Enriching architectural design education through interactive displays and local community engagement

Guaralda, Mirko, Caldwell, Glenda Amayo, & Rittenbruch, Markus (2015) Enriching architectural design education through interactive displays and local community engagement. Design and Culture : Journal of Design Studies Forum, 7(3), pp. 433-439.

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Designers have a social responsibility to deal with the needs, issues, and problems that their clients and communities are confronted with. Students of design require opportunities to reflect on their role as social facilitators to develop an attitude towards community engagement through different phases and aspects of their careers. However, current design courses are challenged by compressed timeframes and fragmented scenarios of different academic requirements that do not actively teach community engagement.

This paper outlines a participatory and technological approach that was employed to address these issues within the teaching of Architecture and Urban Design at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. A multi-phase community based research project with actual stakeholders was implemented over a two-year period. Approximately 150 students in the final year of the Bachelor of Design-Architecture; 10 students in the Master of Architecture and 15 students in the Master of Design-Urban Design have informed and influenced each others’ learning through the teaching and research nexus facilitated by this project.

The technical approach was implemented in form of a bespoke digital platform that supported the display and discussion of digital media on a series of interactive touch walls. The platform allowed students to easily upload their final designs onto large interactive surfaces, where visitors could explore the media and provide comments. Through the use of this technical platform and the introduction of neogeography, students have been able to broaden their level of interaction and support their learning experience through external structured and unstructured feedback from the local community. Students have not only been exposed to community representatives, but they also have been working in parallel on a specific case study providing each other, across different years and courses, material for reflection and data to structure their design activities.

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ID Code: 87963
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special Issue: The Influence of Scandinavian Design
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Urban Informatics, Community Engagement, Design Education, Interactive Displays, HERN
DOI: 10.1080/17547075.2015.1104900
ISSN: 1754-7083
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architectural Design (120101)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Digital and Interaction Design (120304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 02 Oct 2015 00:14
Last Modified: 16 May 2016 12:26

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