Troubling Practicalities

Design Studio - EDGE Post graduate at SCI-Arc Design Theory and Pedagogy - Taught with Claudia Wainer

Troubling – adv. “to stir up,” “to make cloudy,” “to disturb.” To create discomfort, to be on the edge, or in the margins.
Practicalities – pn. the aspects of teaching that involve the actual practice or experiences of instruction rather than theories or ideas.

Course Abstract:
In this Fall’s Design Theory and Pedagogy studio, we are tackling what pedagogy means in 2020. We are in the middle of a pandemic that forced us to adopt remote learning and navigate an intense political climate. With the increasing demand for social justice, it is a critical time to pause and trouble pedagogy. Prior to the pandemic, the cultivation of nationalism and individualism were the predominant types of knowledge exchange, but student-led calls to action and new institutional coalitions have formed to question this culture. The topics proposed in this course will prompt each student to trouble institutional structures, to trouble the practicalities of pedagogy and design research, and to trouble current and new models of learning.

Course Description:
This studio will be divided into two parts that culminate in specific developmental exercises. The first will be to critically analyze institutional structures and design a professional degree program. In the second half of the course, students will facilitate discussions by presenting their specific research topics. This research will culminate in designing a core studio syllabus. There are six themes that will direct students toward each milestone. These themes are supported by readings, in-class discussions, guest speakers, and individual research presentations. The course will also emphasize the discursive interactions between faculty and students to discover new pedagogical models. The topics for each theme are:

Unlearning: Students will critically analyze their learning experiences and the invisible structures that shape education in contemporary architectural schools.

Formatting: Students will collect references to expose structural links amongst architectural institutions and analyze curriculum structure as it reflects its beliefs, ethics and values.

Positioning: Students will evaluate contemporary architectural conversations taking place in the field today and how these conversations will impact the immediate future of education.

Referencing: Students will assess the role of precedents in the construction of studio syllabi and reflect on the deployment of references in their own pedagogy.

Practicing: Students will re-evaluate their current relationship with architectural practice.

Communicating: Students will critically analyze pedagogical formats and hypothesize hybrid learning strategies.

Students’ Work:
Seymour Polatin --
Valeria Ospital
Matthew Ridgeway
James Chen --
Reza Salehi
Carlo Sturken

Yara Feghali / 2024