Getting Guidance

In the design thesis studio, the student must be aware that the lecturers, critics and supervisors around them have to have either or some of these three functions:

(1) Coach;

If possible the assigned supervisor be a “coach” because usually people do not want to be a coach or take the role of a coach for granted. I had to play this role to everyone of the design thesis student before. Usually other people are too busy or do not think that students in the fifth year need to have a coach. A coach is a person that helps to manage the student. In fact, some lecturers are critical when the studio master ‘micro-manage’ the student. They would say, the student is big enough and they don’t want to do that job. In my opinion, you need to be a sounding board to the student. So that is why the advisor / supervisor assigned to the student should be the coach.


(2) Expert;

An expert could be either a lecturer, supervisor, critic on the subject matter that the student is focusing on. For example, I find myself being an expert or help to facilitate some of the students who usually engage in Universal Design or Designing for Disabled Persons, because I have expertise in this area. Another lecturer could be an expert on acoustics or day-lighting and could advise the student especially at the special studies stage.


(3) Consultant;

A consultant is what architects like to do. Give criticism about design and so on. A good consultant guides and gives constructive criticism always thinking about how to help the student. The studio masters are suppose to fit into that role. Students however need to be able to discern between bad and good criticism. Students should not just follow blindly. In my opinion, a student should be guided by one lecturer / studio master and if unfulfilled or stuck only then, find another studio master. The student should go back to the original studio master and discuss what he or she thinks so that the DIALOGUE continues.

Sometimes the student needs a lot of advice probably at the beginning but sometimes he/she can work on his/her own or have minimum advice later.  Shared dialogue and discussions such as group crits are very helpful to share the learning process as well as having interims by external critics.


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