Does one need culture to design?


This paper gives an answer from assessments of cultural competences in architectural design learning. Learning based on competences raises fears about a displacement of a humanistic education by job training. Even before the competences approach was adopted in the field of architectural design learning, from some points of view, neither architectonic culture nor formation in the humanities was considered necessary to design.

Its introduction increases the awareness on the possibility to lose the humanistic content in the architectural training. As a counter position to these points of view, the following article shows the results of an experiment to isolate and measure competencies of architectural culture and relate them with assessments of architectural design courses. This experiment found moderate and very high correlations between the results of formative assessments of competencies in architectural culture and those obtained by the same students in the summative assessments of the architectural design courses.

These results demonstrate that architectural design needs knowledge of the culture of architecture, whose background is a humanistic education.

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