The 200 years of apprentice/master tradition that underpins the atelier studio system is still at the core of much present-day architectural design education. Yet this tradition poses uncertainties for a large number of lecturers faced with changes in the funding of tertiary education. With reductions in one-to-one staff/student contact time, many educators are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain an atelier teaching model. If these deficiencies remain unchecked and design-based schools are unable to implement strategies to reduce the resource intensity of one-to-one studio teaching programmes, then, for many higher-education providers, current architectural education may be based on an untenable course structure. Rather than spreading their time thinly over a large number of individual projects, an increasing number of lecturers are setting group projects. This allows them to coordinate longer and more in-depth review sessions on a smaller number of assignment submissions. However, while the group model may reflect the realities of the design process in professional practice, the approach is not without shortcomings as a teaching and learning archetype for the assessment of individual student skill competencies. Hence, what is clear is the need for a readily adoptable andragogy for the teaching and assessment of group design projects. The following is a position paper that describes – with a focus on effective group structures and assemblage and fair assessment models – the background, methodology and early results of a Strategic Teaching and Learning Grant currently running at the School of Architecture and Building at Deakin University in Australia.
Field of Research
129999 Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified