The shifting tides of academe: Oscillation between hand and computer in architectural education

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Senyapili B., Basa İ.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN EDUCATION, vol.16, no.3, pp.273-283, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10798-005-5052-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.273-283
  • Keywords: architecture, art/science, computer-aided design, design education, design presentation, DESIGN
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


There is a current vacillation in choosing hand or computer for design presentation in academia. Although the computer emerged as very powerful alternative presentation medium, it could not sweep away the hand totally. Believing that this vacillation cannot only be due to the positive and negative aspects of both media, we worked with a group of students in a design curriculum to observe the factors that affect their choice of medium for presenting design ideas. The students were required to use both media for the same task, subsequently their satisfaction and evaluation were examined through a questionnaire. Students acknowledged the positive aspects of both media, rather than accumulating on one side. Findings led us to concur that the constant oscillation of architecture between art and science penetrates down to the individual choice of presentation medium. We assert that the warmness of hand is not deserted as it contemplates the artistic essence, while the digital perfection of the computers flirt with science. The ever-attended, age-old question of architecture's being art and/or science occupies the architectural agenda at various levels. Both the polarizations and the reconciliations have theoretical, practical and educational consequences. This paper locates itself within this context and proposes a new framework for analyzing the impacts of this oscillation in design presentation, concluding that the future of presentation in education points to the coexistence of both media.