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Introduction : legacies for the future of design studio pedagogy

Salama, Ashraf M (2007) Introduction : legacies for the future of design studio pedagogy. In: Design Studio Pedagogy. Urban International Press, Gateshead, UK, pp. 2-8. ISBN 1-872811-09-04

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Emerging concerns about undergraduate pedagogy in universities present new opportunities for us as academics to strengthen our programs, to enhance our role in shaping education, and to improve the quality of that education. These concerns are not new; they have emerged in one form or another, from early reform efforts by John Dewey, Alfred Whitehead, and Jean Piaget, to the experimental colleges of the 1960s and the work of Benjamin Bloom and more recently David Kolb. However, in the last few years, the level of concern has intensified and the flood of reports and position papers has crested at an alarmingly high level. On the contrary, for many decades design studio pedagogy continued to be a taboo, un-debatable and untouchable. Only in the late 1970s few scholars started to discuss design education. Such discussions culminated in a comprehensive report titled Architectural Education Study by the Consortium of East Coast Schools of Architecture, published by MIT School of Architecture and Planning in 1981. Since then few efforts have emerged to explore the rituals of design pedagogy and the ills of studio teaching practices in a systematic, visionary, and research based manner. While efforts on discussing design pedagogy and on developing constructive criticisms on its underlying teaching practices are really few, those that have emerged over the past fifteen years generated some lively discussions in the literature. Currently, emphasis is placed on issues central to our own mission, as design educators, which simply involves the development of skills and critical thinking abilities for future shapers of the built environment that, in turn, respond to demands placed on design professions by society.