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'Liveness' beyond design studio pedagogy : layers of ‘live’ within and across the boundaries of classroom settings

Salama, Ashraf M (2014) 'Liveness' beyond design studio pedagogy : layers of ‘live’ within and across the boundaries of classroom settings. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Conference of AAE-Association of Architectural Educators. AAE: Association of Architectural Educators, Sheffield, pp. 88-93.

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This paper is a response to some of the predispositions that continue to typify teaching in lecture-based courses in architecture and related disciplines. It aims to interrogate various degrees of ‘liveness’ in design pedagogy and the way in which they can be introduced in typical lecture formats. ‘Liveness’ has been recently emphasised as a ‘university without walls’ approach to teaching in studio settings but has received little or no attention as a mechanism that can be accommodated in classroom settings. Departing from communication modes such as instruction/reaction and showing/telling that rely only on knowledge consumption, the paper introduces mechanisms by which knowledge can be constructed. It presents a number of mechanisms, which were developed by the author and were implemented through a series of exercises in various lecture-based courses in different universities. Two layers of ‘live’ are conceived; the first is an approach that aims to bring the built environment into the classroom, while the second utilises the built environment as an open textbook. Categorized under these two layers, the exercises place emphasis on critical reflection, interaction with behavioural phenomena, contemplating settings and systematic observations, behavioural mapping and active engagement. Students’ feedback and outcomes manifest the uniqueness of these approaches and their potential contribution to effective learning beyond studio settings.