Critical Pedagogy in Studio

The social, political, economic, and environmental shifts of the world have utterly changed the way we need to think about education, in all forms. I’m going to write specifically about Architecture + Design Education.  I really do believe that architects and designers have this collective responsibility to design for social equity and inclusion. A profession such as architecture literally intersects itself with the public interest of a community, which is usually ignored in favor of the market $$$$. The built environment plays such an important role in everyone’s lives, so why is it that design education doesn’t empower students to be advocates for social change? I think this goes side by side with a lot of what Freire says about traditional education and the banking system. While studio classes do allow for more critical thinking and, albeit, a more autonomous setting then a traditional classroom, the school of architecture and design is still set up as the professor as the authoritarian. In studio, you are taught to question every line you draw, every wall you build, every decision you make; but are never encouraged to question yourself, your environment, or authoritarians. Dialogues are actually not as common as one would think in a field that revolves around exploration and discovery. A critical pedagogy must be developed here so that students can be liberated from their conditioned perception of reality, and so they can start understanding the different aspects of their lives and culture from a critical perspective. With this, maybe they can understand their power as the future of this world.

3 thoughts on “Critical Pedagogy in Studio

  1. This is a very interesting perspective of the Authoritarian vs Authority pedagogy debate. This means that there are fields where it is still difficult to transition to a more liberal type of teaching. What do you think could help your field move towards a pedagogy centered on students, Cristina ?

  2. This is definitely an interesting statement and one I had never thought about as a non-architecture student. In the Urban Studies department, we are constantly talking about the built environment and incorporating equity and inclusion into the discussion, particularly as it relates to transportation and housing. Thus, it would make sense that such discussions and encouragement happen in Architecture – a place where I would have assumed they encouraged pushing boundaries to create space. I would be interested to hear how you would restructure a studio to ensure these topics were discussed or encouraged to be applied.

  3. I totally agree with you but in your field specifically I believe students play a major role in changing the traditional educational system. Your field is mainly based on creativity, so, following traditional methods would be effective.

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