About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9269-9277
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.2278

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

DESIGN THINKING AND COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES. CONTRIBUTIONS TO URBAN LITERACY

P. Lourenco, M. Pacheco, T. Heitor

Instituto Superior Tecnico (PORTUGAL)
The dissemination of design thinking practices to a broad public, as an object of reflection and critical analysis about the organization of cities and houses, is a way of provoking debate on the conditions of urban space and the quality of inhabiting. Thus, considering the responsibility of citizens in solving problems that affect their living places.

Urban literacy has been recognized as a key strategy to achieve effective improvement in cities liveability. According to the UNICEF U-KID Urban Index, the experience of childhood is increasingly urban. Over half the world’s population – including more than a billion children – now live in cities and towns. This shift is causing us to rethink our cities, but this should not be done without considering the views and aspirations of children and youths.

Collaborative and problem based learning allow to introduce complex thematic, such as urban life quality, through practical experiences, while still allowing framing theoretical concepts.

“Architect for three hours” is a yearly program, lasting two weeks and running since 2014, at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon. The program proposes urban and architectural challenges to secondary school students, to be tackled within the university facilities, with the tutoring of bachelor and master architecture students. The experience involves a total of 300 yearly participants resulting in 80 proposals.

The exercise encloses multiple goals:
(i) enriching the academic research on the issues proposed, through the results of the program,
(ii) providing secondary school students with a better understanding of the academic life and the university community;
(iii) promoting collaborative intergenerational practices and
(iv) allowing the university students to develop leadership skills.

The four editions allowed to introduce the urban quality concept at multiple scales, from the shelter unit to the neighbourhood and the city. The project allows collecting extensive and relevant data on collaborative and problem-solving practices as well as the aspirations, habits, values and knowledge of the youngsters regarding the use of space and urban issues.

The results originated weekly exhibitions/performances of the models in a 300m2 plotting area in one of the main university atriums, that were observed, discussed and experienced by the university campus community.

Based on these experiences, this article proposes a reflection on the ways of addressing complex issues through design thinking and collaborative practices. To the implicit aim of an education for urban and architectural literacy, was joined the willingness to promote among young students the ability to think creatively about the city and the house and to provide older students with the experience of work coordination and knowledge transfer acquired during the academic course.

The article is organized in three parts. In the first one, the framework of the actions is made, and the learning objectives and the methodology adopted are explained. The second one describes the actions developed in the different editions, exploring in detail the last edition, focusing on the “House-studio”. In the third part the results obtained are discussed.
@InProceedings{LOURENCO2018DES,
author = {Lourenco, P. and Pacheco, M. and Heitor, T.},
title = {DESIGN THINKING AND COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES. CONTRIBUTIONS TO URBAN LITERACY},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.2278},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.2278},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {9269-9277}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Lourenco AU - M. Pacheco AU - T. Heitor
TI - DESIGN THINKING AND COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES. CONTRIBUTIONS TO URBAN LITERACY
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.2278
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 9269
EP - 9277
ER -
P. Lourenco, M. Pacheco, T. Heitor (2018) DESIGN THINKING AND COLLABORATIVE PRACTICES. CONTRIBUTIONS TO URBAN LITERACY, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 9269-9277.
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