Introductory Digital Design Seminar: Thinking and Making
“The purpose of architectural education – as of all education – is not alone to train a student for professional occupation, but is above all to stimulate his[or her] spiritual growth, to develop his intellectual faculties and to enable him[or her] to grasp the nature and meaning of architecture. Any educational program of a School of Architecture cannot be based on the mechanics of the professional occupation but only on the intellectual content of architecture. Our obligations to our students are two: 1. To enable him[or her] through education to develop his[or her] powers of selection by the exercise of judgment. 2. To Equip him[or her] with the skills and knowledge necessary for the practice of his[or her] profession. - Colin Rowe
In an attempt to counter the training oriented model of digital media instruction and fuse into it aspects of craft and critical thinking, an introductory course in Digital Media can apply a Design Seminar methodology. This pedagogy allows for the exploration of a multitude of different software, both 2D and 3D, all within the context and use in the design process. The goal of an exercise is not to design an object or layout and then ask students simply reproduce the object digitally but to let the software inform–yet not control–the design process. In this approach the software is agnostic, not significantly influencing or biasing the student in any particular way. By disconnecting the course exercises from typical building programs the students are free to experiment with ideas and concepts that might not normally be available to them due to Architectural biases inherent to the studio environment....The parameters given to the students mandate little more than an explicit clarity of information. The agenda is the expectation of a reasoned intent by the designer, clarified in and by the product. This agenda persists throughout the course...in these exercises, the binary parameters leave so little to subjective interpretation as to negate the value of subsequent “successful” responses [in terms of the exercise alone].
by Mark Ramirez and Carl Lostritto in "2007-2008 formZ Joint Study JOURNAL 16 Partnerships in Learning"