Learning Through and From Process: Studying the Benefits of Reflective Studio Practice in the Early Stages of Design Education


Author: Nancy Snow & Saskia van Kampen
Beginning design students regularly struggle to articulate their intent and decision-making regarding the work they produce. This is often demonstrated through students’ naive engagement in iterative processes, simplistic articulation of concept, and ingenuous criticality when critiquing the work of their peers. Can a more holistic inclusion of writing into design process help students engage more critically with work they make and help them to engage in more purposeful critiquing of their peers’ work? Using Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing in the Discipline methods this paper presents the framework for a study being conducted at OCAD University where writing is actively engaged in the design process. The purpose of the study is to help identify students’ knowledge gaps and support the evolution of design pedagogy. The identification of skills, approaches, and understanding of the beginning design student can aid in developing more relevant and specific curriculum.