An approach to integrate lighting concepts into interior design studios : a constructivist educational framework
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Originating from the inadequacy of teaching and learning frameworks in interior design education and the gap between design studio and supportive courses in design curricula, this study suggests a pedagogical approach for design studios to overcome the disentanglement in interior design education. Within this context, the study introduces a ‘constructivist framework’ as the foundation of an instructional method to recall knowledge from lighting-related courses into the design studio. Constructivism, taking knowledge as temporary, developmental, nonobjective, internally constructed, and socially and culturally mediated, is discussed as one of the most suitable epistemological stances for design education with regards to its problem-based studio education. In order to examine the appropriateness of the suggested approach for integration, students in one of the two design studio sections were given lighting design exercises prepared with reference to constructivist premises, and received constructive feedbacks for their lighting design proposals during the semester, while the other section had no extra exercises and critiques on lighting design. The effectiveness of the approach was evaluated using quantitative data analysis techniques. The findings demonstrated that incorporation of the constructivist instructional strategies improved the success of students in studio projects in terms of lighting design requirements. Additionally, final jury sessions were recorded and analyzed in relation to the discussions and questions about lighting design dimensions of the projects, with regards to the nature and content of the questions and faculty-related barriers against the integration of lighting concepts. The study is considered also significant for the potential applicability of the proposed educational approach to integrate the other design knowledge areas into design studio for a more comprehensive interior design education.