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Assessment, learning and power in the architectural design studio jury: a case from the United Arab Emirates

Assessment, learning and power in the architectural design studio jury: a case from the United... This paper aims to investigate the architectural design jury in a university in the UAE. It explores the jury as an assessment tool, this system's formative value – i.e. significance for learning enrichment – and issues undermining it and power relations in the jury and their implications.Design/methodology/approachThe study is carried out through surveys of students' views, reflection on the author's experience and literature review.FindingsThe paper finds that the jury emphasizes assessment over learning. Students are gradually disturbing unbalanced power relations in the jury, but power remains uneven and obstructive of the jury's developmental role. Despite the jury's shortcomings and scholars' call for abandoning it, students found the studio better with the jury, although they wanted the system to be enhanced. The persistent – albeit not unchallenged – power of the design jury institution and students' need for feedback from different sources and unawareness of any alternatives to the jury led to this position.Practical implicationsThe paper recommends reforms to the design jury and suggests experimenting in supporting tools to direct this system toward student empowerment and learning enhancement.Originality/valueThis study fills a gap in the literature as it investigates persisting problematic components and practices in today's architectural design juries in university education in the Arab region, which have not received adequate attention. The context of the study and the new generation of students it involves enable a new perspective on the topic. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research Emerald Publishing

Assessment, learning and power in the architectural design studio jury: a case from the United Arab Emirates

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References (12)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2631-6862
DOI
10.1108/arch-01-2020-0009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the architectural design jury in a university in the UAE. It explores the jury as an assessment tool, this system's formative value – i.e. significance for learning enrichment – and issues undermining it and power relations in the jury and their implications.Design/methodology/approachThe study is carried out through surveys of students' views, reflection on the author's experience and literature review.FindingsThe paper finds that the jury emphasizes assessment over learning. Students are gradually disturbing unbalanced power relations in the jury, but power remains uneven and obstructive of the jury's developmental role. Despite the jury's shortcomings and scholars' call for abandoning it, students found the studio better with the jury, although they wanted the system to be enhanced. The persistent – albeit not unchallenged – power of the design jury institution and students' need for feedback from different sources and unawareness of any alternatives to the jury led to this position.Practical implicationsThe paper recommends reforms to the design jury and suggests experimenting in supporting tools to direct this system toward student empowerment and learning enhancement.Originality/valueThis study fills a gap in the literature as it investigates persisting problematic components and practices in today's architectural design juries in university education in the Arab region, which have not received adequate attention. The context of the study and the new generation of students it involves enable a new perspective on the topic.

Journal

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 11, 2020

Keywords: Architectural education; Architectural design jury; Architectural education in UAE; Design assessment; Jury's formative role; Power relations in design studio jury

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