K.A. Youssef

Department of Architecture, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah (SAUDI ARABIA) / Department of Architectural Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut (EGYPT)
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of two design studio paradigm; i.e. Horizontal Design Studio (HDS) and Vertical Design Studio (VDS), as applied in two architecture schools; namely, the Department of Architectural Engineering (DAE), Assiut University, Egypt, and the Department of Architecture (DA), King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, respectively. Thus, architecture schools are given the opportunity to refine the systems they are adopting, by identifying the transformations needed to maximize advantages and minimize disadvantages.

To investigate the complexity of HDS and VDS systems, a review of architecture schools is conducted, tracing the theory behind both systems and the diversity of application methods. As the application differs dramatically from an architectural school to another, the case study approach was prompted, and two architecture schools were selected (DAE and DA) to be the cases where a questionnaire was applied. Due to the complexity of the two design studio systems, they were dissembled into their constituent key ingredients. Consequently, the questionnaire was divided into parts; each focused on one key ingredient. To support broadness, the questionnaire targeted a group of respondents including undergraduate students, graduates, and design studio instructors.

Based on the results of the questionnaire and being supported by the personal observation, the study verified a number of expected advantages and disadvantages of both design studio systems, whereas, it showed some of them to become academic. Further, the study showed both systems to offer architecture schools influential opportunities to leap forward, while at the same time posing a number of challenges to rationally react to.

Architecture schools, including the two case studies, are given the opportunity to choose between the two design studio systems; i.e. HDS and VDS, refine the systems they are adopting, or even develop a new one, based on an extensive analysis of the key ingredients that form in their totality the two systems investigated.