Missing Pieces: Transforming Learned Architectural Practice Towards Compassionate Pedagogies

Jessica Van Dyck, “Missing Pieces: Transforming Learned Architectural Practice Towards Compassionate Pedagogies”
Mentor: Trudy Watt, Architecture
Oral Presentation Block 2

This project looks towards a future of compassionate, inclusive architecture by means of transforming traditional design education and learned architecture pedagogies. To support this proposal, we use interviews, literature review, and a large-scale, anonymous survey at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning to illustrate both the histories and current status of design education. We propose to replace traditional tough-love narratives in the design studio with intentional and omnidirectional mentorship centered around compassion practices like mindfulness, developing self-efficacy and new tools for collective reflection in place of traditional assessment. Teaching architecture in the design studio is already quite informal and prone to the idiosyncrasies of any given instructor. For those who share our interest in cultivating more inclusive architecture pedagogies going forward, we can leverage this informality to amplify productive modes of increasing inclusion in the design studio. This work carries on in a time of unprecedented uncertainty regarding well-being, where we hope architects will design with rather than for the well-being of others.