Readings (Argue FOR/AGAINST, Question)

Argue FOR : Donald Schon – The Design Studio.

This paper explored a transaction between a professor, Quist, and his student, Petra in their journey to optimize Petra’s design sketch on building an elementary school through the methods of reflect-in-action. It was an intriguing point of view to see the interaction between two people, undoubtedly the professor guiding his student but in a way that required both of them to reflect upon their task at hand then acting on it and continuing its process till the outcome was satisfactory. As the author states, this process is definitely visible for the department of architecture because it does require artistic view such as its design but also relies on the applied science for the architecture to become practical. By using the design sketch as a board to try different ideas then reflect on them, then in turn produce new better ideas which can simultaneously be implemented onto the sketch was a vivid parallel transaction of talking and drawing at the same time. More significantly, it can be seen that the professor reframes and reworks the problem of his student into an organized way so that the student may find points accessible to solve and once one problem is solved, the professor moves onto other domains of the problem. It is shown that he is not afraid to retouch where they have visited before to simultaneously work back and forth between the total and the unit but always within the boundaries set by the beginning discipline. In conclusion, the paper showed me a very good example in the architecture department of a live reflective conversation in which designing took place.

Argue AGAINST : Masaki Suwa and Barbara Tversky – A Protocol Analysis

The research claims to provide examinations of why freehand sketches as external representation are essential for the design ideas in the early design process. It conducts an experiment to nine candidates whom are seven advanced students and two architects which I thought was such a different group to conduct the study with. As the study results show, the architects were much better to pick up the visual information from their sketches rather from their students and their method of going through the design was more connected to previous design focus. The students were more rummaging through different parts of the sketches as can be seen from the data that they are more prone to shift focus of the design than architects. However, it came to my question as to whether this ‘result’ of the experiment was not just attributable to the findings of the author but maybe it was due to the inevitable different standing points the two groups were in. Maybe with the architects experience, they have built up their design process thus when starting the sketch, the process has begun. As a result they were much better at explaining their sketches compared to the students. Another point i would like to make is their method of collecting the data in this paper. First the testers were given time to sketch which was videotaped and then were asked to explain their moves as they watched the videotaped sketch before. Although the authors point out that they tried to reduce the ‘selective recall’ by doing so, I feel that as previously stated with the architects experience and knowledge, they might have not been succumbed under the undesirable effect the selective recall but students might have had some effect. Even in my own experience, a thought that is not recorded or jotted down on a memo at a time flies away easily and although viewing the replay on video might help, you still cannot deny that it may not bring back every little detail in the design process which has led to the next step.

Question : Gabriela Goldschmidt – The Dialectics of Sketching.pdf

I have a question for this one. The research project consisted of designers participating in ‘thinking aloud’ sessions to tell the researchers on what they had exactly done during the design process. My question is whether these sessions showed any difference for each designer for example, one designer might be at ease to tell every little detail that happened in his head during his process while another might not have. Is it possible to view each recordings as good material to study the process of making sketches.

Second, it was hard for me to understand the actual process of the sketches being analyzed in how the designers actually worked. The paper introduced very specific details as to how each designer moved on step by step and considered various alternatives with their sketches but it was hard for me to grasp the significance of the actual process. The sketch steps has given insight and many more possible ideas to the designers but how can this be determined with patterns and protocols as a designin process could be a result of major inspirations taking place within one’s mind.


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