Architectural design education is a challenging process, because it is a balanced combination of art and science. We do not solely teach art, as art is completely independent of physical reality and structures. Similarly, we do not solely teach science, as it cannot deliver ideas effectively. I suggest that design education is a creative process of artistic structures/interiors, evolving around scientific methods; specifically, problem analysis (user profile, needs analysis, site analysis), setting an hypothesis (first sketches), testing the hypothesis with experiments/gathering results/analysis of the results (detailing the design and critical thinking loop), revision of the hypothesis (re-sketching) or finding a solution (final design).
My teaching objective addresses the idea to teach students the ability to balance creative thinking and scientific methods in order to achieve outstanding architectural design solutions. Students should be encouraged to extensively research the problem in a systematic manner. Igniting the project with the initial research phase and problem analysis, students engage into a creative process enforced with strong scientific perspective. This lead students to create up-to-date, user centered, accessible, innovative, and sustainable design solutions.
Additionally, I claim that there should be no ‘teachers’ in design education. We should act as a team leader, a mentor, and a friend to the students. Design philosophy needs to be discussed alongside with many ideas to the problems of the modern world, in order to enhance critical thinking. Architectural design can deliver important ideas if studied properly, and student have to be aware of that.
To sum up, architectural design education should not be considered as a regular, information delivering course. Design process is a balanced combination of art and science, and have to be thought accordingly. Without delivering the ability of critical thinking and scientific methods, emergence of innovative design is not possible. Creativity builds upon knowledge.