Analogue/Digital: Gathering Student Points of View

By Matthew Brehm.

Published by The Arts Collection

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

As an architectural design instructor, I try to balance innovative techniques with fundamental skills, and make judgments regarding the amount of time devoted to particular methods. This is especially true with regard to analogue and digital design process tasks. These judgments are guided by my personal experience and the work of other educators. I also respond to the desires of students, to provide the type of instruction that best sparks their interest. I have taught classes in both digital and analogue methods for design, and have observed renewed student interest in analogue graphic skills. I want to understand where students are coming from, and to avoid making assumptions. As educators, we can make up our minds about the relative values of analogue and digital approaches to design. But what do students think, and why?

I administered a survey to solicit student points of view regarding analogue and digital methods of communicating design ideas. The survey was originally conducted in March 2005, with 53 responses, and again in March 2008, with 201 responses. The respondents included first- through fifth-year architecture students, and the survey gathered statistical and anecdotal evidence of student opinions on a variety of topics, for example:
How much training do students feel they need with analogue and/or digital tools?
How do media choices correlate to curricular choices?
How do students feel about the results of their work with analogue versus digital media?

Data gathered from surveys will be presented in the paper in a simplified format, and selected quotes will be presented for discussion and analysis.

The conclusion will summarize the work and speculate on the pedagogical implications suggested by student responses. The research method will be critiqued for its apparent strengths and weaknesses, such that future studies of this kind might be more refined.

Keywords: Media, Analogue, Digital, Design Process

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.87-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1003.970KB).

Prof. Matthew Brehm

Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture and Interior Design, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA

I have been teaching architectural design and related courses for eight years, at the University of Oregon and currently at the University of Idaho. I hold degrees in architecture from the University of Notre Dame (Bachelor of Architecture, 1989) and the University of Oregon (Master of Architecture, 1998). I have practiced professional architecture for a total of 12 years in Chicago, IL, Washington, DC, and Eugene, OR. My research focus is on the pedagogy of design communication, and specifically on analogue and digital techniques in the academic design studio.


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