In 1997, after more than thirty years as an educator I completed my PhD Dissertation, The Social Construction of an Architectural Reality in Design Education. Architectural Design Education is shaped and guided by rules and concepts that were developed in the 17th and 18th Centuries in France. It has changed little in that time. The core of the system if the Design Studio, a highly individualised space where competition and abstract conceptions of beauty and good form remain sacrosanct, and where the pedagogy involves a process of public critique (and often humiliation). For thirty years I had run my own studio differently, and the PhD was my opportunity to document these differences - referring to new and more appropriate forms of educational practice - particularly to the theories and practices of Critical Education Theory and Critical Pedagogy. The thesis was prompted by reading a paper written by my (now) good friend Tom Dutton at the Miami University School of Architecture at Oxford, Ohio. Tom's paper: Design Studio and Pedagogy" was published in the Journal of Architectural Education in 1987, and after reading it I decided immediately to sign up for my PhD. Tom described the need to reshape studio teaching practices in ways that were very similar to what I had been doing for thirty years, without being aware that there existed a theoretical base for my actions. I have put together a downloadable PDF of the Abstract, Table of Contents and Introduction. These are freely available for download. If you wish to have a CD of the entire dissertation this is available on request at a small cost.
To download a PDF file of the Abstract, Table of Contents and Introduction to my PhD Dissertation click here .