VOL: 4, NO: 2, 6-26, 2007-2


Architectural design studio organization and creativity




Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Architecture Istanbul TURKEY



Received: July 2007                                Final Acceptance: May 2008




This paper focuses on “creativity” within architectural design studios as a key element of architectural education by analysing the “structure and organization” of the architectural design studio. Design studio education is viewed as an organizational structure, and the role of the studio instructor in creating an organizational style in studio education is the subject of investigation in order to develop creative strategies in the design studio. These strategies incorporating tools, components and layers are referred to in this paper as “group organization; teamwork; design studio medium; roles of student-designer and studio instructor; communication; knowledge and information acquisition and transfer; representation tools; risk and motivation management”. Issues that are also important components of studio teaching, but which should be analysed as independent research areas, such as “design problem contents or task”, “individual creativity styles and design thinking processes”, and “design knowledge”, are not included in the scope of this study.


The aforementioned components and layers that are underlined in this study are evaluated in terms of their creativity potential within design studio education. The aim of this paper is to create a general, descriptive reading through experience of and practices in design studio education, and to compare and evaluate within traditional perspectives rather than to put forward an alternative model. These exemplified applications and experiences are based on the author’s practices and observations in undergraduate design studio instruction. As a multi-faceted studio organization concept and process, a hypothesis and related criteria evolved in the study provide a coherent framework for the exploration of creativity within the educational context of the architectural design studio. It is concluded that there is a need for greater understanding of the instructors’ role as an “educational / tutoring coach” and of their implicit studies in the studio regarding teaching and leading creativity. Broadly speaking, it could be seen to consist of the range of strategies outlined in the ‘creative studio environment’. This would help to address the weaknesses and to consolidate that which has been established in the practice of studio organization to activate creativity in the teaching of architecture.


Keywords: Architectural design education, creativity, studio, organization, coach, and creative climate.


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