A tale of four studios: Evolving planning and architecture education towards mixed modality in a post-pandemic world

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic imposed urgent challenges for educational institutions. The sudden shift from on-site teaching to online distance learning offered the possibility to examine new settings of the studio, a core element of planning and architecture education. Although the pandemic is now over, online learning has secured a fixed place in university education, and consequently, educational institutions need to reconsider studio education based on the lessons learned during the pandemic. Through studying four studios taught at Aalto University, Finland, in 2020 and 2021, this article examines student-teacher experiences, and proposes opportunities for evolving studio education. The findings show that distance learning has in general sustained the objectives of studio education. However, challenges remain especially regarding the social aspects of learning. The degree of success of online teaching varied greatly depending on the tasks and the orientation of the studio (design or strategy). Technological aids and devices also had an influence on fulfilling the pedagogical objectives of learning. Professional socialization was highly affected by the online environment both in design and planning studios and the architectural representation witnessed difficulties specifically in design studios. To evolve the studio setting, the article suggests a mixed modality model supporting the social dimension of studio teaching by combining on-site and online learning activities to enrich the learning process. Such a model can harmonize the intended learning objectives and activities with the teaching methods and modality, thus improving the social dimension of studio teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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