Knowlton School Faculty to present on inclusive studio design at 76th Annual International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians

Over the past two years, associate professor of architecture Andrew Cruse and senior lecturer Sandhya Kochar have disrupted the comprehensive design teaching model to create one focused on inclusive design.

According to NAAB (National Architecture Accrediting Board), “comprehensive design” is a term typically applied to a studio in which students develop a building project made of “programmed spaces demonstrating an understanding of structural and environmental systems, building envelope systems, life-safety provisions, wall sections and building assemblies, and the principles of sustainability. As a pedagogical model, the comprehensive studio represents current best practices in balancing the demands of architectural education and the profession by replicating a conventions-based practice model in school. Yet, in its ambition to address a range of largely technical issues, the comprehensive studio depoliticizes the design process and perpetuates a vision of the architectural profession that privileges dominant social identities.

Inclusive studio design teaching aims to have students understand architectural norms and standards as socio-technical constructs that define dominant and minoritized populations, leverage peer teaching to promote collaboration and recognize diverse social identities, and highlight how students are socialized into the architectural profession through teaching and how new pedagogies can nudge the profession.

In their presentation at the International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Cruse and Kochar will explain their approach to inclusive studio design, illustrated with student work, and discuss their challenges.