Department of Regional Economic and Social Development
University of Massachusetts, MA 01854 Lowell, USA
Architects are educated through a process that revolves around the `studio course’, and an attempt to apply the studio method of teaching to the education of software designers reveals much about education and practice in both professions. Characteristics of the architecture studio include: project-based work on complex and open-ended problems, very rapid iteration of design solutions, frequent formal and informal critique, consideration of a heterogeneous range of issues, the use of precedent and thinking about the whole, the creative use of constraints, and the central importance of design media. Experience from a studio course in software design provokes creative reflection on engineering design education, and on how it might be improved.