Hypermedia, workshop on configuration and communication of the architectural project, is an interdepartmental research group of The Polytechnic University of Madrid, located at ETSAM.

Theoretical contextualization of the pedagogical act in the teaching and learning of the architectural project: the case of the E.T.S.A.M. (2015)

TESIS: (Thesis)

Title: Theoretical context of the pedagogical act in the teaching and learning of the architectural project: the case of the E.T.S.A.M. (2015)

  • Author(s): Aikaterini Evangelia Psegiannaki.
  • Director(s): Atxu Amann Alcocer and Javier Segui de la Riva.
  • Summary: The project workshop is the core of architectural teaching. Studying its educational processes today implies the theoretical contextualization of the educational act and the historical review of the evolution of its social structure. This structure is heir to the long tradition of the workshop where masters of work, craftsmen, architects and artists, have always been in charge of the teaching of construction, craftsmanship, architectural design and art. The apprentices submitted to the authority of their teachers and spent hours practicing, producing, and learning alongside them. With the emergence of the first art academies and later architecture, a progressive interest of states in artistic and architectural products was evident. The consideration of the arts and architecture as a state project, involved the slow but consolidable construction of a parallel educational project, coexisting simultaneously with the workshops of teachers, but without the possibility of integration, up to much later. The “theory”, which is what the academy dealt with, with the “practice” that was developed in the workshop, could not easily find a way to fit in and complement each other in a common educational project. The educational conceptions of both faced teaching and learning from different points of view; while the Academy represented validated and explicit knowledge, the workshop worked with tacit and implicit knowledge. In the artistic practice of the workshop was where the learning was produced while at the Academy it is where it was validated. This structure often reached extreme situations, not coincidental that the biggest crises recorded in the history of arts teaching coincided with an increase in the distance between these two “institutions”, workshops and academies. On the other hand, it seems that any innovative project or concept has been based on the redistribution of these lost balances. In this context, in the field of education and especially in the twentieth century, a debate arises that is structured on the basis of the purposes of education, contemplating two well-differentiated positions. One of them holds as a primary purpose of education, the development of consciousness and the social reciprocity of the individual. The other, sets as an end the development of its uniqueness. The search for the balance between the two, part of the interest in fostering the growth of what each human being possesses as individual, harmonizing it with the organic unity of the social group to which it belongs (Read 2010, 33). Many of the pedagogical discourses have been based on this tension, especially those used here. The social structure in the workshops of architectural projects, today presents maximum integration between the two institutions, the workshop and the Academy, both at the level of space, where teaching takes place, as well as at the conceptual and pedagogical level. The project workshops have a teaching and learning format that is a paradigm (Sch., 2008) not only within, but also outside the architectural field. This format complements practical learning with the theorist and production, with the validation of knowledge. Although such a pedagogical structure has important variations between some architecture schools and others, the main processes that take place are similar enough, to be able to be examined from a common perspective. This research, studies the project workshop from a pedagogical aspect, which contemplates both educational discourses, as well as the history of the evolution of the workshop as a social construct. The analysis is structured on the founding elements of the teaching act: a subject who learns, a teaching subject, a method, the strategy or procedure through which it is taught, a content and the teaching act itself (Sánchez Cerezo, 1994, 530). In addition, two other elements have been added that are considered essential to carry out the study: the context of teaching, both tangible and intangible and the evaluation of teaching and learning. The case study of this research is located at the School of Architecture of Madrid today. However, it is not intended to generate an exact portrait of this institution but to use it as the main example in the development of the chapters of the method, content, teaching act and context, in which examples of other architecture schools are also introduced extending the arguments presented that constitute the theoretical contextualization of the pedagogical act in the workshops of architectural projects.
  • Abstract: Design studio constitutes the core of architectural education. To study its current educational processes involves a theoretical approach of its educational praxis and an historical revision of how its social structure evolved. This structure is inherited from the long tradition of the workshop in which master masons, craftsmen, architects and artists have always been in charge of teaching construction, crafts, architectural design and art. Apprentices were subjected to the authority of their teachers and spent hours practicing, producing and learning along with them. With the establishment of the first Academies of Art and later of Architecture, the interest of the State in artistic and architectural products started growing. The understanding of arts and architecture as a state project entailed the slow, but robust development of a parallel education project. This project coexisted with the masters’ workshops, without the possibility of integration between two, until much later. It was difficult to find a way to synthesize academic “theory” with workshop “practice”. The workshops’ and the Academy’s conception about teaching and learning differed significantly. While the Academy represented a verified and explicit knowledge, the workshop worked with a tacit and implicit knowledge. The workshops produced education through artistic practice, while the Academy organized and verified knowledge. This dual framework has on occasions reached extremes. It is no accident that the biggest known crises in the history of arts education coincidewith an increase in the distance between these two “institutions”, the workshops and Academies. Furthermore, it seems that most innovative concepts or projects have been founded on restoring the lost balance between the two. In this context, in the field of education, and especially during the 20th century, a debate contemplate thatd the purpose of education and resulted in two quite differentiated approaches, emerged,. One position claims as the primary purpose of education the development of social awareness and mutuality in individuals. The other approach sets as a purpose developing each student’s uniqueness. The quest for the right balance between these two positions is based on the assumption that the general purpose of education is to foster the growth of what is individual in each human being, at the same time harmonizing the individuality thus educed with the organic unity of unity the social group to which the individual belongs (Read, 2010, 33). This tension forms the basis for many pedagogical discourses, especially the ones utilized in this dissertation. The social structure of architecture studios today demonstrates a very high level of integration between the two institutions, the workshop and the Academy, both in terms of space —where the teaching takes place — as well as on a conceptual and pedagogical level. Architecture studios today have developed a format for teaching and learning that has established a paradigm (Sch’n, 2008), not only in architecture, but also in other fields. Under this paradigm, practical and theoretical learning, as well as production and verification of knowledge, complement each other. And although this pedagogical structure presents important variations among different schools of architecture, the main processes that take place in the studio are sufficiently similar so as to be examined from a common perspective. This research examines the architecture studio from a pedagogical point of view, that takes into account both the educational discourses, as well as the historical evolution of the workshop as a social structure. The analysis presented here is structured on the fundamentals of the teaching act: an individual learning, an individual teaching, a method, strategy or procedure for teaching and learning, the content and the teaching act itself (Sánchez Cerezo, 1994, 530). Two extra elements that were considered essential for carrying out this study have also been added: the context in which teaching takes place, tangible as well as intangible, and the evaluation of teaching and learning. The Madrid School of Architecture in the present day served as a case study. However the aim is not to generate a accurateal of this school but to use it as the principal example for the development of the chapters of method, content, teaching act and context. In addition to that, examples from other schools of architecture are introduced in order to further the presented arguments that constitute the theoretical contextualization of the pedagogical act in architecture studios.
  • Link: http://oa.upm.es/37240/

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