Design and Practice in Architectural Theory Education

By Gul Kacmaz Erk.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Benefiting from design in theory learning is not common in architecture schools. The general practice is to design in studio and to theorise in lectures. In the undergraduate module History and Theory in Architecture II at Queen’s University Belfast, students attend interactive lectures, participate in reading group discussions, design TextObjects, and write essays. TextObjects contain textual, audio and/or graphic representations that highlight a single concept or a complex set of issues derived from readings. Students experiment with diverse media, such as filmmaking, photography, and graphic design, some of which they experience for the first time. Lectures and readings revolve around theories of architectural representation, media and communication, which are practiced through TextObjects. This is a new way to link theory and practice in architectural education. Through action research, this study analyses this innovative teaching method called TextObject, which brings design and practice into architectural theory education to stimulate students towards critical thinking. The pedagogical research of architectural theoretician Necdet Teymur (1992, 1996, 2002) underlies the study.

Keywords: Architectural Theory, Theory and Practice, TextObject, Architectural Education, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

The International Journal of Arts Education, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.17-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 508.651KB).

Dr. Gul Kacmaz Erk

Lecturer, School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK

Dr. Gul Kacmaz Erk is a lecturer in Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast. She received her Bachelor and Master degrees in Architecture at Middle East Technical University, and her PhD degree in Architectural Design at Istanbul Technical University. She practiced as a professional architect in Istanbul and Amsterdam. She was a researcher at University of Pennsylvania and University College Dublin, and taught at Philadelphia University, Delft University of Technology, and Izmir University of Economics. In her research, she focuses on cinema and the city, architecture and film, architectural media and communication, architectural space, and architectural design and theory.