Vol. 19 No. 1 (2022): Inclusive Design Pedagogies and Practices
In 1992, Sharon Sutton identified the studio culture of architecture schools as one of the roadblocks to diversifying the profession. She cites “An exclusionary definition” centered only on aesthetics and disciplinary autonomy that “leaves the choice to become an architect to those few people who wish to practice a ‘gentlemanly’ art….” as a key challenge. Sutton, Harriet Harriss, and others have argued that the central emphasis on aesthetics and celebration of the “Howard Roark” model of genius has disenfranchised students with broader interests. As Kathryn Anthony’s research has demonstrated, cultural traditions such as final reviews, often undermine rather than contribute to learning outcomes. These cultural norms have created a self-perpetuating cycle: design programs often marginalize those students with broader interests, with social agendas or research interests by celebrating the primacy of the design studio.
While architectural and design curricula have evolved in the intervening decades, the culture of the design schools, teaching methods, and role models remain far too similar to the one described by Sutton and Anthony decades ago. By contrast, this special issue seeks to document, describe and critique evidence-based teaching and learning strategies for creating more inclusive design pedagogies and practices.