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By : Joongsub Kim

The orthodox approach in contemporary architectural pedagogy, grounded in a narrowly conceived rationality, lacks diversity in terms of both the population it serves and the methods it follows in the studio. This paper advances a social construction model with distinct advantages over the rational model. Based on multidisciplinary research, the model presented here is experimental, promoting innovation and allowing the unpredictable to emerge. It encourages students and studio clients to create their own collaborative reality. The paper recommends four socially constructive techniques for architecture/community design in neighborhood revitalization. Inversion begins with the client's vision. As students and residents work together to form their own image of the ideal community, the resulting vision informs subsequent data collection and analysis. Simulation allows students and other participants to undertake small-scale experiments, drawing immediate lessons that enhance the final implementation process. Reciprocity involves role-switching between expert partners and non-expert participants to counter biases while building mutual understanding. Finally, with Research in Action, hypothesis testing and design occur simultaneously. With these social construction approaches, predetermined steps in the rational model are reversed, merged, or even omitted. Faculty and expert partners behave more like facilitators than directors, coordinating activities and processes, reinforcing initiatives, and resolving conflicts-as clients make key design decisions. By assigning some major responsibilities to students and residents, social construction creates a sense of ownership among stakeholders. The paper compares the rational and social construction approaches, discussing implications and suggesting areas of further study.
Keywords : Social Construction, Architectural Pedagogy, Rational Model, Experimentation, Studio Education

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