration taking place in the construction industry has made its way into the architectural curriculum. The case studies in this study suggest that this type of learning may be an improvement over traditional educational pedagogies. The most immediate benefit for architectural students is the direct connection they have to architectural practice. In the Yale programme, for example, students prepare a complete set of construction documents, present them to the city commission, and work closely with their clients to control the budget schedule and scope. This experience as part of architectural school appears to have an almost direct transference to architectural practice.

The DBS appears to have a strong effect on the architecture culture. In North America, these projects are popular amongst architectural periodicals as a way to showcase student work. The ownership and pride, which develops in the students, has a strong collaborative air to it. Students seem to learn how group interaction can improve the design process. Most recently, the Whitney Museum in New York City—which has identified artists Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollack, Richard Serra and Willem DeKooning through the Biennial, the most prestigious revealing of new talent in the United States—chose to present the work of architects. Its curatorial staff chose to showcase the work of the Auburn Rural Studio, giving them an entire room in the spaces exhibition. The show offered evidence that this respected art museum has identified the connection between art, architecture and culture. The show displayed several well-crafted models on sculptural bases rendered in basswood and found objects. In a respite area, it screened a commissioned film entitled "Proceed and Be Bold," which showed students in action and interviewed luminaries in the architecture culture who spoke of the importance of the DBS movement and the Rural Studio.

6.3 Practical Skills and Field Work in Academia

The essence of intelligence is skill in extracting meaning from everyday experience (Miller, 1988).

Laboratory and field work are integral elements of the architectural programs at Yale and Auburn Universities. This approximation of practice, while diverse and conceptual, allows for learning objectives to be met. In these courses, it is essential that student performance be assessed and given adequate weight in the final grading. “Before discussing the assessment of practical skills and field experiences, we need to emphasize the importance of these activities in most disciplines taught in universities. Readers are well aware of the importance of laboratory work in the physical and natural sciences and of the field experience in professional programmes” (Miller, 1988).

Architectural education cannot be based just on theoretical principles. Any study of science that is based entirely on lectures and reading lacks an essential ingredient—that of “direct observation of natural phenomena and an opportunity for critical investigation of changes which occur as a result of the addition of new forces, chemicals or human intervention” (Miller, 1988). There are indications that architectural professionals expect students to be able to enter the workforce more prepared than they are. “Design-build students are usually much faster thinkers and can dive right in to the projects in my firm” (Denton, 2003).

Students of languages, including their own language, are often encouraged to participate in drama or write poetry or prose. Students who have learned a new language, such as French or Italian, are sometimes immersed in a culture in order to accelerate their command and to discover nuances in the language that a professor in a classroom would have a difficult time teaching. “Opportunities for direct experience of other cultures may also be provided for students of anthropology, sociology and history. If these activities were regarded as an essential component of students' learning experiences, one would expect that their contribution to each student’s learning would be assessed in an appropriate manner“ (Miller, 1988). The Rural Studio offers a complex process of immersion: Students learn teamwork, design, racial integration, social work issues and construction skills simultaneously.

6.4 Assessment and the DBS
Determining an appropriate system for grading in the DBS is a complex undertaking and deserves some rigorous focus in this conclusion. This is one of the inherent weaknesses to date in the DBS and some uniformity amongst assessment criteria might improve the process. The creation of clear and cogent learning objectives and outcomes is the most important educational paradigm. Practical experience courses often use a pass/fail or satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading system, which has serious reliability issues. The often incomplete or inaccurate system can leave both the student and the authoring professor wondering if a fair assessment of the course work was granted. “An example of such a rule is in some faculties of education where students preparing to be school teachers must obtain a satisfactory grade for practice teaching. While one might find some justification for this rule, it is hardly satisfactory from the student’s point of view. Each student needs to have an indication of their strengths and weaknesses in classroom management and all the skills which make up the action we call teaching” (Miller, 1988). Considering the flaws in the two-point system of grading, it is important to look at other alternatives.

A number of new systems exist to grade studio, collaborative and practical experience. One particular system that could prove more accurate was used by the faculty at the University of Hong Kong in their Diploma in Social Work. This system appears to align with the intent and learning objectives of the DBS. (The Fieldwork Handbook, 1995).

Proposed Assessment System for Fieldwork
• Knowledge (25 percent)
• Skills (40 percent)
• Values, attitudes and professional development (35 percent)

These categories are then subdivided into criteria, or “expected behaviour/attitude” (Miller, 1988).

This approximates the typical grading system used in North American education. This six-point scheme could help DBS professors quantify student work:
• A= excellent
• B= good
• C= fair
• D= pass
• F= fail
• G= badly fail

This grading system is not without weaknesses. For example, a B achieved on a project is somewhat ambiguous because the variation in quality between a B+ and a B- grade is astounding. The Fieldwork Handbook also reveals a set of criteria that can be used by teachers and supervisors in the DBS and that is similar to the criteria currently used in North American architectural schools. For each of the letter grades, it is proposed that the following items be used to assess field work:

• Competence
• Initiative
• Task completion
• Understanding

It is also important to question the validity of the learning objectives set forth by the professors who design the DBS courses. Miller asks, “How close to real-life experience is the field experience program? Do students (interns) have the same responsibilities as qualified practitioners?” (1988).

It is unclear whether or not this grading system provides indicators of the student’s success in real practice. Although students do not have the same skill sets as actual practitioners, they will likely assimilate into industry more successfully.

In his discussion of the validity of assessment in the workplace, Bennet (1993) refers to the need for distinguishing between interns' experiences in a field programme and their learning. We can infer that a student diary, a video production of the team actions or even personal interviews cannot accurately portray the student’s work. The faculty and course designers should not expect to be present for every action either; in fact, this could actually weaken team performance. Having the teacher present at all times can provide a cushion not always found in industry. Many of the decisions involved must be solved on site with the team interacting and formulating their own solutions.

“Problem-based learning” is an important element of the DBS. Boud (1988) offers us a problem-based learning system in which “the prime focus is on a problem or problems rather than a discipline or body of knowledge.” He goes on to describe the three elements of assessment he suggests for problem-based learning:

• The importance of careful specification of learning objectives and criteria for assessment
• Assessment as a process rather than as a measurement activity
• Assessment for the benefit of student learning

So the learning objectives emerge again as the primary sextant to guide DBS course designers. Each course designer will have nuances or curriculum-driven assessment criteria, such as the NAAB requirements in North America.

The following questions adapted from Miller (1988) may be useful:

1. What tasks were students able to perform at the end of the DBS that they did not know how to do at the beginning?

2. To what standard or level of craft were they required to perform the task (entry level, high standard, etc.)?

Miller also offers us a set of skills that are directly transferable to the DBS. They can be used by course designers in the conception of new DBS courses and are illustrated in the following diagram:






Figure 6.1: Miller's transferable skills

From the nursing field, Faletti (1993) offers us a usable system of problem-based learning and what he calls “inquiry-based learning.” His description is included at length for help in summarising the DBS assessment model:

The essential stages are as follows: A small group of students meet to discuss a clinical patient problem they have not seen before. They initially get limited data on a real or simulated patient, and are encouraged to use analytical skills (e.g. hypothetico-deductive reasoning) and occasional guiding questions from their tutor to diagnose and/or manage the patient’s condition. Paper cases are typically used, being carefully crafted to help students focus on a well-defined or at least a well-structured problem. Cases contain multidisciplinary objectives, which emerge from the wording and sequence of case-related information. The student group also identifies relevant topics or questions they need to study and divides these learning tasks between them. At the end of the session, they pursue independent studies, generally among textual resources between sectionals. For first year medical students, a paper case is typically designed to require two or three sessions several days apart and to be completed within a week. At the end of each session, and when closing the case, students and tutors review their personal contributions to the group’s learning process in terms of efficiency and cooperation (Faletti, 1993).

The learning that occurs is open and flexible and draws on the diverse skills of faculty and students alike. Faculty become co-learners in the DBS who can guide, with their own expertise, the students to achieve goals and solve problems. Students then assume some of the responsibility for their own learning.

6.5 Interaction with Clients
Interaction with clients provides one of the most tangible benefits of the DBS. In most architectural education programmes, the professor asks the students to “pretend” they are the architect and “pretend” the project is real. The benefit is that it allows students to imagine clients and lets them design projects with no constraints. The drawback is that when they actually work with a client post-graduation and realize the difficulties involved, they are often surprised and disillusioned.

The practice of giving students “real-life” experience is common in other fields, as Miller points out: “Many professional courses are designed to prepare future graduates for work, which involves regular interaction with clients, para professionals and other support staff. Obvious examples include accountancy, agriculture, dentistry, divinity, engineering, law, medicine, teacher education and veterinary science. For many years now, some of these courses have included a compulsory component in which some of the students are introduced to the problems of professional practice and frequently required to undertake duties associated with their vocation under supervision of experienced practitioners” (1988).

The DBS exposure is helpful in that it provides diverse exposure to the students so that their strengths can be identified. One person may emerge as a good leader, while another a good craftsperson. “What occurs is that the professional exposure reveals inherent traits in the students, which can be refined, amplified and later applied. For example, one student realised that social work would be better suited for her and left architecture all together after graduation” (Gerndt, 2003).

6.6 Conclusions
Many architects have stated that architectural schools are out of touch with practice. The DBS may be one way to reconnect academia with practice. Some of the relevant conclusions reached are:

• As demonstrated in section 4.5, within the DBS exists a psychological interaction between the emergent design concept and the project team. As we have seen with learning-by-doing studios at the Bauhaus and at Yale and Auburn Universities, the project is integral to the DBS.

• As described in sections 2.2, 2.3 and 4.5, the DBS is vibrant and changes with the existent dynamic forces, which are exerted, unlike the Ecole des Beaux Arts model, which was insular. While it emulates the flux and problems of real-life experiences, it simultaneously presents a compelling array of concurrent scales and enhanced decision-based thinking. The DBS brings practice-based methods into an academic realm, giving students direct experience.

• As described in Chapter 3, within the DBS, students learn to cope with crisis non-sequentially and are better prepared for practice.

• As discussed in Chapter 5, the construction process adds a level of reality to the design process, which can sometimes be positive and sometimes negative but always affects the design process and thus the learning in a cognitive way.

• Chapter 5 also demonstrated that architectural education is behind in terms of technology and building methods when compared to practice.

• As demonstrated by the Yale model in 4.2, the DBS is more effective as an integral part of the curriculum rather than a stand-alone course. It appears to allow skills from other courses to be tested.

• As demonstrated by the Auburn model in 4.3, the interaction between design concept and the project team in the DBS enhances the student’s education.

6.7 Recommendations
The following are recommendations based on the findings of this study:

• Incorporate cutting-edge technology
In future DBS projects, professors should use more cutting-edge technologies
in the studios to explore future uses and methods of assembly. Several that would be most appropriate for the DBS are CATIA-based design processes, full-scale prototyping and experimental materials, such as carbon fibers, succulent plant roofs, gel-foams and hybrid plastics. Linking these studies to industry would create a direct link between the teachers and students and the material production methods, and would potentially provide research grant income for schools.

• Align with industry
DBS projects should work with existing DB firms and contractors. This would link the school to practice, providing valuable access to materials suppliers and subcontractors. Manufacturers often offer research grants to programs such as the DBS. An example of this is if Gehry Technologies sponsored a DBS to build full-scale prototypes of new projects and offered a research grant to the host school.

• Dedicate time to programme evaluation
The DBS should incorporate more research and increase the degree of critical thinking and evaluation. For example, the Auburn case study reveals a connection with the Deep South, the politically charged Civil Rights Movement and the optimism of early American culture. The Yale model reveals a successful management simulation model, but design exploration and development is in question due to the strict guidelines imposed by the chosen client, Habitat for Humanity.

• Integrate the notion of the unit of production
Integrating the notion of the unit of production would allow the DBS to concentrate on a replicable element of construction. This is demonstrated in the following two images: Frank Lloyd Wright’s textile block construction, which weaves concrete masonry units with steel threading, and Jean Nouvel’s woven wall of operable windows, which calibrates to sun levels like a camera lens. Like Kahn’s or Piano’s light diffusers (discussed earlier in chapter six), both of these practice-based models could inspire exciting and transferable potential DBS projects.



Figure 6.2: Frank Lloyd Wright. Textile block construction. Illustration from The Natural House, Horizon Press, 1954.






Figure 6.3: Jean Nouvel Arab Institute. Paris, France. Photo courtesy of Gerard Smulevich.

• Slow the process down, move it forward
Through the process of slowing down the DBS, new technologies and the concept of research can be integrated. The pressure of completing an entire building can be overwhelming for a one-semester project. Selected DBS projects could concentrate on research-based projects, which deal with concepts such as sustainability, lighting design, cutting-edge materials research and prefabrication techniques.

• Seek inter-disciplinary collaboration
Within the context of the DBS as a transferable model, the notion of inter-disciplinary collaboration becomes paramount. If students and professors from other disciplines were involved within the context of the DBS, the projects could have valuable learning objectives and outcomes and could make the student experiences more diverse. One example of this is the recent addition of law and social-work students working with the Rural Studio. Another is the computer-science and industrial design students working along with architectural students at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Georgia.

• Create an urban DBS
Schools of architecture that are located in urban areas or have satellite studios within city contexts could incorporate an urban DBS. Alliances with non-profit and city agencies could be formed, such as the alliances by the Yale and Auburn DBS with public officials. Issues such as urban planning, homelessness and adaptive re-use of existing structures could be considered and this would enhance the learning outcomes of the DBS.

• Encourage collaboration on the emergent design concept
Through learning objectives and syllabus design, DBS professors should encourage students to allow the emergent design concept to be a team creation. This could be done through several introductory exercises, which would help prepare students for the larger DBS project.

• Place the DBS throughout the curriculum
The DBS should be an integral part of the curriculum rather than a stand-alone course.

6.8 Contribution
The contribution this study makes to architectural education is that it is the first to recognise the connection between the DBS paradigm and the enriched emergent design concept within the collaborative project team. Specifically it recognizes how real-life forces can affect an academic experience and allow the students to experience real-life situations in practice. This study not only clearly catalogues the current movement of design-build studios in the United States, but it reaches beyond with suggestions for their improvement and development, incorporating newly emerging technologies of materials and process. It is the first to encourage DBS professors to look to cutting-edge ideas in architectural practice in order to progress. This study contributes to future students who endeavour to enter these studios, faculty who plan them, and, in the end, to the practice itself, for a better-equipped graduate will help contribute to the profession of architecture.















APPENDIX A: Chronology of the Yale Building Project















APPENDIX B: North American Active DBS Projects Matrix














APPENDIX C: NAAB Criteria
Compiled by the National Architectural Accrediting Board
















APPENDIX D: Table of Interviews

Interview Matrix

Person
Interviewed Date of Interview Reference in Text Discussion
Topic Location of Interview
Scott Ball
1996 Graduate of the Yale Building Project; Director of the Atlanta-based Community Housing Resource Center
May 14, 2001 Chapter 1 Ball's learning experience at Yale and how he has applied this methodology in his current practice Decatur, Georgia
Adam Gerndt
2000 Graduate of the Auburn University; Project Architect for Lord Aeck and Sargent in Atlanta
May 17 and 18, 2003 Chapter 1 Gerndt's experience at the Rural Studio. The interview included a tour of recently completed works at the Rural Studio.
Decatur, Georgia and Hale County, Alabama
Brian Bell
1996 Graduate of Yale University School of Architecture; Assistant Director of the Rural Studio 1998-2001; Founder of Design profit DB company located in North Carolina
June 12, 2003 Chapter 1 Bell’s experience as part of the Yale Building Project and then his co-teaching with Samuel Mockbee. He was the only Yale DBS student to teach with Mockbee.
Brief personal interview,
followed by email correspondence on July 23, 2003
Alan Green
Former Lecturer at Birmingham Polytechnic; Retired Urban Planner and Architect
July 12 and 13, 2001 Chapter 3.2 Green’s experience with the Live Project and his later experiences in architectural practice as an urban planner and architect Birmingham, UK
Denys Hinton
Retired former Dean at UCE; Leader in the UK Live Project Movement
August 3,
2002 Chapter 3.2 Hinton’s leadership within the LP movement Greetham, UK
Samuel Mockbee
Co-Founder of the Auburn University Rural Studio December 15, 1999 Chapter 4 Mockbee’s thoughts on founding the Rural Studio and the learning objectives present in this DBS Telephone Conversation
Professor George Elvin, PhD
Professor Elvin holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and teaches at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
February 3, 2002 Chapter 3 Elvin's research into design-build education
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LIST OF FIGURES

Chapter One
1.1 Conceptual Development of Case Study Analysis
1.2 Development of Analysis Model
1.3 Overall Structure of the Study
1.4 Flow Diagram of the Study
1.5 Interpretive Research Process (Adapted from Practical Research Planning and Design)
1.6 Frontispiece by Abraham Bosse of 1664 expressing the dialogue of theory and practice (Kruft, 1995)

Chapter Two
2.1 Sommerfield House—1923 (Droste) 1997
2.2 Sommerfield House—Entrance Hall (Droste) 1997
2.3 Sommerfield House—Marcel Breuer Table (Droste) 1997
2.4 Sommerfield House—Entrance Hall Overall View (Droste) 1997
2.5 Sommerfield House—Glass Panels (Droste) 1997
2.6 Prefabricated House—Exterior View (Droste) 1997
2.7 Bauhaus Curriculum Structure
2.8 Johannes Itten “Learning by Doing Studio”—Student Work (Wick) 2001
2.9 Johannes Itten “Learning by Doing Studio”—Student Work (Wick) 2001
2.10 Johannes Itten “Learning by Doing Studio”—Student Work (Wick) 2001
2.11 Johannes Itten “Learning by Doing Studio”—Student Work (Wick) 2001

Chapter Three
3.1 North American Architectural Education
3.2 U.K. Architectural Education
3.3 Diagram of the DBS Experience

Chapter Four
4.1 Yale Building Project, Photo Courtesy of Professor Paul Brouard
4.2 Yale Housing Emphasis Model
4.3 Yale DBS Tasks
4.4 Yale Building Project Jury, Photo Courtesy of Professor Paul Brouard
4.5 Auburn Rural Studio, Dean and Hursley (2002)
4.6 Auburn Rural Studio, Dean and Hursley (2002)
4.7 Auburn Rural Studio, Dean and Hursley (2002)
4.8 Transferable Personal Skills (a developmental model)
4.9 Professional verses academic skills

Chapter Five
5.1 Peter Rice, Deminil Museum Early Study Sketch, Rice (1993)
5.2 Peter Rice, Deminil Museum, Section Sketch, Rice (1993)
5.3 Louis Kahn, Kimbell Art Museum, Section Sketch, Brownlee and Delong (1991)
5.4 Louis Kahn, Kimbell Art Museum Light Reflector, Brownlee and Delong (1991)
5.5 Louis Kahn, Kimbell Art Museum Light Reflector Section Sketch, Brownlee and Delong (1991)
5.6 Peter Rice, Deminil Museum Full Scale Prototype, Sketch, Rice (1993)
5.7 Peter Rice, Deminil Museum Final Installation, Rice (1993)
5.8 Peter Rice, Deminil Museum, Fabrication Process, Rice (1993)
5.9 Frank Gehry, Hanover Bus Stop: CATIA Drawing, Van Broogen (1997)
5.10 Frank Gehry, Hanover Bus Stop: Model, Van Broogen (1997)
5.11 Frank Gehry, Bilbao Museum: Van Broogen (1997)
5.12 Frank Gehry, Bilbao Museum: Van Broogen (1997)
5.13 Frank Gehry, Bilbao Museum: Van Broogen (1997)
5.14 Frank Gehry, Bilbao Museum: Van Broogen (1997)
5.15 Frank Gehry, CATIA Process—Adapted from Van Broogen (1997)
5.16 Frank Gehry, CATIA Process Drawing—Seattle Museum Project, Van Broogen (1997)

Chapter Six
6.1 Miller's Transferable Skills
6.2 Textile Block Construction, Wright (1954)
6.3 Jean Nouvel, Arab Institute, Photo Courtesy of

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