Conference PaperPDF Available

Types of peer assessments in group projects

Authors:

Abstract

The P21 Framework for 21st Century Learning identifies collaboration as a key educational outcome as it prepares students for the real world problem solving and enhance their prospects for employment. Therefore, group assessments are becoming a commonplace in higher education, mainly to promote collaborative working environment and peer learning amongst students. In addition, group assessments are considered as an effective assessment strategy to manage large classes as it reduces the marking burden on academics. Despite the benefits, students resent group work particularly when a common group mark is awarded when there is a varying level of inputs from the members of the group. Especially, non- engaging students could possibly attain good grades without contributing to the group work or with minimal contribution. This problem of “free riders” disadvantages and discourages engaging students. There is a plethora of peer assessment methods used by academics to assess group works. However, there is a dearth of studies which explores why a particular method is preferred and the difference it makes on the final grades of students. Therefore, this paper explores different methods of peer assessments by reviewing recent literature and expands into comparing the final grades derived from two different methods of peer assessments adopted in the same module to study the end results. Finally, the correlation between the final individual grades and the peer marks given was unpacked which allows academics to make an informed decision.
AMPS PROCEEDINGS SERIES 22.2
Manchester School of Architecture; AMPS
Manchester: 02-04 December, 2020
Teaching-Learning-Research: Design and
Environments
EDITORS:
Laura Sanderson & Sally Stone
EXECUTIVE EDITOR:
Eric An
COPYEDITOR:
Amany Marey
© AMPS
AMPS PROCEEDINGS SERIES 22.2. ISSN 2398-9467
INTRODUCTION
Teaching-Learning-Research: Design and
Environments
This is Manchester: We do things differently here
Manchester, once the ‘Industrial Capital’ of the world, has long been a test bed for architectural and
urban experimentation. From the early settlements that challenged the resilience of the Romans, and
then the Vikings, through the massive boom of the industrial period, when such was the frenzy in the
city that it earned the sobriquet Cottonopolis, beyond the economic melancholia of the late 20th
century, to the unbridled optimism of the 21st. As a progressive city, Manchester has continually
reinvented itself. The present reincarnation was led through cultural regeneration facilitated by the
adaptive reuse of those great redundant industrial structures, it is a city that encourages smart
technologies and embraces a community of 24 Hour Party People.
Where better then to hold a conference that explores progressive architectural pedagogy especially
a virtual one!
The architectural, landscape, and design studio is a laboratory for experimentation where students
are encouraged and expected to question and disrupt the status quo, to explore possible different
futures, and to propose radical solutions to unsolvable problems. The need to fuel this move away
from more traditional tabular rasa education is the responsibility of academics, and this conference
was a wonderful vehicle to explore, expound, discuss, and debate the future of architectural
education.
During the pandemic we have had to learn to do things differently, not to be down heartened by the
difficulty of interacting solely through the computer, but to embrace the nearness that digital
communication provides. We have adapted methods of teaching and learning to accommodate this
extraordinary situation, we have creatively responded to the pandemic and developed strategies that
encourage endeavour, promote wellbeing, and support scholarship. Extraordinary strategies are
needed for an extraordinary situation.
It was a great pleasure to be able to host the AMPS Teaching Learning Research: Design and
Environments conference at the Manchester School of Architecture. It was lovely to welcome so many
virtual guests to the city. The great success of the online event was the demonstrated by the
enthusiasm with which speakers engaged with the conference, the quality of the post-session debate
combined with the international dialogue and collaboration, (especially in this time of uncertainty)
created by such global citizens. It is an honour to introduce the conference proceedings, presented
here as collection of well argued, forward thinking, deliberately controversial, and valuable papers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1
EXPLORING UNDERGRADUATE ARCHITECTURAL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS
EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN
Fan Zhang, Rongrong Yu, Zhonghua Gou
1
Chapter 2
MIXED-USE URBAN PROJECT IN DESIGN STUDIOS. A RESEARCH BY DESIGN
PEDAGOGICAL EXPERIENCE AT THE BARCELONA SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Carles Crosas, Eulalia Gomez-Escoda
13
Chapter 3
RESEARCH INFORMED HEALTHCARE FACILITIES DESIGN: INTEGRATION OF
DISSERTATION RESEARCH WITH SENIOR GRADUATION PROJECT DESIGN
Ahmed Sherif, Engy Taher, Lorna El Moghazi, Yasmina El Gezeiry
24
Chapter 4
ENGAGED PHOTOGRAPHY AS URBAN COMMUNICATION PLATFORM IN SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT
Jitka Cirklová
40
Chapter 5
TYPES OF PEER ASSESSMENTS IN GROUP PROJECTS
Michele Florencia Victoria
49
Chapter 6
BEYOND THE FRAME: COLLABORATING ON AN UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
EXPERIENCE
Lindsay Mamchur, Susan Close
59
Chapter 7
ARCHITECTURE DESIGN STUDIO AS RESEARCH INCUBATOR: THRESHOLDS, EDGES,
BOUNDARIES
Ross T Smith, Cecilia De Marinis
69
Chapter 8
THE THIRD TEACHER: THE INVOLVEMENT OF CHILDREN IN THE DESIGN PROCESS AND
ASSESSING THEIR DEVELOPMENT
Eda Can, Göksenin İnalhan
78
Chapter 9
PERCEPTUAL QUALITIES OF CONCRETE: A CHANGING PARADIGM?
Tara Harb, Tatjana Leblanc
87
Chapter 10
TEACHING ONLINE: THE PARADIGM OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN DESIGN IN TIMES OF
PANDEMIC
André Casteião, Susana Barreto
103
Chapter 11
WERNER SELIGMANN AND THE SYRACUSE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE (1976-1990). A
PEDAGOGICAL LEGACY
Caterina Frisone, Mark Shapiro
113
Chapter 12
FROM FLATS TO POLICIES: BREAKING THE BOUNDARIES BETWEEN DISCIPLINES - A
JOINT ‘STUDIO’ FOR ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING STUDENTS
Manuela Madeddu, Johanna Muszbek
122
Chapter 13
ROLE OF THE MODEL: NOUN AND VERB
Col Fay, Stella Lange
135
Chapter 14
VERTICAL SCHOOLS AND MEDIATED SPACES; THE NECESSITY OF INTERACTION WITH
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Elia Ebrahimi Salari, Rosangela Tenorio, Nigel Westbrook
145
Chapter 15
DESIGN AS A META-MODE OF INQUIRY FOR ADVANCING SOCIAL INNOVATION:
PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING IN SERVICE DESIGN PEDAGOGY
Fanke Peng
157
Chapter 16
THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS OF TODAY LIE WITHIN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Mojtaba Hassanzadeh
167
Chapter 17
ARCHITECTURAL FOREST OR APPLYING RHIZOME-LEARNING TO TEACHING
ARCHITECTURE
Isabel Barbas
177
Chapter 18
VIRTUAL MATERIALITY: DESIGN PEDAGOGY IN THE AGE OF COVID-19
Galit Shvo, Jonathan Ventura
186
Chapter 19
DIGITAL TOPOGRAPHIES: REMOTE-ONLINE SPOT ELEVATION SURVEYING AS A
LEARNING METHOD
Vincent Javet
196
Chapter 20
EMBEDDING STUDIO CULTURES DIGITALLY: AN INVESTIGATION ON STUDIO CULTURES
IN PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Stella Pangilinan, Javier Ánton Sancho, Álvaro Velasco Perez
204
Chapter 21
FOUNDED ARCHITECTURE; REFLECTIONS ON HOW INTENSIVE ONLINE WORKSHOPS
COULD SHAPE A NEW PEDAGOGICAL CULTURE IN ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN
ANALYSIS AND DESIGN.
Arian Heidari Afshari, Angel Cordero Ampuero
214
Chapter 22
SITE COMPLEXITIES AND LEARNING OUTCOMES
Anne Margrethe Wagner, Bettina Lamm
221
Chapter 23
MUINÍN CATALYST - TOWARDS A PLACE-BASED STEAM, DESIGN-THINKING
CURRICULUM FOR TRANSITION YEAR
Anita McKeown, Rebecca White
231
Chapter 24
STUDIO IN ISOLATION: ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN THE VIRTUAL CONTEXT
Vincent Hui, Tatiana Estrina, Alvin Huang
238
Chapter 25
MODELING COMPETENCE: PRACTICE-BASED RESEARCH BETWEEN DESIGN,
ARCHITECTURE, SCIENCE HISTORY AND BIOLOGY DIDACTICS
Joosten Mueller
245
Chapter 26
FROM THE ACADEMY TO THE PRACTICE. TWO STEPS BACKWARD, ONE STEP
FORWARD TOWARDS A PERIPATETIC HYPOTHESIS
João Soares
256
Chapter 27
RE-INVENTING A HYBRID PROFESSION
Helen O’Connor, Kirsty Macari, Rebecca Foy
263
Chapter 28
DESIGN THINKING DIAGRAM: A TOOL FOR DECISION-MAKING
Graham Livesey, Enrica Dall’ara, Fabian Neuhaus, Sandra Abegglen, Mary-Ellen Tyler
271
Chapter 29
STUDENT AS SITE: EMBODIED LANDSCAPE RESEARCH
Emily Wettstein
282
Chapter 30
FROM DESIGN STUDIO TO RESEARCH LABORATORY: AN INTERIOR DESIGN
CONTRIBUTION TO URBAN REGENERATION STUDIES
Sadiyah Geyer, Andrew Gill
290
Chapter 31
MERGING TEACHING & RESEARCH IN FOUNDATION COURSES FOR A NEW
INTERDISCIPLINARY DESIGN EDUCATION PROGRAM
Mirko Daneluzzo, Carlos Montana-Hoyos
301
Chapter 32
THE AGENDA OF ARCHITECTURAL THEORY AS A DATA SET
Melis Baloğlu, Yüksel Demir
310
Chapter 33
LIVING WHERE THE IMMATERIAL MATTERS_ TOWARDS THE COMMONS
Maria Hadjisoteriou, Yiorgos Hadjichristou
319
Chapter 34
ANTI-AMNESIA AS A LEVER FOR ACTIVE PEDAGOGY: ARTICULATING DESIGN AND
MEDIA TOWARDS CRAFT AND INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE PRESERVATION IN PORTUGAL
Jorge Brandão Pereira, Heitor Alvelos, Abhishek Chatterjee
330
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Manchester Metropolitan University)
Page 1
EXPLORING UNDERGRADUATE ARCHITECTURAL
STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS EVIDENCE-BASED
DESIGN
Author:
FAN ZHANG1, RONGRONG YU1, ZHONGHUA GOU2
Institution:
1 GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY, AUSTRALIA; 2 WUHAN UNIVERSITY, CHINA
INTRODUCTION
The change of social and architectural values in recent decades call for more scientific rigor in
architectural designs. In the architectural context, evidence-based design (EBD) refers to the judicious
use of the best available evidence from research and practice to make informed design decisions. EBD
has rarely been incorporated into undergraduate architectural education as a systematic design
methodology.
The current project has engaged undergraduate architectural design students with fact-based
predictive design thinking and equipped them with essential knowledge and skillsets to carry out
EBD. The project employed pre- and post-surveys to examine students’ perceptions and experiences
about design values, design methods and EBD before and after the introduction of EBD. Results
showed that students’ design methods shifted from intuition- and practice-based methodologies
towards fact- and research-based ones. Compared with the pre-survey, students displayed a stronger
intention to develop and implement clear design values in future projects and appreciated the learning
of factual knowledge and incorporation of building occupants’ needs and preferences in their design
processes.
EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN
The term evidence-based design (EBD) is inherited from evidence-based medicine (EBM). EBM was
first developed in the United Kingdom in 1972 and advocated the treatment of individual patients
according to the best available clinical evidence
1
. The concept of EBD has expanded to numerous
disciplines including architecture. EBD, in the architectural context, is defined as “a process for the
conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence from research and practice in
making critical decisions, together with an informed client, about the design of each individual and
unique project”
2
. EBD is most welcomed and well received in the health sector
3
, while gradually
evolving in other building types. The very essence of EBD is to ground architectural solutions in
quality research to achieve optimum design outcomes.
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Design values
Design values refer to the attitudes, beliefs, orientations, and ideologies of designers
4
. One of the
earliest architectural design values claims that architecture must “be built with due reference to
durability, convenience, and beauty”
5
. However, due to the lack of a “factual” or empirical basis for
design decision-making, architects are more dependent on individual values and value sets in their
design processes
6
.
Architectural values in the 20th century were largely dominated by Modernist Architecture, a style
that emerged in the context of postwar reconstruction and that era’s craving for efficiency and mass
production. Features of Modernist Architecture comprise the notion of “form follows function”
(functionalism), the rejection of ornaments, generous use of glass and open, and flowing floor plans.
In the present, architectural design methodologies and education are deeply affected by Modernist
Architecture and the International Movement
7
. One of the most important legacies of the Modernist
era is the lack of consideration towards human needs and environmental impact. Following the human
rights movement in the 1960s, there was a growing tendency to reject the ideology that saw buildings
as pure sculptures without considering their social functions
8
. During the 1970s, the oil crisis resulted
in unprecedented energy concerns which prompted architects to include environmental topics and
methods in architectural design processes. Entering the 21st century, social values, including
architectural values, are shifting towards more human-centered and environment-conscious ideologies
9
. Consequently, the theories of the 1950s and 1960s have been outdated.
Traditional vs. Evidence-based design methodologies
Design methodology, in the architectural context, can been defined as a set of strategies to collect,
analyze, and synthesize relevant information to inform appropriate architectural solutions
10
.
Exploration of architectural design processes started as early as the time of Vitruvius more than two
thousand years ago. The Roman architect Vitruvius stated that “architectural designing is the process
of selecting parts to achieve a whole”
11
. Contemporary architects hold diverse opinions about
architectural design methodologies and design processes. Many architects, perhaps the majority of
them, see architecture as a “geometric abstract art”, and architectural design as an intuitive and
indescribable process
12
. Some view design as “a process of making”
13
; others think of it as “trial-
and-error process”
14
. Still others believe that design is a process of “learning by doing”
15
in which
problems and solutions appear together.
One of the most important contributions in the research of design methodology is John Christopher
Jones’ book Design Methods
16
. In this book, Jones critically reviews traditional design methods, such
as “design-by-drawing”, pointing out that they can no longer satisfy the complex design requirements
needed today. Jones sees design methods as a way to reconcile conflicts between art (an intuitive
process known as a “black box”) and science (a rational process known as a “glass box”)
17
. He
proposes new design methods and procedures, such as logical procedures, data gathering procedures,
brainstorming procedures, and evaluative procedures, integrating both creative and rational skills.
EBD is one such design methodology that brings the creative, intuitive, and logical rational process
together and is advocated by many scholars
18
.
Shortcomings in architectural education
Nowadays, architectural design values have changed. Research in recent decades demonstrates that
the costs of labor/personnel in any enterprise are orders of magnitude higher than building services
and operation costs
19
. Therefore, socially, it is expected that architectural design should positively
promote building occupants’ health, comfort, productivity, and well-being. Environmentally,
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Manchester Metropolitan University)
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increasingly severe global warming is forcing architects to reduce the carbon footprints of their
designed buildings.
Obviously, the new design values call for a change in architectural education. However, our
architectural education has not responded well to this demand. Tzonis
20
argues that the poor quality
of architectural education should be in part charged with causing irreversible damage to the
environment, ecology, culture, and economy. He believes that one reason for this huge gap between
an outdated institutional education and the “dynamic real world” is the inability of architectural
schools to fit exploding new architectural knowledge into the current curriculum, since teaching the
existing knowledge is already difficult enough. This is why architectural schools choose to teach
classical and core knowledge only and leave the new knowledge to be learnt by graduates themselves
when they enter the job market
21
.
Tzonis is not the only one to criticize architectural education. In fact, many academics and scholars
have criticized the traditional design studio teaching method, mainly for its lack of consideration for
building users and the lack of design methodology
22
.
In his book, Salama
23
argues that most architectural educators deem students’ drawing skills to be the
key capability determining their academic performance, implying that the majority of architectural
educators care about things that are crucial to their fellow architects only, rather than to their clients
and building users
24
. Salama also claims that current studio teaching focuses more on the final design
outcome rather than teaching students how to identify design problems and adopt appropriate design
methodologies to solve these problems
25
.
The lack of design methodology in studio teaching is echoed by many educators. Abdelhamid sharply
criticized the lack of a “clear methodology or scientific step-by-step process that should lead the
student to a design” in most architectural design studios
26
. Gross and Do have a similar observation:
“The lack of formal methods in architectural design puzzles each generation of students entering
studio; they learn the ‘how to’ skills through imitation of their teachers and more senior
classmates…It is the rare teacher indeed who shows students how to follow a systematic method”
27
.
Amir Mahmoodi investigated educators’ and students’ views about architectural design teaching in
top architecture schools in Iran, concluding that one major shortcoming of the current design teaching
is students’ confusion about design process:
“Many students argue about the lack of procedure/methodology in their design exercises. They are
confused in the process of design and they need to learn about the appropriate steps to take for
solving a design problem and developing a design solution.”
28
Interestingly, the above-mentioned shortfalls of studio teaching have been criticized from 25 years
ago until now. This large time span itself serves as eloquent evidence of the unresponsiveness of
architectural education to changing demands, as pointed out by Tzonis. The time for an innovation in
design teaching is long overdue. Architectural design education should embed a theoretical
framework grounded in scientific rigor and systematic research that will guide students to make
informed design decisions.
Aims of this research
So far, an evidence-based design philosophy has gained some momentum in architectural practice but
has not been widely introduced into architectural curricula. This project intends to incorporate the new
and innovative evidence-based design philosophy into undergraduate architectural education and
examine students’ perceptions and attitudes towards it before and after the introduction of EBD. EBD
will be embedded into the course Innovation in Design, one of the last core courses that architectural
students must take during the Bachelor of Architectural Design program in Griffith University.
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METHODS
The course Innovation in Design aims to introduce students to various recent innovations in the
building industry, including innovations in design philosophies, design processes, building materials
and building technologies. The course is delivered over 12 weeks, comprising 2h lectures and 2h
tutorials every week. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the course adopted a full online
delivery mode, with all lectures being pre-recorded, and all tutorials delivered live via Microsoft
Teams. Week 1 to Week 4 were dedicated to innovation in design philosophies, and the contents are
shown in Table 1.
Week
No.
Lecture
Week 1
Introduction: What is
innovation in
architecture?
Week 2
Design values and
methodologies, the
changing concept of
creativity, evidence-
based design
Week 3
Human-centred design
philosophies, such as
social design, biophilic
design, and active design
Week 4
Environment-conscious
design philosophies, such
as Green, Sustainable
and Zero-energy building
Table 1. Lecture and tutorial contents for innovations in design philosophies
In Assignment 1Practicing evidence-based design philosophy, students were required to select a
specific evidence-based design philosophy and implement it into a building redesign project. The
main tasks included literature review, scientific inquiry, architectural solutions, and reflection.
Research design
Unlike the one-off survey which assesses the long-term opinions/perceptions of the respondents
towards the investigated topic, the pretest-posttest designs
29
utilize an identical or similar
questionnaire structure(s) to examine the effect of a research intervention. In this project, the
overarching research question is to find out how the architectural students’ perceptions and
understandings about evidence-based design
30
evolve along the course period. Therefore, the pretest-
posttest design is adopted in this study, in the form of online questionnaire surveys. The pre-survey
contained 11 multiple-choice questions and 2 open-ended questions and was assigned in Week 1 to
find out students’ views about architecture and architectural design, creativity, design values,
commonly used design methods and processes, and satisfaction with previous studio courses. The
post-survey included 12 multiple-choice questions only and was assigned to students in Week 5. Both
questionnaires were delivered by Google Forms during tutorial time. The similarly constructed
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Manchester Metropolitan University)
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questions facilitated the comparison between the pre- and post- survey results, indicating the
development of views and attitudes towards design methodology and EBD.
Participant profile and data analysis
There were 73 enrolled students in the 2020 cohort for the course Innovation in Design, including 6
engineering students (third year or fourth year), 15 second-year and 52 third-year architectural
students. It was announced in class that the surveys were open to architectural students only.
Data in similarly structured Likert scale questions in pre- and post- surveys were first tested for
normality using the Shapiro-Wilk test. Non-normally distributed data were then analyzed by
independent-samples Mann-Whitney Test. The significance level is set at p < 0.05. Statistical analyses
were carried out in SPSS (version 26). For 7-point Likert scale questions regarding attitudes and
tendency to agree/disagree, votes of 5, 6, and 7 were deemed as positive responses, votes of 4 as
neutral responses, while votes of 1, 2, and 3 as negative responses. Other multiple-choice questions
were analyzed by descriptive statistics.
RESULTS
The pre-survey collected 52 responses from 67 eligible students, and the post-survey collected 32
responses. The response rates were 77.6% and 47.8% respectively. The reduced response rate in the
post-survey was likely caused by deadlines in Week 5 for other courses. Nevertheless, it was still
close to 50%, and the sample size (32) was a statistically large sample.
Design values
In both pre- and post- surveys, participants were asked to select their conception of architecture on a
scale between the art pole (represented by 1) and the science pole (represented by 7), and their views
of the architectural design process between creation of art (represented by 1) and solving a science
problem (represented by 7). The average score and standard deviation for view of architecture were
3.77 ± 1.06 for pre-survey and 4.09 ± 1.17 for post-survey, indicating that students had viewed
architecture slightly towards the art pole prior to introduction of EBD, while slightly towards the
science pole after EBD was introduced. Similarly, the average score and standard deviation for the
students’ view of the architectural design process were 4.15 ± 1.61 in pre-survey, and 4.38 ± 1.36 in
post-survey, indicating that students viewed the architectural design process slightly towards solving a
scientific problem in both pre- and post-surveys.
Figure 1 illustrates the frequency distribution for both surveys, along with the independent-samples
Mann-Whitney test result for (a) view of architecture, and (b) view of architectural design process.
Figure 1(a) displays a post-survey histogram slightly skewed towards higher scores, indicating that
students’ perceptions of architecture were closer to the “science” pole compared to the pre-survey.
However, this difference was not significant (p = 0.115). Figure 1(b) demonstrates a similar
distribution in pre- and post-surveys, with most students selecting middle scales (between 4 and 6).
The pre- and post-survey results were not significantly different (p = 0.424).
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(a) (b)
Figure 1. Comparison of participants’ conception of architecture and architectural design process in
pre- and post- surveys
In both pre- and post- surveys, students were asked whether they have developed/intend to develop
clear design values in design projects (1 strongly disagree7 strongly agree). Figure 2 demonstrates
the results. The average score and standard deviation were 4.85 ± 1.46 for pre-survey and 5.97 ± 1.26
for post-survey. The independent-Samples Mann-Whitney test showed a highly significant difference
(p < 0.001) between the pre- and post-survey results. The post-survey histogram is highly skewed
towards higher scores (6 and 7), indicating students’ stronger tendency to have a clear design value in
their future design projects.
Figure 2. Comparison of participants’ views of design values in pre- and post- surveys
In both pre- and post-surveys, students were asked whether they have considered or intend to consider
building users’ needs and preferences in their previous/future design projects. Results are illustrated in
Figure 3. The average score and standard deviation were 5.60 ± 1.62 for pre-survey and 6.47 ± 0.76
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for post-survey. In the pre-survey, although 82.7% of respondents expressed the view that they have
taken users’ needs into design consideration, only 15.4% of participants selected talking to and
surveying building users as a normal research activity in their previous designs (see Table 3). This
implied that students might have made design decisions based on their assumptions about users’
needs, rather than based on users’ own utterances. The post-survey reported 96.9% positive responses
(participants voting 5, 6, and 7) of incorporating users’ needs into design processes. This differences
between pre- and post-surveys were significant (p < 0.01) by independent-samples Mann-Whitney
test.
Figure 3. Participants’ views about incorporating building users’ needs and preferences in their design
considerations in the pre- and post-survey
Previous and current design methodologies
To better understand students’ design methodologies, the pre-survey asked students to select all
methods they have adopted to develop design concepts in their previous studio projects. The number
of votes for each method and the percentage values in total votes were reported in Table 2. In the pre-
survey, the first ranked method was to find inspiration from nature and/or art, with 73.1% of votes
from respondents. This was followed by investigating and analyzing design problems (61.5%), and
doodling, drawing, and modelling (55.8%). It is worth mentioning that only 23.1% of respondents
selected “reading research articles and scientific reports” as a common method for developing design
concepts, which ranked last in the pre-survey. After EBD was introduced to students in the course, the
post-survey asked about their intended methods for developing design concepts in the future (Table
2). The top three methods were “doodling, drawing, and modelling” (78.1%), “finding inspiration
from nature and/or art” (71.9%), and “reading research articles and scientific reports” (68.8%).
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Ways to develop design concepts
Pre-survey
No. of votes (percentage
in total votes)
Post-survey
No. of votes (percentage
in total votes)
Finding inspiration from nature and/or art
38 (73.1%)1
23 (71.9%)2
Investigating and analysing the design
problems
32 (61.5%)2
17 (53.1%)4
Doodling, drawing, and modelling
29 (55.8%)3
25 (78.1%)1
Imitating and replicating precedents
25 (48.1%)4
17 (53.1%)4
Intuition
25 (48.1%)4
11 (34.4%)6
Reading research articles and scientific
reports
12 (23.1%)6
22 (68.8%)3
(The numbers in superscripts denote the ranking of methods for developing design concepts)
Table 2. Top three methods to develop design concepts reported in pre- and post-surveys
Students were also asked about their normal research activities in their previous and future studio
projects, and the results were reported in Table 3. The top three research activities mentioned in the
pre-survey were “browsing architectural journals” (75.0%), “talking to peer/senior
students/professional architects” (71.2%), and “walking through and experiencing similar buildings”
(59.6%). However, these common design processes would not qualify for research processes unless
they have adopted systematic methods of evaluation
31
. Meanwhile, the research-based design
processes, i.e., “reading research publications and design theories” (38.5%), and “surveying building
users” (15.4%) were among the least selected activities in previous design studios. After EBD was
introduced, there was an obvious increment in the uptake of research methods in the design process,
including “reading research publications and design theories” (62.5%, ranked 6th in post-survey),
“surveying building users” (75.0%, ranked 4th in post-survey), and “observing building users’
behaviors” (78.1%, ranked 3rd in post-survey). This indicated a trend of change in students’ design
methodologies from intuition-based methods and processes towards research-based methods and
processes.
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Research activities in design studios
Pre-survey
No. of votes
(percentage in total
votes)
Post-survey
No. of votes (percentage
in total votes)
Browsing architectural journals with design
precedents
39 (75.0%)1
27 (84.4%)2
Talking to peer/senior students/professional
architects
37 (71.2%)2
28 (87.5%)1
Walking through and experiencing similar
buildings
31 (59.6%)3
23 (71.9%)4
Reading building codes/standards about specific
regulations
30 (57.7%)4
19 (59.4%)7
Observing building users’ behaviours in a similar
building
30 (57.7%)4
25 (78.1%)3
Searching for art works (fine art, sculptures,
product designs, etc.) for inspiration
27 (51.9%)6
13 (40.6%)8
Reading research publications about related
design theories
20 (38.5%)7
20 (62.5%)6
Talking to/survey building users to understand
their needs and feelings in a similar building
8 (15.4%)8
24 (75.0%)4
(The numbers in superscript denote the ranking of research activities)
Table 3. Normal research activities in design studios reported in pre- and post-surveys
CONCLUSION
This research project has incorporated the innovative evidence-based design (EBD) philosophy into
undergraduate architectural education. The pre- and post-surveys were carried out to capture students’
perceptions and attitudes toward design values, design methodology and EBD before and after EBD
was introduced. Results showed that before this course, students commonly combined intuition,
design-by-drawing, and some investigations and analyses in their design processes, but rarely utilized
scientific modes of inquiry. The “research” activities that they have commonly carried out in design
studios did not qualify for systematic research evaluation. After EBD was introduced, students
demonstrated an awareness of developing clear design values, taking building users’ needs and
preferences into consideration, and an appreciation of learning factual knowledge to inform design
decision-making. There was an uptake of research-based design methods and processes.
Teaching-Learning-Research: Design And Environments
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NOTES
1
D L Sackett et al., “Evidence Based Medicine: What It Is and What It Isn’t,” BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.) 312,
no. 7023 (January 13, 1996): 7172, https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7023.71.
2
(Hamilton & Watkins, 2009, p.9)
3
Roger Ulrich et al., The Role of the Physical Environment in the Hospital of the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-
Lifetime Opportunity (Concord, California: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2004),
https://www.healthdesign.org/system/files/Ulrich_Role of Physical_2004.pdf.
4
Ivar Holm, Ideas and Beliefs in Architecture and Industrial Design: How Attitudes, Orientations, and Underlying
Assumptions Shape the Built Environment (Oslo: Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo, 2006).
5
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio and Morris Hicky Morgan, Vitruvius the Ten Books on Architecture (Dover Publications,
1960).
6
Holm, Ideas and Beliefs in Architecture and Industrial Design: How Attitudes, Orientations, and Underlying
Assumptions Shape the Built Environment.
7
Amir Saeid Mahmoodi, “The Design Process in Architecture: A Pedagogic Approach Using Interactive Thinking”
(The University of Leeds, 2001), http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/2155/1/uk_bl_ethos_543080.pdf.
8
Robert Sommer, Social Design: Creating Buildings with People in Mind (New Jersey: Englewood Cliffs, N.J:
Prentice-Hall, 1983).
9
Mahmoodi, “The Design Process in Architecture: A Pedagogic Approach Using Interactive Thinking”; A.
Aksamija, Integrating Innovation in Architecture, 1st ed. (Wiley, 2016), https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119164807;
Ashraf M Salama, New Trends in Architectural Education, 1st ed. (Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: Tailored Text
and Unlimited Potential Publishing, 1995).
10
Mahmoodi, “The Design Process in Architecture: A Pedagogic Approach Using Interactive Thinking.”
11
(Lang, 1987, p.37)
12
Salama, New Trends in Architectural Education; Mahmoodi, “The Design Process in Architecture: A Pedagogic
Approach Using Interactive Thinking.”
13
Donald A. Schon, The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. (Aldershot: Ashgate
Publishing Limited, 1991).
14
Leon Van Schaik, Mastering Architecture : Becoming a Creative Innovator in Practice. (Wiley-Academy,
Hoboken, NJ, 2005).
15
Bryan Lawson, How Designers Think - The Design Process Demystified, 4th Editio (Oxford: Architectural
Press, 2006).
16
Christopher John Jones, Design Methods: Seeds of Human Futures, 1st ed. (Wiley-Interscience, 1970).
17
Jones.
18
Byran Lawson, “Evidence-Based Design for Healthcare,” in Hospital Engineering and Facilities Management,
ed. W Swaby (London: International Federation of Hospital Engineering, 2005), 2527; Ulrich et al., The Role of
the Physical Environment in the Hospital of the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity; Caren S Martin
and Denise A Guerin, “Using Research to Inform Design Solutions,” Journal of Facilities Management 4, no. 3
(January 1, 2006): 16780, https://doi.org/10.1108/14725960610673751; Hamilton and Watkins, Evidence-Based
Design for Multiple Building Types.
19
(e.g. Roelofsen, 2002; Seppänen, 1999; Woods, 1989)
20
(2014)
21
Tzonis.
22
Tarek Galal Abdelhamid, “A 10-Step Design Process for Architectural Design Studios,” in Sustainable
Development and Social ResponsibilityVolume 1. Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation (IEREK
Interdisciplinary Series for Sustainable Development), ed. M. Mateev and J. Nightingale (Dubai, UAE: Springer,
Cham, 2020), 111, https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32922-8_1; Mark D. Gross and Ellen Yi-
Luen Do, “The Design Studio Approach: Learning Design in Architecture Education,” 1997 EduTech/NSF Design
Education Workshop (Atlanta, 1997), https://doi.org/10.1002/cyto.990030307; Mahmoodi, “The Design Process in
Architecture: A Pedagogic Approach Using Interactive Thinking”; Ashraf M. Soliman, “Appropriate Teaching and
Learning Strategies for the Architectural Design Process in Pedagogic Design Studios,” Frontiers of Architectural
Research 6, no. 2 (2017): 204–17, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foar.2017.03.002; Burkay Pasin, “Rethinking the
Design Studio-Centered Architectural Education. A Case Study at Schools of Architecture in Turkey,” The Design
Journal 20, no. sup1 (2017): S127084, https://doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2017.1352656; Salama, New Trends
Teaching-Learning-Research: Design And Environments
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Manchester Metropolitan University)
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in Architectural Education; Ashraf M Salama, “A Theory for Integrating Knowledge in Architectural Design
Education,” Archnet-IJAR - International Journal of Architectural Research 2, no. 1 (2008): 100128,
https://doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v2i1.180.
23
(1995)
24
Salama; Salama, “A Theory for Integrating Knowledge in Architectural Design Education.”
25
Salama, “A Theory for Integrating Knowledge in Architectural Design Education.”
26
Abdelhamid, “A 10-Step Design Process for Architectural Design Studios.”
27
Gross and Do, “The Design Studio Approach: Learning Design in Architecture Education.”
28
(Mahmoodi, 2001, p.226)
29
Daniel Tan-lei Shek and Xiaoqin Zhu, “Pretest-Posttest Designs,” in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational
Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (Vols. 1-4), ed. Bruce B. Frey (Thousand Oaks,, California: SAGE
Publications, 2018), 129395, https://doi.org/10.4135/9781506326139 NV - 4.
30
Hamilton and Watkins, Evidence-Based Design for Multiple Building Types.
31
Jeremy Till, “Architectural Research: Three Myths and One Model,” RIBA Research Wiki, 2007,
https://jeremytill.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/post/attachment/34/2007_Three_Myths_and_One_Model.pdf.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Abdelhamid, Tarek Galal. “A 10-Step Design Process for Architectural Design Studios. In Sustainable
Development and Social ResponsibilityVolume 1. Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation (IEREK
Interdisciplinary Series for Sustainable Development), edited by M. Mateev and J. Nightingale, 111. Dubai,
UAE: Springer, Cham, 2020. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-32922-8_1.
Aksamija, A. Integrating Innovation in Architecture. 1st ed. Wiley, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119164807.
Gross, Mark D., and Ellen Yi-Luen Do. “The Design Studio Approach: Learning Design in Architecture
Education.” 1997 EduTech/NSF Design Education Workshop. Atlanta, 1997.
https://doi.org/10.1002/cyto.990030307.
Hamilton, D K, and D H Watkins. Evidence-Based Design for Multiple Building Types. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.
https://books.google.com.au/books?id=h9DcaOuEw5cC.
Holm, Ivar. Ideas and Beliefs in Architecture and Industrial Design: How Attitudes, Orientations, and Underlying
Assumptions Shape the Built Environment. Oslo: Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo, 2006.
Jones, Christopher John. Design Methods: Seeds of Human Futures. 1st ed. Wiley-Interscience, 1970.
Lang, Jon. Creating Architectural Theory: The Role of the Behavioral Sciences in Environmental Design. Van
Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1987.
Lawson, Bryan. How Designers Think - The Design Process Demystified. 4th Editio. Oxford: Architectural Press,
2006.
Lawson, Byran. “Evidence-Based Design for Healthcare.” In Hospital Engineering and Facilities Management,
edited by W Swaby, 2527. London: International Federation of Hospital Engineering, 2005.
Mahmoodi, Amir Saeid. “The Design Process in Architecture: A Pedagogic Approach Using Interactive Thinking.”
The University of Leeds, 2001. http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/2155/1/uk_bl_ethos_543080.pdf.
Martin, Caren S, and Denise A Guerin. “Using Research to Inform Design Solutions.” Journal of Facilities
Management 4, no. 3 (January 1, 2006): 16780. https://doi.org/10.1108/14725960610673751.
Pasin, Burkay. “Rethinking the Design Studio-Centered Architectural Education. A Case Study at Schools of
Architecture in Turkey.” The Design Journal 20, no. sup1 (2017): S127084.
https://doi.org/10.1080/14606925.2017.1352656.
Roelofsen, Paul. “The Impact of Office Environments on Employee Performance: The Design of the Workplace
as a Strategy for Productivity Enhancement.” Journal of Facilities Management 1, no. 3 (2002): 24764.
Sackett, D L, W M Rosenberg, J A Gray, R B Haynes, and W S Richardson. “Evidence Based Medicine: What It
Is and What It Isn’t.” BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.) 312, no. 7023 (January 13, 1996): 7172.
https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7023.71.
Salama, Ashraf M. “A Theory for Integrating Knowledge in Architectural Design Education.” Archnet-IJAR -
International Journal of Architectural Research 2, no. 1 (2008): 100128. https://doi.org/10.26687/archnet-
ijar.v2i1.180.
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Manchester Metropolitan University)
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Salama Ashraf M. New Trends in Architectural Education. 1st ed. Raleigh, North Carolina, USA: Tailored Text
and Unlimited Potential Publishing, 1995.
Schaik, Leon Van. Mastering Architecture : Becoming a Creative Innovator in Practice. Wiley-Academy,
Hoboken, NJ, 2005.
Schon, Donald A. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing
Limited, 1991.
Seppänen, Olli A. “Estimated Cost of Indoor Climate in Finnish Buildings.” In Proceedings of Indoor Air 1999, 13
18. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1999.
Shek, Daniel Tan-lei, and Xiaoqin Zhu. “Pretest-Posttest Designs.” In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational
Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (Vols. 1-4), edited by Bruce B. Frey, 129395. Thousand Oaks,,
California: SAGE Publications, 2018. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781506326139 NV - 4.
Soliman, Ashraf M. “Appropriate Teaching and Learning Strategies for the Architectural Design Process in
Pedagogic Design Studios.” Frontiers of Architectural Research 6, no. 2 (2017): 20417.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foar.2017.03.002.
Sommer, Robert. Social Design: Creating Buildings with People in Mind. New Jersey: Englewood Cliffs, N.J:
Prentice-Hall, 1983.
Till, Jeremy. “Architectural Research: Three Myths and One Model.” RIBA Research Wiki, 2007.
https://jeremytill.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/post/attachment/34/2007_Three_Myths_and_One_Model.pdf.
Tzonis, Alexander. “A Framework for Architectural Education.” Frontiers of Architectural Research 3, no. 4
(2014): 47779. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foar.2014.10.001.
Ulrich, Roger, Xiaobo Quan, Craig Zimring, Anjali Joseph, and Ruchi Choudhary. The Role of the Physical
Environment in the Hospital of the 21st Century: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity. Concord, California:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2004. https://www.healthdesign.org/system/files/Ulrich_Role of
Physical_2004.pdf.
Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus, and Morris Hicky Morgan. Vitruvius the Ten Books on Architecture. Dover Publications,
1960.
Woods, J E. “Cost Avoidance and Productivity in Owning and Operating Buildings.” Occupational Medicine 4, no.
4 (1989): 75370.
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MIXED-USE URBAN PROJECT IN DESIGN STUDIOS. A
RESEARCH BY DESIGN PEDAGOGICAL EXPERIENCE AT
THE BARCELONA SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Author:
CARLES CROSAS, EULALIA GOMEZ-ESCODA
Affiliation:
BARCELONA URBANISM LABORATORY, SPAIN
INTRODUTION: URBAN PROJECT AND MIXEDNESS OF ACTIVITIES
This article compiles a research by design experience in the framework of an on-going investigation
on Urban Mixticity within the Barcelona Urbanism Laboratory, related to the postgraduate course
Urban Project. Ideas and Praxis. The Design Studio has been held during six consecutive academic
years at the master program Contemporary Project leaded by the UPC-Barcelona TECH.
1
The master
course has two objectives as starting point: on the one hand, the definition of the Urban Project
discipline and, on the other, the construction of a theoretical framework on the mix of activities in the
construction of the city.
On Urban Project
During the 1980s, Barcelona led the urban debate on the so-called ‘Urban Project’ as a design strategy
focusing on interaction between architecture, public space and infrastructure. On the one hand, with
the outstanding theorization of Professor Manuel de Solà-Morales,
2
and on the other, with a number of
successful mid-scale urban transformations that configures an internationally renowned practice. Since
then, new approaches and new paradigms have appeared on scene, in Barcelona and abroad,
composing all together an interesting design practice that is the core of the course.
Urban Projects can be understood as an instrument of mediation between the city and architecture, and
at the same time, they constitute a way of acting and doing research. A design tool that is different
either from the conventional planning or the macro-architecture, and that is driven to conceiving
projects for operative fragments of the city well delimited in space and time. Urban Projects
reformulate the architecture of elements and public space in order to generate a new and more efficient
urbanity characterized by its greater clarity and emotion. Urban Projects have territorial effects beyond
their area of intervention; are complex and present interdependent character of programs; are
developed at the intermediate scale; voluntarily assume a commitment to adopt an urban architecture;
and imply a significant public component in investments and in collective uses of the program.
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On Urban Mixticity
The investigation implements a methodology tested and promoted by the authors, both researchers at
the Barcelona Urbanism Laboratory - LUB
3
and teachers at the master course. The research is based
on the hypothesis that urban sustainable mixedness is one of the most essential qualities that nourish
the myth of the good compact city.
Although paradoxically citizens have not always considered mixed functional use as a panacea, in
functional terms, the act of “mixing” facilitates social diversification and spatial contiguity of different
functions, while opposition to the mix creates large homogeneous urban areas, which are not therefore
exempt from conflicts. According to theoretical approaches to the concept,
4
urban mixtcity (and the
synonym concepts mixedness, functional mixed-use or mixture) means a responsible and sustainable
use of the city as it implies a wider use of the urban infrastructure combining different time slots;
provides an urban setting that substantially increases the level of social interaction; saves energy
consumption minimizing everyday movements, increasing soft mobility and pedestrian uses; and
activates strong synergies among compatible uses, encouraging new compounds that will be able to
provide appropriate responses to forthcoming demands.
The approach takes as starting point that the distribution of activities on the ground floor level in
Barcelona responds to some rationale rules of location and relation to population and geography, so
critical balances and distances between them can be established.
Figure 1. Activities in the ground floor level in Barcelona. Source: Authors’ elaboration
The analysis of the combination of activities can be refined to a grid fitted in the dimensions of the
Eixample, the central district of Barcelona, where the methodology has started to be tested. According
to official databases, besides housing, activities in the city are divided into seven large groups (retail,
hospitality, services, industry and logistics, public facilities, private services and non-occupied
premises) that in their turn are subdivided into up to 99 different programs. Activities are analysed
according to existing databases complemented with fieldwork to verify mismatches. Each program is
assigned a colour retail (orange), hospitality (yellow), services (maroon), industry and logistics
(purple), public facilities (magenta), non-occupied premises (dark grey), storage (medium grey), and
housing (light grey) and each block is represented both on the ground floor and in axonometry, to
make visible those non-residential activities that take place in upper floors and that the official
censuses do not record. Next, fragments of the grid around forty hectares about 24 blocks are
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selected to compare the proportions between the various uses found in each of the blocks. This
comparative parameterization makes it possible to find the measure of an average block to which all
those of the set can be referred by comparison.
5
Figure 2. Fragment of the Eixample. Analysis of the ground floor level mixticity by block (top) and by
street layout proximity (bottom). An average block of the urban fragment (on the left in the upper half
of the figure) has a total surface of 12,804m2 of activities rather than housing and 94 active premises
on the ground floor level. Source: Authors’ elaboration
A PEDAGOGICAL EXPERIENCE
The Urban Design Studio held on Spring 2020
6
dealt with Urban Mixticity in one of the most
paradigmatic transformation tissues in the south of Europe: the 22@ district in Barcelona, taking its
northern part as main laboratory. The 22@ district occupies the eastern side of the grid designed in the
mid-nineteenth century by the engineer Ildefons Cerdà. Despite being an isotropic grid, it developed
unevenly, with notable differences between the eastern and western sides/extremes.
This fact responds to two reasons. Firstly, due to the composition of the soil, made of alluvial lands
that formed the delta of the Besòs river. This characterized the crops that were developed in this area,
irrigated and more profitable for agricultural uses than those of dry land, which were urbanized before.
Secondly, because the same soft composition of the soil and the wetlands that existed in the place
made it an unhealthy site, so the city allocated industries and productive uses there.
The course participated in a recently launched municipal debate that seeks to set up new urban
conditions for the non-redeveloped areas. The Studio depicted new scenarios taking into consideration
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the new demands for more housing, social and innovation activities, a better balance between heritage
and new facilities, and ecology and sustainability factors. Analysis and proposals both at the block and
superblock scale were tested, exploring quantities and qualities of urban mixticity over the layout of
the Cerdà’s grid in three different assignments.
Urban Analysis: 22@ blocks
The first exercise speculated on the most optimal urban forms to define the principles that set specific
features of urban mixticity focusing on the sector delineated by Bilbao, Perú, Maresme, Espronceda
Streets and Diagonal Avenue, taking into consideration the new demands for more housing, social and
innovation activities, the balance between heritage and new facilities, ecology and sustainability,
among other factors.
The mixticity of the place was understood through x-raying some of the urban elements that compose
it. A collaborative analysis of a number of blocks, according to a number of parameters was
developed, in which students looked at (1) occupation, density, FAR and number of inhabitants per
plot and per block; (2) uses on the ground floor: commerce, services and access and temporary uses:
terraces, festivals and farmers markets; (3) uses on the upper floors: households, agencies and offices;
and (4) material heritage and unique buildings.
The systematic analysis of 25 blocks offers some interesting details on the morphological
configuration of the tissue. From a bird’s eye view, the coloured wide variety of building
combinations inside a regular street layout expresses the mixed-use condition of the fabric. Built over
a century, the blocks are normally compact, made out of one or two-story buildings with some
exceptional higher buildings. Among the blocks’ assortment, different groups can be identified: (1) the
most common regular blocks with a mix of new and old buildings; (2) the completely renovated
blocks, showing starting from scratch new layouts; (3) the typical divided blocks with internal
passageways; and (4), the shrinking blocks cut by some diagonal traces.
The series of resulting drawings illustrates the diversity of urban types that compose this urban
landscape. Regarding housing, typical row houses are set over the passageways, whereas multifamily
buildings are isolated among other services and only few recently renewed blocks show the perimeter
ring of multifamily housing.
Dark colours point out the opportunity for re-use and intensification. The darkest ones correspond to
buildings with activities that are not operating anymore. Lighter ones are plots hosting car parking and
storage. Bars and restaurants in yellow and retail in orange, occupy normally smaller plots inside the
traditional tissue, although few new hotels and big commercial areas have been recently built. The
traditional FAR for former industrial area used to be 1.00 to 1.70: even though the majority of the
blocks have less than two, the totally and partially transformed blocks rise up to three and four.
Beyond the total floor area per block, it’s interesting to illustrate the proportion of different uses in
each block. Dwellings are predominant in one third of the blocks. Logistics, which were very
important in this area till 2000, have nowadays a comparable weight to services. By contrast,
hospitality is residual in this area and is significant in only 10% of the cases.
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Figure 3. Analysis of the mixticity block-by-block. Source: Urban Project. Ideas and Praxis. Spring
Semester 2020.
Urban Design Proposals: Block-by-block Approach
Once the blocks analysed, the course focused on transformation design processes in the area with
Horizon 2040 in mind and with two different strategies, exploring potential at the block scale and at
the three-by-three aggregation scale. According to the official urban agenda, the development of 22@
can assume 20% more roof dedicated to housing 30% total to solve the structural lack of
households in central Barcelona
7
. The assignment responded to this need by intervening in one block
providing a final composition that had to meet the following requirements: (1) total FAR had to be
3.00 for standard blocks measuring 12,320m2 land, that would mean 36,960m2 of total roof; (2) 30%
of the total roof had to be used for housing: for standard blocks for standard blocks, 11,088m2
combining existing and added; (3) 10% of block occupation had to be dedicated to new facilities
1,232m2 footprint for standard blocks; and (4), 10% of block occupation had to be dedicated to green
areas.
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The first step followed was to analyse the composition of the block to determine which buildings
could be demolished and which deserved to be preserved, taking into account the official catalogue of
architectural heritage but adding other well-founded considerations. Fieldwork and in situ survey,
since it is a place in constant transformation, were essential in this phase of work.
Once the resulting composition of the block was understood after the hypothetical elimination of some
buildings, the design work was developed in parallel from two aspects. On the one hand, determining
new volumes until reaching a FAR equal to 3.00 and provisioning the minimum open spaces and
facilities required. On the other hand, the consideration that the combination of preserved volumes
plus the new proposed ones had to fulfil the formula that guarantees that at least 30% of the roof was
for residential use. The variety of composition in the blocks of this area in transformation also gave a
wide range of results: from those very exceptional blocks in which designs had to start almost from
scratch to produce a new mixed fragment; to those in which the preexistences were concentrated in a
sector of the block; or those in which what was kept was dispersed so the new volumes had to be
twinned with the existing ones. At the same time, small but valuable pieces of public space and public
facilities were added.
To respond to the high density requested, proposals with a higher proportion of preserved buildings
opt for commercial or service plinths of between two and four floors; on which residential or office
buildings are supported. Exceptional cases are those blocks divided by a road, in which the scarcity of
space forces the superposition of new uses with the preserved industrial ones. Finally, in blocks with a
lower proportion of heritage buildings, the design tries to faithfully respond to the traditional
compactness of the grid and the mix of uses is distributed around the perimeter in an almost
homogeneous height.
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Figure 4. Three mixed block design proposals. In the left column the existing situation, in the right
column the proposals. Source: Hanin Elghol and Sofia Gonzalez (top), Lukas Jakober and Milee Kim
(centre) and Soledad Martínez, Xin Chen and Yang Lan (bottom). Urban Project. Ideas and Praxis.
Spring Semester 2020.
Urban Design Proposals: From the Block to the Superblock
After the analysis and proposal of a new layout for a single block, the discussion on the intensification
of the 22@ district was addressed on the scale of a 3-by-3-block area, considering the ‘superblock’
8
strategy that is currently being implemented in the central city of Barcelona. The grid plan has an
inter-distance between blocks of 133 meters, so that the sum of three blocks coincides with a distance
of 400 meters, often considered a 5-minutes walkshade in terms of urban proximity analysis.
9
Between
1930 and 1935, the Macià Plan designed by the modern architecture group GATCPAC would take the
distance of three Cerdà blocks as the basic structure of their proposal for the city. Inheritance of this
fact are the bridges that cross Gran Via, west of Glòries Square, every 400 meters; or the piers that
interrupt the coastline, also every 400 meters. In the most contemporary context, the 3-by-3-block
matrix is also the measure at the origin of the superblocks project.
The proposal was aimed to provide a new layout for a specific area around Pere IV axis through
extrapolation of some of the strategies tested and learned at the single-block scale. In the
reconfiguration of the existing fabric, the general urban regulations for the 22@ transformation were
considered, including the 30% of built floor for housing. Each proposal had to find the most
convenient way to distribute the new volumes according to a global criterion: it was not mandatory in
this exercise for each block to comply with the new regulations, but for all nine blocks to do so,
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compensating each other to meet the parameters working together. Each work group will take the
collective analysis of this 3-by-3-block area and establish urban strategies to define a modern mix-use
by the following these given parameters shown on screen, equivalent in proportion to the ones in the
previous exercise:
Existing
In Progress
To be added (empty block)
FAR
1.35
3.00
3.00
Private Land
103,000 m2
9,200m2
77,000m2
Public Space
-
1,255 m2
19,000m2
Public Buildings
-
1,165 m2
7,000 m2
Floor Area
139,000 m2
33,825 m2
309,000m2
Housing
21,500 m2
3,380 m2
92,000m2 (+800 dwellings)
Table 1. Urban variables to meet in the new design proposal
The process in this exercise follows the same three steps as in the previous one and begins with the
critical analysis of the buildings to be maintained. In this case, the interrelationship between urban
blocks becomes the main argument that triggers the design process and the search for sequences
between open spaces. The definition of facades and landmarks or the construction of new voids inside
the grid is a common thread for the design proposals developed. Considering the incorporation of a
pacified street grid into the intervention area triggers consideration on different categories of public
space. At the same time, the possibility of transferring roof from one block to another allows very
clear volumetric definition strategies: giving greater importance to one of the facades, increasing the
perimeter in height, or spreading the high points as landmarks in the area. Ultimately, the work forces
a double scale of thought, that of the block and that of the superblock, defining strategies of
composition in the first but setting a rhythm in the larger area.
The distribution of uses also benefits from this double scale of work, allowing overlapping logics that
are established between the distribution of retail, offices and dwellings. The disruption of Pere IV axis
is seen as a design opportunity, and some proposals exaggerate the difference between the two halves,
one with a greater number of activities that should survive and another with a large number of
buildings already consolidated that will determine the shape of the new volumes.
Despite the fact that the mix of programs in this case responds to more conventional logics in terms of
height distribution, the interpretation of possible subzones within an area such as the superblock opens
a discussion to be considered. The opposite strategy of densification of the very core of the
superblock, fragmenting the open space as public block interiors is also an explored opportunity
(figure 5, top left and right). Office and residence activities are distributed in height landmarks, but
while housing faces the edges of the superblock, offices are the main ingredients in terms of program
in this new centre that the intervention defines.
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Figure 5. Superblock proposals. Source: Roubair Ashraf Fekry and Mourad Medhat Moheeb
Abdalqader (top left); Youssef Rafik Mustafa and Youijan Pan (top right); Ana Maria Amarillo and Ana
Lucia Diaz (bottom left); and Hanin Elghol and Sofia Gonzalez (bottom right). Urban Project. Ideas and
Praxis. Spring Semester 2020.
CONCLUSION
The teaching experience tests the validity in the design phase of a research methodology defined in the
Barcelona Urbanism Laboratory. The 22@ district in Barcelona makes it possible to use this
methodology in an area in transformation that precisely seeks a new mix of uses. The drawings and
texts shared here are part of an ongoing research by design process that, from the disciplinary field of
urbanism, tries to contribute with new empirical and objective approaches to the non-residential issues
of the contemporary city and the combinations between them to form mixticity.
10
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NOTES
1
Master linked with a dual program at the University of Tongji, which selects about thirty international students
with outstanding professional experience each year.
2
Among his contributions, it is worth highlighting in this regard Manuel de Solà-Morales, "La segunda historia del
proyecto urbano," UR: urbanismo revista 5 (1987): 21-27. This seminal work was compiled years later in Manuel
de Solà-Morales (ed.), A Matter of Things (Rotterdam: NAi Uitgevers, 2008), 18-29.
3
A summary view of the research carried out at the LUB since 1969 can be found at:
https://lub.upc.edu/web/arxiu_LUB/a_recerques_ang.html
4
Jill Grant “Mixed use in theory and practice. Canadian experience with implementing a planning principle,” APA
Journal, winter, Vol. 68, 1 (2002): 71-84. Accesed October 15, 2019. doi: 10.1080/01944360208977192.
5
Carles Crosas and Eulàlia Gómez-Escoda, METRO.MIX. Proximity and Mixedness for Healthier Cities. Criteria
and Tools for the Assessment and Promotion of Mixed-use Activities in Compact Metropolitan Areas, Ongoing
Competitive Research Project (since 2019).
6
Enrolled students: Ana Maria Amarillo Arenas, Roubair Ashraf Fekry, Xin Chen, Ana Lucia Diaz Calderon, Hanin
Abduladim Atia Elghol, Sofia Victoria Gonzalez Caballero, Hasnaa Azami Idrissi, Lukas Bernhard Jakober, Milee
Kim, Yang Lan, Shuren Li, Jing Lin, Han Liu, María Soledad Martínez Iñiguez, Mourad Medhat Moheeb
Abdalqader, Li Mojun, Youjian Pan, Youssef Rafik Mustafa, Yonatan Leandro Sarmiento Soler, Alejandro Tabares
Arango, Meng Tian, Zhiwen Wang and Mingjie Zhang.
7
To delve into 22 @, two recent publications should be highlighted: Ajuntament de Barcelona and BIT Habitat,
Agreement: Towards a more inclusive and sustainable 22@ within Poblenou, Barcelona: Ajuntament de
Barcelona, 2019, and Aurora López et al., 22@ Barcelona: 10 years of urban renewal, Barcelona: Ajuntament de
Barcelona, 2011.
8
The most updated information about current urban strategies on the superblock can be consulted at:
https://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/superilles/ca. Accessed January 10, 2021. Also Salvador Rueda, “Les superilles
per al disseny de noves ciutats i la renovació de les existents: el cas de Barcelona”, Papers Regió Metropolitana
de Barcelona, 59 (2017): 78-93.
9
Also in GIS applications regarding distances, as Walk Score (https://walkscore.com Accessed July 30, 2020) or
Open Route Service (https://openrouteservice.org, accessed on 30 July 2020).
10
Carles Crosas,and Eulàlia Gómez-Escoda. "Mapping Food and Health Premises in Barcelona. An Approach to
Logics of Distribution and Proximity of Essential Urban Services," ISPRS International Journal of Geo-
Information 9, no. 12 (2020): 746. Accessed January 20, 2020. doi: 10.3390/ijgi9120746.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Busquets, Joan, and Eulàlia Gómez. “The public layout”, in Busquets, J. and Miquel Corominas (ed.) Cerdà and
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Barcelona.” Quaderns d’arquitectura i urbanisme About Buildings & Food, 271 (2018): 87-101. doi:
10.3846/20297955.2016.1194606.
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RESEARCH INFORMED HEALTHCARE FACILITIES
DESIGN: INTEGRATION OF DISSERTATION RESEARCH
WITH SENIOR GRADUATION PROJECT DESIGN
Authors:
AHMED SHERIF, ENGY TAHER, LORNA EL MOGHAZI, YASMINA EL GEZEIRY
Institution:
THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN CAIRO, EGYPT
INTRODUCTION
Healthcare facilities design requires a special understanding of different users’ needs. Healthcare
buildings should support patient welfare and treatment, and help reduce staff stress. Patients and their
families experience fear, anxiety, and stress. They also feel vulnerable due to the lack of control over
the situation and the suspension of normal activities, as well as the uncertainty of outcomes. The
unfamiliar environment of the hospital adds more to this stressful experience
1
.The healthcare
environment is a key predictor of the overall satisfaction with the services provided in a hospital and
has a direct influence on healthcare outcomes
2
. The physical settings play an important role in the
healing process by providing a more pleasant experience for patients and by enabling the caregivers to
provide services more easily and efficiently
3
. It can help reduce stress of patients and staff
4
and help
reduce length of patients’ hospital stays
5
. The healthcare environment can also help reduce the need for
medications
6
. Healthcare facilities design has recently witnessed a change of focus, from designing
places of curing, to designing places for healing. A shift from a disease-centered design, to a people-
oriented design. Evidence shows that adjusting the design to meet patients’ needs can make the
healing environment more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. This can improve the mood and
other psychological feelings of patients and staff
7
. Learning design of healthcare facilities has a
number of challenges. Students should be acquainted with the nature of these buildings and the unique
status of their users. Students need to be engaged with research activities that allow them to appreciate
the psychological needs and social environment of the users of these buildings in addition to the
technical and functional operational requirements. These are not captured by typical research activities
of a design studio. This paper reports on three case studies in the Department of Architecture at the
American University in Cairo, Egypt. Students have chosen to conduct their dissertation research on a
topic closely associated with their healthcare facility design senior project.
CASE STUDY 1
This case study’s aim was to conduct a dissertation research that identifies the factors that can generate
a better, less stressful environment for patients and their families in Emergency Departments. This
research was used to identify the nature of critical healthcare facility departments and determine main
design considerations for the senior graduation design project of a Trauma Hospital.
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Dissertation Topic
The main defined problem for this dissertation was that the focus of current Emergency Departments
is centered on the advancement of their technologies, which leads to the neglect of the design of
spatial elements that could affect the wellbeing, comfort and stress of the main stakeholders; the
patients, their families and staff
8
. Accordingly, the main research objective was to identify
architectural design considerations that activate a less stressful healing process and environment for
patients and their families in Emergency Departments. The primary research question was what are the
factors which can generate a better less stressful environment for patients and their families in
Emergency Department Design. Supplementary research points were used to further understand how
to achieve this less stressful environment for the users. These included identifying current design
models of Emergency Departments, understanding how current issues in Emergency Departments
affect the wellbeing of their stakeholders, and determining the effect of integrating stress reducing
elements on healthcare facilities users.
Research Methodology
The main research methods used included looking into literature and performing field research.
Firstly, the main theoretical framework was defined which included the study of phenomenology and
understanding how spatial qualities can affect the direct experience of users
9
. Secondly, by looking
into literature, the current design standards in Emergency Departments and how they influence their
users was identified
10
. In addition to that, stress reducing elements in healthcare design were
determined to identify their effect on healthcare facilities’ users
11
. Finally, for the field research, a
structured interview was done to determine the perception of an architect on the current design of an
existing Emergency Department and identify proposed solutions to the current issues in the design. A
qualitative survey was also used directed to recent visitors of Emergency Departments to understand
their experience and determine if the addition of stress reducing design elements would have eased
their comfort during their visit.
Research Findings
From the previous research methods, it was determined that the main stress inducing factors in
Emergency Departments are crowding, lack of privacy and incorrect allocation of staff workspaces.
Firstly, crowding increases stress levels inside the department and can be harmful for vulnerable
patients
12
. Secondly, privacy is an overlooked design aspect Emergency Departments that prevents the
availability of individual secure zones for users
13
. Lastly, incorrect allocation of staff workspaces such
as nurse stations has a direct impact on the efficiency and work outcome of staff which may lead to
increased stress if located incorrectly
14
. In addition to that, stress reducing elements in current
healthcare design were determined to be Green Integration and Natural Daylight Exposure. For the
green integration, it was observed that exposure to natural elements in waiting areas reduced the
imposed stress on patients within the space than in regular waiting areas
15
. As for the natural daylight
exposure, it was determined that integrating daylight in spaces with critically ill and highly stressed
patients can increase their overall comfort and wellbeing
16
.
Senior Project
Based on the previous findings from the conducted dissertation research, the focus of the graduation
project of a Trauma Hospital was to integrate stress reducing elements to enhance the overall
wellbeing of the hospital’s stakeholders. Accordingly, the thesis statement of the project was that the
focus of design in a trauma hospital should not only be on functionality but also aim at reducing
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traumatic stress for its different stakeholders. Thus, the main design concept was enabling stress-free
healing through an interplay of biophilic design and the extensive integration of nature as an entity and
a source of light and natural views. Which led to the main design driver being exposure to nature as a
form of reducing traumatic stress. This was divided into three main elements: exposure to natural
views, integration of biophilic design and exposure to natural daylight. These elements were identified
from the dissertation research and implemented in the project. The natural views were maximized by
placing the project on the Nile front, having direct access and exposure from all points. Figure ()
Biophilic design was implemented by integrating gardens at different levels throughout the hospital to
induce stress free healing in the most critical zones. Four types of garden were planned. Different
levels of gardens were planned for patients through their healing process. Ranging from individual
private healing gardens to group interactive & exposed gardens (Figures 1 to 4 ).
Figure 1. The central garden for group activities
Figure 2. Terraced roof gardens for individual rooms
Figure 3. Healing gardens with aromatic and medicinal plants
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Figure 4. Social activity sections in outdoor gardens
Daylight exposure was achieved by imposing natural daylight penetration in public spaces and
integration of large atriums. Large atrium spaces were used to maximize the exposure to natural
daylight and to create openness within the hospital (Figures 5 & 6).
Figure 5. Daylighting of the main atrium space
Figure 6. A cross section of the main atrium space
In addition, the emergency department was designed to reduce stress of patients and staff. A central
garden was located within the Emergency Department, where the most critical rooms are surrounded.
Also, the external healing garden could be directly accessed from the department for stress relief
(Figures 7 & 8)
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Figure 7. Integration of gardens with the emergency department
Figure 8. Exposure to nature in the resuscitation room design
Also, the surgical department was designed with the aim of reducing staff stress. The surgical
operating rooms were exposed to daylight and natural views, and private gardens were linked to the
staff zones (Figures 9 & 10).
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Figure 9. Integration of gardens with the surgical suite
Figure 10. Introduction of natural light and external view in the surgical operating room design
CASE STUDY 2
The purpose of the dissertation of the second case study was to identify ways for remodeling
healthcare physical environments to help regulate the three parts of a human, deemed essential to
become a healthy person: Body, Soul and Mind. By focusing on designing a healing environment, a
new typology of healthcare facilities that caters for patients, their families and the society was sought.
Dissertation Topic
The research delved into ways in which aspects of “salutogenesis” could be achieved, specifically
focusing on how deploying the proportions of built, green and aquatic environments could result in a
more restorative and healing spaces. Instead of asking what causes disease, the salutogenic approach
looks for wellness factors, what causes and maintains healthy people aiming to promote healthy
living
17
. Salutogenesis is “the process of healing in all dimensions of a person” in which then healing
is defined as reaching a person’s optimum health (physical, mental, social, and spiritual) through the
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processes of recovery, renewal, and reintegration
18
. The research addressed whether deployment of
water features in built environments could have a positive impact on users when compared with green
spaces. It looked into the potential dose-response relationship of controlling the proportion of water
visible in users’ scenes.
Research Methodology
An online survey was conducted containing pictures of 9 environments. Participants were asked to rate
them based on a Perceived Restorativeness Scale. The 9 environments presented different
combinations of Built, Aquatic and Green scenes. Results were cross compared with the findings of a
similar previous study in the UK
19
.
Research Findings
Research output revealed that preferences of the Egyptian participants were different from those of the
UK (Figure 11). The introduction of green space has led to a higher preference rating. Also, as the
proportion of greenery increased in a scene, the scene was rated more positively. Moreover, scenes
with higher proportions of nature received higher scores. Furthermore, built environments containing
aquatic surroundings were rated more positively than single built environment. Also, participants
preferred built environments with nature (green or water).
Figure 11. Comparison between the research results with those of a similar UK study
Senior Project
The senior design project focused on developing a Salutogenic Cardiac Facility in Suez, Egypt. The
design aimed to provide a holistic care environment (body, soul and mind) for the users of this highly
acute facility. The architectural approach aimed to provide active physical engagements for patients,
families, and the public. Figure 12 demonstrates the utilization of public corridors along an atrium at
the heart of the facility to encourage walkability foe the different types of population. The lower levels
were opened to the public while the upper levels were dedicated to the heart patients.
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Figure 12. Utilization of the atrium as a centre for activities at different floors
A biophilic design approach was adopted. Also, the facility was perforated to emphasize community
care and social inclusion. The ground and first floors were designed to lure the public into the facility
in order to engage them with health-related activities catering for the body, soul and mind. Figure ()
shows the main public access way which penetrates through the hospital. It is a bridge that allows the
public to access the wellness activities, healthcare information facilities and organic/health food shops
located on the lower floors of the facility. Figures 13 and 14 shows the first-floor plan where this
penetration occurs.
Figure 13. A pedestrian bridge encouraging the public to access to the healthcare facility
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Figure 14. Wellness and healthcare information activities for the public on the first floor
The levels of porosity were carefully designed to allow for the separation of the critical patients from
the public. Figure 15 demonstrates the gradual shift of porosity and intensity of activities from the
lower floors of the facility to the upper more quite floors.
Figure 15. Levels of porosity and intensity of movement
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CASE STUDY 3
This case study presents a dissertation research that was conducted to examine the extent to which the
current healthcare model caters for existential and experiential needs of Breast Cancer patients.
Research findings were then used to inform design decisions and considerations made to realize the
senior graduation design project of a Breast Cancer Treatment Center.
Dissertation Topic
The main problem statement which triggered this research is that “the blindspot which healthcare itself
cannot see, is human existence and the sheer lived experiences of suffering.” In other words, medical
facilities are addressed with a highly mechanized and pathogenic manner that fails to accommodate
the complexity of human experience, and obstructs patient’s capability to deal with the hardships of
their disease. Therefrom, the main research objective was to examine the translation of existential and
experiential connotation of suffering in breast cancer patients into architectural design criteria. The
primary research question was “How can the experiential connotation of suffering in Breast cancer be
translated to architectural design elements?” and it was supplemented with sub-questions which gave a
more comprehensive view of the ontological perspective of suffering in Breast Cancer, the
corresponding patient needs and the extent to which a fraction was accommodated by the Breast
Cancer care model in Egypt.
Research Methodology
Research findings were arrived at through a qualitative study that entailed a multistep research
methodology. First step involved a philosophical and theoretical background to deduce main themes
relevant to the existential notion of suffering in Breast Cancer patients from literature. This step was
then followed by a delve into Architectural theory to translate philosophical and existential
background into design criteria and approach. Then, for the field work, qualitative research with the
focus on how a sense of comprehensibility is achieved in design was conducted at Baheya
Foundation, Cairo, Egypt. The main research tool was observational analysis; documented in the form
of sketches and photographs, to evaluate the implementation of extracted design criteria on site. The
second research tool took the shape of semi-structured interviews to test users’ sense of
comprehensibility while they navigate through the building and study their perception of and
interaction with the targeted design cues.
Research Findings
Research findings typically stemmed from two channels: literature and applied field work. Findings
from literature included the thorough understanding of the ontological perspective of suffering in
Breast cancer patients, and in turn the identification of the three phases of suffering that need
accommodation in design; Having Suffering, Being Suffering and Becoming Suffering. Having
suffering represents the muted type of suffering which occurs to a patient upon their diagnosis of
cancer. It is characterized by shock and sudden disintegration. Being Suffering represents the
intermediary phase where the patient has started to deal with the news. In this phase, suffering starts
becoming lived in time and space and is characterized by the patient’s need for communion and
compassion from the surrounding context. Third phase is Becoming Suffering which involves
transcending beyond the patient’s condition and is characterized by spirituality, re-attunement to
nature and reintegration back into their daily lives. The second track of findings from literature
involved the corresponding design approach and spatial qualities which lied within the precinct of
Phenomenological Architecture, as it gave access to existential terms of architecture hence, was
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identified as the most suitable approach to tackle ontological and existential conditions of human
experience. Findings from applied field work included strong insight into the socio-cultural
background of the user group. This was acquired through the observation of and interaction with
subjects in Baheya Foundation and it included an understanding of the Egyptian Fallaha’s context of
living, lifestyle and behavioral patterns. Applied field work findings also included the actual
qualitative survey results indicating that Baheya Foundation was capable of meeting the majority of
the design cues leading to a sense of comprehensibility. The most prominent shortcoming, however,
was the failure to achieve visually distinct zones.
Senior Project
In alignment with research findings, the senior graduation project was a Breast Cancer Treatment
Center in rural Suhag that aims to re-humanize the cancer care model by curating an existential caring
encounter that fosters inner coherence and wholeness. Accordingly, the architectural concept approach
was a phenomenological design approach that portrays values of essentiality, fragility and sensation
through the ontological roots of architecture. Research findings directly affected three main design
drivers, first of which is the incorporation of existential conditions of Breast Cancer Patients into the
design (Table 1). Each of the suffering phases had corresponding architectural as well as sensory
stances.
Table 1. The design drivers
The first phase of “Having Suffering” had the architectural stance of shock absorption, stillness and
directionality, and the sensory stance of muteness and low stimulation. These are illustrated in Figures
16 and 17.
Having Suffering:
Muted Suffering
Architectural: Shock Absorption, Stillness,
Directionality
Being Suffering:
Lived in time and space
Architectural: Sensory Integration, Communion
Sensory: Dualistic Expression, Contrast
Becoming Suffering
Transcended Suffering
Architectural: Re-attunement to rhythms
of nature, Sense of Collectivity
Sensory: High Stimulation, Reintegrative
Wayfinding Study: Circulation Hierarchy, Wayfinding Vistas, Distinct visual
characters
Existential Conditions
of Breast Cancer
Patients
Sense of
Comprehensibility
through Design
Sensory: Low Stimulation, Muteness
Sociocultural
Context
Fallaha’s Perception of Dwelling: Rituals of the Nile, Agriculture, Color, Geometry,
Sense of Place (House of the Fellah)
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Figure 16. The detection entrance transition into muteness, stillness, essentiality and directionality
Figure 17. The imaging waiting nook’s stillness of nature and low stimulation
The second phase of “Being Suffering” corresponded to an architectural stance of sensory integration
for communion, alongside a sensory stance of dualistic expression and contrast in experience (Figures
18 & 19).
Figure 18. The central node’s spatial articulation, sensory integration, wayfinding, and communion
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Figure 19. The radiotherapy entrance’s sensory integration, communion, and rhythm
Finally, the third phase of “becoming suffering” remained consistent with an architectural stance that
fosters re-attunement to the rhythms of nature and a sense of collectivity alongside a reintegrative,
high stimulation sensory stance (Figures 10 & 21).
Figure 20. The psychotherapy clinics environment of reconciliation, exposure to nature and calmness
Figure 21. The community node‘s re-atonement to nature and community scape
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The second design driver to be directly affected by research findings is the integration of the user
group’s socio-cultural context by studying and extracting the architectural rituals that govern the
Egyptian fallaha’s perception of dwelling, most important of which were the rituals of the Nile,
agriculture, color, geometry and the sense of place (Figure 22). Finally, the third design driver to be
impacted by research findings is the induction of a sense of comprehensibility throughout the design,
which was achieved by incorporating a clear circulation hierarchy, wayfinding vistas and distinctive
visual characters along different project nodes.
Figure 22. The introduction of sociocultural rituals in design
CONCLUSION
Dissertation research has helped students improve the depth of their understanding of the values that
should be embedded in the design of their healthcare facilities projects. The research activities helped
improve students’ appreciation of some of the sociocultural and/or other needs of the different user
groups. As a result, student projects focused on the creation of places for healing, rather than places of
treatment. A clear shift was observed in student projects from the disease-centered design approach to
people-oriented design. The design approach was a reflection of the lessons learned from research
activities. The first case study the variables which contribute to stress reduction of patients, family and
staff were addressed. Accordingly, the design approach focused on adopting a variety of biophilic
design techniques. This included the integration of gardens and natural daylight in the design. In the
second case study, the Salutogenic approach causes and maintains healthy people was adopted.
Accordingly, a perforated and active design approach was adopted. The third project was approached
from the perspective of re-humanizing the cancer care model. It aimed at curating an existential caring
encounter which fosters inner coherence and wholeness. Accordingly, a phenomenological design
approach which portrayed the values of essentiality, fragility and sensation was adopted.
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NOTES
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2
Ulrich, R. S., Zimring, C., Zhu, X., DuBose, J., Seo, H. B., Choi, Y. S., & Quan, X. A Review of The Research
Literature on Evidence-Based Healthcare Design. HERD: Health Environments Research and Design Journal,
1(3) (2008): 61125.
3
Iyendo, T. O., Uwajeh, P. C., & Ikenna, E. S. The therapeutic impacts of environmental design interventions on
wellness in clinical settings: A narrative review. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 24 (2016): 174
188.
4
Ulrich, R. S., Zimring, C., Joseph, A., & Choudhary, R. The Role of The Physical Environment in The Hospital of
The 21st Century: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity (Concord, CA: The Center for Health Design, 2004).
5
Beauchemin, K M and Peter Hays. Dying in the dark: sunshine, gender and outcomes in myocardial infarction,”
Journal Of The Royal Society Of Medicine, 91 (1988).
6
Walch J, Rabin B, Day R, Williams J, Choi K, Kang J. “The effect of sunlight on postoperative analgesic
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(2005):156-163
7
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The 21st Century: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity,” (Concord, CA: The Center for Health Design, 2004).
8
John C Moskop et al., “Another Look at the Persistent Moral Problem of Emergency Department Crowding.” Ann
Emerg Med, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2018.11.029.
9
Amedeo Giorgi and Barbro Giorgi “Phenomenology. In J. A. Smith (Ed.), Qualitative Psychology: A Practical
Guide to Research Methods.” London: Sage, 2004.
10
Yarvin N. Marmor,et al. “Designing patient flow in emergency departments.” IIE Transactions on Healthcare
Systems Engineering, 2012. http://doi:10.1080/19488300.2012.736118.
11
Camiel J. Beukeboom, et al. “Stress-Reducing Effects of Real and Artificial Nature in a Hospital Waiting
Room.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2012. http://doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0488.
12
Debajyoti Pati, et al. “Security Implications of Physical Design Attributes in the Emergency Department.” HERD:
Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 2016. http://doi:10.1177/1937586715626549.
13
Mary Kilcoyne, and Maura Dowling. “Working in an Overcrowded Accident and Emergency Department:
Nurses’ Narratives.” Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 2008. http://doi:0813-0531.
14
Lucio Naccarella, et al. The Influence of Spatial Design on Team Communication in Hospital Emergency
Departments. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 2018.
http://doi:10.1177/1937586718800481.
15
Camiel J. Beukeboom, et al. Stress-Reducing Effects of Real and Artificial Nature in a Hospital Waiting
Room.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2012. http://doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0488.
16
Hongliang Zhang and Jiang Wu. “How Natural Light Affects Critically Ill Patients with Subarachnoid
Hemorrhage.” Critical Care, 2011. http://doi:10.1186/cc10146.
17
Dietscher C, Winter U, Pelikan JM. “The Application of Salutogenesis in Hospitals,” in: Mittelmark MB, Sagy S,
Eriksson M, et al., editors. The Handbook of Salutogenesis, (Cham: Springer; 2017). Chapter 27. Available from:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK435835/ doi:10.1007/978-3-319-04600-6_27.
18
Sakallaris, B., MacAllister, L., Voss, M., Smith, K., & Jonas, W. “Optimal Healing Environments,” PubMed
Central (2015) doi:10.7453/gahmj.2015.043.
19
White, M., Depledge, M., Snelling, D., Pahl, S., Humphryes, K., & Smith, A. “Blue space: The importance of
water for preference, affect, and restorativeness ratings of natural and built scenes,” Journal of Environmental
Psychology, (2010). Retrieved from
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veness_ratings_of_natural_and_built_scenes.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
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Kutash, M., & Northrop, L. “Family Members’ Experiences of The Intensive Care Unit Waiting Room.” Journal of
Advanced Nursing, 60, No 4 (2007): 384388.
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achieving a Salutogenic hospital” World Health Design, 7, No: 1 (July 2014): pp. 64-67.
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Literature on Evidence-Based Healthcare Design.” HERD: Health Environments Research and Design
Journal, 1 No 3 (2008): 61125.
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ENGAGED PHOTOGRAPHY AS URBAN COMMUNICATION
PLATFORM IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT
1
Author:
JITKA CIRKLOVÁ
Institution:
UNIVERSITY OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION, CZECH REPUBLIC
INTRODUCTION
The teaching and research project takes a value-based approach that examines the public space in
terms of relationships, social well-being, and sense of community. The goal is to help students better
understand and manage, sustainably the examined public space. Through the method of engaged
photography, students has brought together a range of stakeholders including local inhabitants,
businesses, heritage organizations, artists, and communities, to exchange knowledge, and expand the
interdisciplinary conceptual and public policy debates about public space in the particular area.
PRODUCTION OF PUBLIC SPACE
The project begins with the theory that that urban space is produced both materially and through
discourse. The author of this theory is the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre
2
. According to Lefebvre
cities are a complicated combination of power relations, different ways of life and different identities.
The urban space is the most fascinating way in which the environment reflects human relationships
and the processes by which society is formed. According to Lefebvre , those who manage and own the
city premises have a great influence and power. At the same time, he argues that urban spaces belong
to their regular users who should be given the opportunity to use the spaces to materialize their needs
and interests. Lefebvre thus calls for the creation of an urban space that promotes human freedom and
creativity, offers the possibility of activities that supports community participation and self-realization
of all its inhabitants. Therefore, social processes were placed at the center of the teaching as well as of
the ethnographic and visual analysis of the selected location. By approaching space as text, we could
study the spatial codes produced in and through society.
This approach not only helps students understand Lefebvre’s levels of social space based on the
relationships between subjects, objects and activities in urban setting, but it also opens up the
discussion about the complex structure of the term sustainable landscape as a combination of
environmental, social, economic, political and aesthetic elements. We observe the contemporary
practice in which public administrative institutions and architects alike trying to find solutions to
dynamic social changes. The corporate spectacularism in the cities is being increasingly
complemented by specific local projects that seek to solve the problems of local communities by
finding a sustainable solution
3
.
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Throughout the whole project we worked with categories of public space that is presented by
Barcelona based multidisciplinary group Raons públiques
4
(Figure 1). This is an inclusive and
integrated approach to urban design with an aim to use participation as a tool of contemporary city
planning. By further elaborating on the categories of public space, students were able to perform
structured data collection, understand the composition of particular categories and visualize the
relationships between different parts of public space, material objects, users and inhabitants.
Figure 1. Categories of Public Space by Raons públiquesSource:
https://learningfrombarcelona.wordpress.com/about/
The selected diagram helps students to understand how material and non-material elements of public
space influence current and potential social life in location. After participating in this seminar, the
students were able to address the complexity of relations found in public space such as the tension
between living heritage, memorialized, apparent or hidden histories of the place and its current
identity. Students will also see the link between the local identity and the implementation of
sustainable management in economic, aesthetic, and environmental governance mechanism.
Teaching the Research in the Field Project-based Learning
For undergraduate students enrolled in programs of Marketing Communication, Social Policy, Law or
Communication Studies program, but not Sociology, this project was their first encounter with the
complete process of qualitative ethnographic research, from research design to data interpretation.
They had to actively search for and apply relevant qualitative methodology in changing social context.
The project enhanced significantly their understanding of classical research methods such as
Participant observation, Semi-structured interviews, Content analysis, and Focus Groups. We decided
to methodologically unify our data collection and to combine the classical methods with research
techniques of Engaged Photography and Netnography
5
that proved to be an attractive research tool for
the undergraduate students.
Engaged Photography as a research tool helps students better understand the diversity of cultural
perspectives, the intergeneration time frame in the use of public place, and the connection of the
researched location with the wider metropolitan space. The method of Engaged Photography not only
provides data within a certain research, but also helps to create social connections between
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respondents who become actively searching for visual stories in a familiar environment
6
. The
photographs brought a deeper awareness of belonging to the local community for both the locals and
the student researches. The photographs also became a form of artistic performances of the local
community and a tool which students use to establish communication with the local residence. Using
Engaged photography, students brought together a range of stakeholders including artists, local
inhabitants, small business owners, members of heritage organizations, local cultural clubs and
associations. Through mutual knowledge exchange, the students learned how conducting research
can enhance and expand the interdisciplinary conceptual and public policy debates about public space
in particular area.
FRAMING THE RESEARCH IN THEORETICAL CONCEPTS THE MIDDLETOWNS
Although the authors of presented diagram categorize the public space of a large city, we decided to
conduct student research in the space of a smaller town, which simplified the context of the researched
locality. The choice of location was influenced by two, now classical studies of life in a small town
which students found interesting and they repeatedly and spontaneously returned to these studies for
inspiration in data interpretationand comparision between current social problems and historical ones.
The first of the two classic studies examined the daily life in a typical small village community and
became a trend-setting sociological research. The book The workers from Marienthal was published
in 1933 by research team Marie Jahoda, Paul Lazarsfeld and Hans Zeisel who investigated the
unemployment situation in the village Marienthal in Lower Austria. The research was revolutionary.
Scientists Marie Jahodová, Paul F. Lazersfeld and Hans Zeisel were actively engaged in the events of
Mariental and provided rich description of the village life. Their research is considered a classical
reading for Sociology students who wish to understand and make good use of of qualitative research.
For the teaching of qualitative methodology, the students were acquainted with the principles of
qualitative research:
Objective observation as well as introspective reports should be obtained for each
phenomenon studied;
Case studies should be appropriately combined with statistical information;
Information on the present should be supplemented by information on earlier stages of the
development of the phenomenon under study;
Natural and experimental data should be combined: experimental data means using
questionnaires and sample surveys, natural data is obtained by "non-influencing (non-interfering)
methods";
Data must be obtained from the people’s daily life without the intervention of the researcher.
7
The research of Mariental was inspired by the study carried by Robert and Helen Lynd in the mid-
1920s using the approach of Social Anthropology that examined the daily life of a typical small
american town Muncie in Indiana
8
. Their study became the inspiration for a six-part television series.
Using this study, students not only learned about classical research and methodology but also critically
discuss the trend of current reality shows, which are often presented in the media as social research or
scientific experiment.
Qualitative research, using the emic perspective and fortified by content, narrative and visual analysis
of available material, such as town chronicles, contemporary local newsletters, and national media
coverage of the area, allows researchers to monitor the dynamic of changes in the social structure of
the observed community and its daily life.
Engaged photography was chosen as the main methodological tool of the research. For students
growing up in a visually rich communication and media environment, Engaged Photography has
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proven to be an easily accessible and graspable method at the beginning of research. In selected
research locality were respondents asked by the students to provide a photograph (in person or to
guide our student to take a picture) of a place in town which:
they like and consider to have a positive effect on local life;
or they don’t like and consider to be a negative element of their town.
Within the two-week-long fieldwork in October 2020, 47 local residents had participated in the
research (21 women, 26 men). The age range of participant was 21-70 years. All are permanent
residents of the town Davle.
The town of Davle
9
, located 22 kilometers south of the capital city of Prague, is a popular destination
for day trips from Prague. At the last census in 2018, the town had 1,660 inhabitants. In 2008, Davle
was established as a township, settlement independent of Prague.
The civic amenities are at a satisfactory level. In Davle, there are a nine-year primary school, a
kindergarten, a post office, a dental office, a pharmacy, a pediatrician and a general practitioner for
adults, a retirement home, a church, a chapel, a cultural and social center, a multifunctional sport hall,
an outdoor sport complex, two fire stations, a library, five playgrounds, water supply and sewerage
system. The town is stretching upstream of the river Vltava and has a long timber rafting history. The
bus and train system in Davle is a part of Prague Integrated Transport, providing fast and efficient
connection to the capital city. All students assumed this last point would be considered by the local
residents as the most positive element about the small town Davle.
RESEARCH RESULTS CONSTRUCTING LIVED SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE
Since the global pandemic crisis of 2020, there has been an increasing demand for a new
understanding of social and public place, locality, and community. We are increasingly confronted
with the search for concepts that take into account the need for residents to remain in their place of
residence. Public space, its accessibility, security or sustainability thus becomes a discussed topic not
only for local self-government, but especially for ordinary residents, for whom public space was often
just a backdrop to their daily activities.
Previously, the small town daily events were researched on different levels of the meanings for
participants on an individual subjective level. The goal was to understand the relations existed
between history and local folklores, and between some forms of political revolt against communism
and the new dimensions of communities after 1989 transformation. The changes taking place in the
complex social systems towards sustainability and social responsibility need to be better understood
from the perspective of sociology. The outcomes of student involved research can help to open a
dialogue about the need to regain social and environmental balance and encourage sustainable
practices to be openly articulated.
The reserch of Davle proved that the identity of the place, the memory of the distinctive local identity
matters to its‘ inabittans the most. It can be categorized as an apparent history.
In this category, a dominant example is the old iron bridge in Davle across the Vltava built in 1905. In
1968, it served as a backdrop for filming a war story based on the actual event "Bridge at Remagen".
The bridge followed by an old train station and the memorial of timber rafting was mentioned among
the most improtant positive element of lived public place.
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Figure 2. The Iron bridge Figure 3. Timber rafting memorial
Figure 4. Revitalized public space and parks
Respondents positively assessed the changes in the city. There has been an increase in the share of
urban greenery with newly planted trees in the town center, a promenade on the river bank, a new park
near the school, hiking nature trails that lead from the city directly to the surrounding countryside.
For the purpose of a student research, we set only three age categories: pre-productive age, productive
and post-productive. The aim of was to bring students to think about different models of social
interaction and activities in the use of public space.
However, across all age groups, there is a positive evaluation of the possibilities of activities that
increase the cohesion of the local community and allow people to spend their free time actively. Some
common examples given were sports clubs for children and community programs for seniors
Figure 5. Sport activities and clubs Figure 6. Hiking trails
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Already during data collection, students started to understand how complex a social phenomenon is a
functional urban community, and how Lefebvre’s theory, which states that cities are combinations of
complex relations, lifestyles and identities, manifests itself in reality.
The research helped students understand how the inhabitants value the opportunities to interact
socially in public space such as in local small shops and pubs the term active social capital has been
given a clear form and content.
Surprisingly, the availability of transport and medical service was in the closing category of perceived
positive elements of the lived public space. The town inhabitants enjoy creating and cultivating
quality relationships within the community and with the natural environment. The students' hypothesis
that the locals would appreciate the fast transport because it offers them a quick escape from a small
town to the capital turned out to be invalid.
Perceived negative elements were summarized into five catgories. The leading set of complains was
about the limited capacity of the public library, the parking problems, the restriction of dogs in park,
the unfinished sidewalks and the limited night anchorage by the river.
Davle’s proximity of the capital and its location by the river makes it a popular excursion destination.
There are always new faces around town. Residents also complain about the large number of cottages
that become noisy during weekends and holidays.
The expected negative element was about the messy areas around the recycling bins, vandalism with
senseless graffiti and tags, and irresponsible dog owners.
As for disruptive elements of the shared public space, respondents pointed to the yet-unrevitalized
communist-era buildings and even specifically mentioned design details, such as the entrance door of
the town hall. For residents in the age cohort of 40 years and older , the door was a clear, material
reminder of the communist regime.
Figure 7. Yet-unrevitalized elements of buildings