(Journal Artifact) Experimentation as making knowledge: Two models of research in the design studio

Michael Jasper


This article has been selected for a special issue of the online journal Artifact.

Two propositions underpin the paper. The first is that studio-based research contributes to architectural knowledge in a manner no less vital or effective then more traditional research methods. The second proposition is that experimentation undertaken in the design studio at its most effective blurs distinctions between the activities of the practicing architect, academic theoretician, and the historian. An analysis of two approaches to the architecture design studio in the university setting will lead to a preliminary response to these propositions. The introduction provides an overview of the guiding questions, approach, and data sources. In the second part I analyse two exemplary design studios, those undertaken under John Hejduk at Cooper Union, and Colin Rowe’s urban design studio at Cornell University. In the third part I return to the opening propositions and suggest some generalizable findings.
The paper aligns with the Conference themes of “Experiments in design education”, and “Methods of experiments in design research”.

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