FACING THE FACTS ABOUT FACE TO FACE ARCHITECTURE STUDIO: THE USE OF FACEBOOK FOR COLLABORATIVE LEARNING
Cape Peninsula University of Technology (SOUTH AFRICA)
Studio stands at the centre of architectural design teaching and learning. However, the architectural studio, as we know it, is in crisis. Students spend less time in the studio and an increasing amount of time in computer labs. These spaces are not conducive to conversation and interaction - activities typical of the studio environment and necessary for critical thinking and design conceptualisation and development.
This paper presents work that is part of a current doctoral study by the author, entitled “The online architecture studio: towards an instructional-design framework for design-learning.” The study addresses three types of conversation that facilitate design learning, namely the conversation with the self (internal), the conversation between peers (horizontal) and the conversation between student and tutor (vertical).
An adaptation of Gabriel and Maher’s coding scheme for communication in collaborative design is used to analyze the text “utterances” that occur on the pages of a facebook group set up to support a face to face undergraduate final year design program. The analysis highlights the key communication areas achieved through facebook as a virtual environment for interaction and conversation.
Theoretical underpinning includes social learning theory, constructivism and the role of place, collaborative learning and cognitive theory of multi-media learning. This paper presents a case for the use of facebook to supplement and support the face to face studio as a place for creative and constructive conversation – the original role of the physical studio.