Design Method Workshop
filed under Design Method Madness

On 19th of November 2012, an architectural design method workshop were conducted by 5 thesis students from different thesis units from Department of Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment in UTM, Skudai, Lim Gim Huang, Lim Yin Ying, Huang Wei, Poo Chin Hsien and Ng Wei Hong. This workshop was initiated with a belief that good ideas need to be shared as a common language. Apart from that, it is a program to give back to the school by giving students learning inputs that they need which has been learned and inspired throughout the journey of pursuing 5 years of architecture as a thesis student. A general study has been done by observing the attitude and work of architecture students from all year to have an idea on limitation of student and school for potential development and input to be given. Students from lower years that have came to consult on their architectural design projects before the event as well contributed to the direction of the input given.

The event however, showed lack of responses by participants initially during the online registration process where desire date of event needed to be decided. From the informal interaction between organizer and participant, it is observed that student somehow belongs to a passive community, not being able to speak out, show interest and participate. Not to mention the number responses received during the initial promotion of the event, makes the main idea of the design method workshop remain skeptical whether students know about it, have interest in it, or know about it but show no concern, no interest, or perceiving it as non-necessary. It is also important to stress the attitude of students over the workshop which has been observed. First, there are thesis student who come just for the sake of obtaining GSD point to improve their mark of thesis. This category of student was either not being present in the venue during certain part of the event, or not willing to participate on designed activities. Second, there are number of registered participant who did not show up. The issue is believed to be related to the reason of students being tired due project submission in the early morning.

There is a critical lack of great input, workshop, seminar, and similar media of communicating ideas and motivation towards current student is the school. We find no relevance for the current attitude of not concerning over knowledge and interest from either school or student and most of the studio session, as to improving the quality of work of student.

Good thing is that the design method workshop has received great responses during the event. Participants were able to perform well after being instructed according to program briefs, and as well when they were ask to present ideas. There are some students who show great presentation when they were being asked to speak up. Under certain constraints designed in the design activities, participant managed to show much of their creativity, joy and participation in the design process, which reflects the interest and fun that they had during the work that received laughter and applause during the presentation.

Sincerely, I hope that the idea of sharing, interest that participant showed during workshop and the current quality of work of students can be bridged and improved. The idea of the event will be exhibited soon not only to show appreciation over the work and to share the ideas of work done during the workshop, but to inspire students to think and learn.

Event Objective: 
i) Sharing of learning experiences, design problem, and issue among seniors and juniors 
ii) Mind-opening session for inspiration towards creative and innovative individual 
iii) Exploration on possibilities in thinking process 
iv) Inspiration for students to develop their own architectural design method 
v) Development of maturity and confidence-building in architectural design knowledge 

Event Program: 
Introduction to the workshop A brief introduction of how the idea of the workshop being initiated and the content of the event is presented. 

Input 1 (Mind-set) 
11 topics of mind set is presented to shape the mind-set, belief and stimulate creativity of participant. 

Group Design 
‘Redesigning Macaroni’ is given to participant to allow participant to rethink context and redesign under design constraint. 

Input 2 (Ideation) 
16 ways of generating design idea is presented. 

Interactive Activity 1 (Mind Structuring) 
Participants were asked to recall incident in secondary school, sketch and present. Group activities were held to train their skills of information extraction and making sense. Participants were divided into 2 groups, each has to guess each secondary school layout of other by limiting to question where the answer can only be yes or no. 

Individual Design (Translation and Interpretation) 
Participants were asked to document movement in video and make relation to designing a plan of a school. The idea attempted to train interpretation and translation skills of participant. 

Input 3 (Realization) 
16 ways of drawing and concretizing idea is presented. 

Sharing on Past Student Work and Design Experience 
Some works done is the past is being shared in terms of design method, ideation, translation method, relevance, process and way of concretization.

 Photos credit to Ng Wei Hong.