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ERIC Number: EJ1108385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2246-0918
Hidden Realities inside PBL Design Processes: Is Consensus Design an Impossible Clash of Interest between the Individual and the Collective, and Is Architecture Its First Victim?
Pihl, Ole
Journal of Problem Based Learning in Higher Education, v3 n1 p20-45 2015
How do architecture students experience the contradictions between the individual and the group at the Department of Architecture and Design of Aalborg University? The Problem-Based Learning model has been extensively applied to the department's degree programs in coherence with the Integrated Design Process, but is a group-based architecture and design education better than that which is individually based? How does PBL affect space, form, and creative processes? Hans Kiib, professor and one of the founders of the Department of Architecture and Design in Aalborg, describes his intentions for the education as being intuition, reflection, artistic progression and critical interpretation (Kiib 2004). "As the reflection and critical interpretation are well integrated within the education, mostly parts of the exam evaluation, it seems like the artistic progression and intuition are somewhat drowning within the group work, as it is closer related to the actual PBL process". Is the Integrated Design Process (Knudstrup 2004) and is Colb (1975) still current and valid? Can we still use these methodologies when we must create "learning for an unknown future," as Ronald Barnett (2004) claims that we are passing from a complex world into one based on super complexity? Could Gaston Bachelard (1958), who writes in his book The Poetic of Space "that poets and artists are born phenomenologists," help architecture and design students in their journey to find his/her own professional expression? This paper investigates the creative processes of the collective and the individual and clarifies some of the hidden realities behind the PBL-based creative processes, both through an inquiry with the students and a more methodological and theoretical approach. The paper also explores how to integrate artistic progression and intuition within group work by investigating a group of concrete project cases from the Department of Architecture and Design based upon the following points: 1) How can a PBL group-based learning environment based on a dialogical consensus ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal? 2) Does consensus architecture secure a necessary analysis and interpretation of the context, or does it create a grey consensus architecture based on compromises? 3) Does the PBL-method evoke a certain expression in space, form and materiality, but perhaps exclude other (possibly better) solutions? 4) Every group's work depends on the interplay between the personalities of the individuals and the group. How does this interplay affect the creative process? This paper seeks answers to the initial question "Is consensus design an impossible clash of interest between the individual and the collective, and is architecture its first victim?" and suggests new possible methodological tools for the architectural design process that secure the level of quality in design education.
Aalborg University Press. Skjernvej 4A, 2.sal, 9000, Aalborg, Denmark. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A