Studio instructors talk about skills, knowledge, and professional roles in architecture and landscape architecture
Environment and Behavior
378 - 397
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This article examines the attitudes of studio instructors in architecture and landscape architecture departments throughout the United States toward the designer's role, sources of knowledge and inspiration in design, related disciplines, and essential skills. A cluster analysis of instructors' responses to a questionnaire identified five groups according to conceptions of professional identity: master designers, communicative designers, political designers, researcher designers, and those who see design, research, and political skills as almost equally important. The two most common self-conceptions are "master" and "negotiator." In-depth interviews with some instructors further elucidated each approach. The results revealed the coexistence of a multiplicity of ideas and convictions within a shared ethos and suggested various strategies for increasing the effectiveness of design education and practice. The article concludes that the professional identity of designers is being transformed from that of isolated creative individuals to that of politically active professionals.