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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25318

Title: Design for wellbeing education: organizing a parallel design studio in (interior) architecture
Authors: Petermans, Ann
Poldma, Tiiu
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: World Design Summit 2017, Montreal, Canada, 16-20/10/2017
Abstract: As research on design for wellbeing is growing in today’s society, so is the need for study in terms of learning and education. On an international level, academics from various countries all over the globe are developing first initiatives to promote design as a vehicle for developing human wellbeing within the environment. This paper explores how, in the authors’ view, students in (interior) architecture might consider subjective wellbeing (SWB) and its impact on their design decisions. This is presented by bringing together experiences from diverse international perspectives, and with the idea of sharing insights for considering SWB as fundamental to basic human right and how design is a vehicle promoting this idea. We present what happens when the two authors, professors at two different institutions in Canada and Europe, set-up a parallel design studio which will specifically focus on design for SWB both in university design programs in Canada and Belgium. Each author arrived at the partnership from a first interest in forging interdisciplinary connections within a disciplinary context. Both authors also were interested in design thinking that had an an emphasis on intimate human needs and ethical choices for people in their lived environments. Taking into account these joint interests, it is clear that this collaboration constitutes a valuable platform for knowledge exchange, comparison and collaboration with the potential for rich and innovative engagement of students in this type of learning environment. Design studios constitute the core of any (interior) architectural curriculum worldwide, representing about 1/3rd of credits of the curriculum in each semester. Supervised by trained architects, interior designers and academics, groups of students learn how to design well-based on numerous design exercises of increasing scale and complexity from interior to building to city. By bringing together students in the design studio and confronting them with both stakeholders and various points of view, we aim to bring ‘real life’ situations in the studio to make the assignment as concrete as possible and integrate “thinking and learning and learning as doing” as vital components of the student learning experience. Therefore, a ‘research by design’ methodology is developed in the design studio. This process of co-creation enables systematic exploration of spatial dilemmas and results in the visualisation of various innovative scenarios for sustainable development of the environment which contributes to inform and inspire the concerned actors. Working along the same topic in parallel design studios in different countries, supported by mobility, adds a cross-cultural aspect to the discussion, and increases the value of the output of the respective design studios. In the paper, we elaborate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of this initiative and what it means for design education. In recent years, the involved partners have shown that the creative capital of the design studio can be used to build capacity to deal with socio-spatial issues, and provide for further insights in this respect, with the design for wellbeing design studio as a model for future studios in design.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25318
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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