U. Topcu

Istanbul Bahcesehir University (TURKEY)
This paper will explore Level One Basic Design Studio at Istanbul Bahcesehir University Faculty of Architecture and Design. Architectural design education is a complex field in which several approaches, conventions and clichés exist. Design studios in schools of architecture are guided by different approaches all seeking to improve the practice of architecture through better education.
Level One design studio is often considered as an environment where students first encounter a new language about design in general and architecture in specific. Yet, the design studio serves for more than this: it is the environment where the students learn new means of learning, discover the designer-to-be in themselves, develop a critical eye and become self-aware, independent, intellectual individuals. On their way to a degree in architecture, they encounter with different educators all aiming at giving the best skills for a better practice. It is the educators’ objective to investigate new calls for a restructuring of existing curricula. Architectural education is built upon analogic reality. The student is given a problem and asked to pretend that it is real. To pretend is to make believe or construct fiction and schools of architecture advise a surrogate for the real world.
The aim of this study is to provide a debate to discuss the means and tools to enrich basic design education. In the Academic Year 2009-2010 Fall Term, Level One Basic Design students are asked to focus on one of the design/building basics, namely wall. This is taken as a case study and fulcrum for the debate.