Critical Reflections on Schön’s Reflective Practitioner by Helena Webster



Schön’s failures:

  • there are other cognitive, affective and corporeal dimensions to learning that take place both within the studio and in other settings/ he produced notions of reflective practice at a time when there was a significant paradigm shift from “behavioral” and “cognitive” psychology to “humanist” and “situated” theories of learning.
  • students experience arch education as the sum of its explicit and hidden dimensions and it is this total experience that effects the development of students from novices to professional architects/ Schön confines his notion of student learning to formal pedagogic encounters
  • in his long explication of students’ encounters with design tutors suggests that the role of the design tutor is to ‘correct’ students’ designs, he fails to acknowledge that arch is a dynamic and contested field or the ramifications that this might have on the design tutorial interaction
  • Schön’s description of teaching is arguably akin to a teacher-centered model; described by the learning and teaching literature as a ‘transmission’ model of teaching/ Schön fails to recognise that Quist, as a representative of a particular institutional habitus, uses his power to direct Petra’s learning towards alignment with his normative habitus
  • the plausibility of temporal aspects of Schön’s concepts are also questionable: at what point does action become reflection-in-action and at what point does reflection-in-action stop and reflection-on-action start?

Today’s truths are constructed by cultural groups, Webster argues. There are struggles of power between the groups about the dominance of their particular truths. Architectural professional knowledge is constructed and contested both within and between groups. In this context presenting arch knowledge as unproblematic is odd.



Webster, H., 2008. Architectural Education after Schön: Cracks, Blurs, Boundaries and Beyond. In Journal for Education in the Built Environment, Vol. 3, Issue 2, December 2008 pp. 63-74 (12)

Image available here

Digital Citizenship through Hybrid Education



  • Marshal/1950: Citizen is bestowed on those who are full members of a community-Educations as a social right/ Right of the adult citizen to have been educated instead of the right of the child to go to school.
  • Banks/2008: Citizen should be expanded to include cultural democracy and cultural citizenship as all liberal democracies are multi ethnic or multinational.
  • Mossberger et al./2008: Citizen defines as representing capacity, belonging, and the potential for political and economic engagement in society in the information age

Becoming and Belonging and the Capabilities to do so.

  • Capabilities to do so_McGillivray et al/2016: pedagogies need to be aligned with technologies to prepare both students and teachers to deal with the opportunities and threats of a digitally mediated world (…) Kymlicka/ 2002: Education for digital citizenship is not simply a matter of information, knowledge and know-how but it is also a matter of interpersonal and inherently ethical relations (…) Sen/1976: shift from mere technologies to what they enable people to do.
  • Becoming_Arendt/1958: the newcomer possesses the capacity of beginning something anew, human condition is connected to labor, work and action. With action in plurality we become a someone. Education is when we decide we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it.
  • Belonging_Bauman/1997: Inclusion as difference. Difference is not merely unavoidable but good, precious and in need of protection. A chance to reconsider individual freedom in diversity. Lingis/1994: community of those who have nothing in common is constituted by our response to the stranger (…) in our system of laws and our social institutions we recognize our formulated experience, our judgement, our debated consensus-in our rational enterprises we find nothing alien to us, we find ourselves (…) Biesta/ 2004: communication is ontologically prior to community but establishes community in the act of our response. What constitutes this other community inside the rational community is our responsiveness (…) Giroux/2011: pedagogy is a mode of witnessing, a public engagement in which students learn to be attentive and responsible to the memories and narratives of others

Hybridity: term originates from Latin and has roots in biology. It refers to cross-fertilization or amalgamation, the adoption and integration of elements from foreign cultures for Greeks and Romans, the international style in archaeology where no culture predominates (…) the term is closely connected to post-colonialism and multicultural awareness, it is an effort to remove negative connotations from words such as bastard or mongrel (…) Bhabha/1994: it is not a sequential blend of sth like flipped classroom or blended learning but it is sth other, a new breed, sth that is at least at two places at once.  (…) an effect of globalization/ hybridity emerges through the multitude of identities as a reality of the global classroom (…) Deleuze-Guattari/1980: a seamless and continuous flow wothout beginning and end akin to a rhizome (…) as a philosophical concept it suggests hesitation at a threshold (…) Stommel/2012: hybrid education is characterized by disruption, open-endedness, risk-taking, experimentation, empathy, dialogue and critical creativity.



Pedersen, A.Y., Nørgaard, R.T., Köppe, C., 2018. Patterns of Inclusion: Fostering Digital Citizenship through Hybrid Education. In Educational Technology & Society, 21 (1), 225-236

Image available here

How soon is now?


  • Real Virtual: virtual environments that represent the real world.
  • Virtual Augmented Real: use of ubiquitous augmented information systems connected to the real world objects (ie. GPS data, pilot’s line of sight measurement etc)
  • Real Augmented Virtual: information from the real world gets embedded into the virtual realm. (ie. Kinect Sports Video Game)
  • Fantastic Virtual: products of unrestrained imagination



Pak, B. Newton, C., Verbeke, J., 2012. Virtual Worlds and Architectural Education: A Typological Framework. In Proceedings of the 30th eCAADe Conference – Volume 1, Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Architecture (Czech Republic) 12-14 September 2012, pp. 739-746.

Image available here

3rd International Conference on ‘Changing Cities’_Paper: Mapping connections in online learning communities: architectural knowledge creation in the ‘connectivist’ paradigm


The paper contributes to the understanding of social learning in architectural education through the examination of online collaborative practices and the connectivist paradigm in particular. Urban research conducted by NTUA educators and PhD students was used to create the body of content for a postgraduate course that ran for two consecutive years. The course format was hybrid; beside the traditional in-class meetings, an online platform was used to share content and exchange information between teachers and students. Students also were requested to establish their personal blogs. Their interactivity was monitored and evaluated in regard to their submitted projects and their overall performance. The way individual learners appropriated the information and the way they collaborated in a learning community with shared goals opens up to another form of knowledge creation and sharing between individuals.

Keywords: learning community; interactivity; analytics; data contextualization; connectivity; learning patterns.

Design Studio Education in the Online Paradigm: Introducing Online Educational Tools and Practices to an Undergraduate Design Studio Course


Abstract— the architectural design studio, the prevailing form of design education, has resisted opening up to online educational tools and practices. Yet its affinities to the newest theories of learning such as connectivism are many. This paper describes an experimental configuration of multiple learning environments in diverse mediums for an undergraduate design studio at the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens. The aim of the studio’s layout transformation has been to explore its physical boundaries and to create a collaborative milieu between peers that facilitated communication and thus, the exchange of information and knowledge.

Keywords—design studio; design research; collaborative design; online education; complexity theory; connectivism

research & Research definitions [OED]


research: the act of searching, closely or carefully, for or after a specified thing or person (in detective stories in 1577, in 1794, and in Bronte’s 1847-search for an overnight accommodation) also means investigation, inquiry into things, art practice, personal quests and clues of evidence which a detective must decode. [OED]

Research: in partnership with the word development, work directed towards innovation, introduction and improvement or products and processes. all listed usages are from chemistry, architecture, physics, heavy industry and the social sciences. It is professional practice.

design as research as in applied research where the resulting knowledge is used for a particular application/ action research where the action is calculated to generate and validate new knowledge and understanding/ fundamental research



Christofer Frayling, 1993. Research in Art and Design. In Royal College of Art Research Papers, Vol 1, No 1, 1993/4

Image available here

Research by Design by R. Roggema


(Herbert Read)

  • Research into or about design: it is the most straightforward research practice in art, design and architecture. This is historical, social, technical, material research, with countless models from which it derives its rules and procedures, similar to science of design/ HOW CAN I TELL THAT I THINK TILL I SEE WHAT I SAY? 
  • Research through or by design: material-based research, development work and action research: practical experiments, step-by-step diaries describing a resulting report that aims to contextualize it, report and diary communicate the result which is what separates research from gathering the referenced materials.. similar to design science. materials research-development work-action research (Frayling)/ HOW CAN I TELL WHAT I THINK TILL I SEE WHAT I MAKE AND DO?
  • Research for design: development work whose end product is an artifact, the thinking is embodied in the artifact, the goal is not primarily communicable knowledge, the gathering of reference materials rather than research proper, similar to scientific design/ HOW CAN I TELL WHAT I AM TILL I SEE WHAT I MAKE AND DO? 

Research by Design is a type of academic investigation through which design is explored as a method of inquiry, by the development of a project and also exploring the different materials by which a design is carried out-sketches, mapping, among others(…) it is a strategy used to describe the various ways in which design and research are interconnected when new knowledge is produced about the world through the act of designing (Barbosa et al., 2014)

Research by Design five models: artistic/intuitive/ adaptive/ analytical and systematic.

  • Pre-design research phase: characterized by understanding, prior to design, aims to bring a basic perception, connecting starts with end-users, stakeholders and experts, potential answers and future design directions, verification of whether the problematic situation is indeed a wicked problem that requires a design inquiry approach
  • Design Phase: interactive exchange with agents, the designer integrates implementation into the nature of inquiry, future potentials are projected, based on programmatic demands a suite of proposals are developed and rationalized (…) in the Design Studio students and tutors may engage in a research partnership of mutual problem investigation (…) Design is both method and outcome
  • Post-Design Phase: final synthesis of the work, coherently presented, new knowledge becomes available for a wider audience through a strategic and conscious communication, interactive process ends here, research and design are decoupled.

New definition:

Research by design is a method, which uses design to research spatial solutions for a certain area, accommodating a design process, consisting of a pre-design phase, a design phase and a post-design phase, herewith providing a philosophical and normative basis for the design process, allowing to investigate the qualities and problems of a location and test its (spatial) potentials, meanwhile creating the freedom to move with the proposals in uncharted territory, and producing new insights and knowledge interesting and useful for a wide audience.



  • Rob Roggema, 2016. Research by Design: Proposition for a Methodological Approach. In Urban Sci. 2017, 1, 2; doi:10.3390/urbansci1010002
  • Christofer Frayling, 1993. Research in Art and Design. In Royal College of Art Research Papers, Vol 1, No 1, 1993/4
  • DeQueiroz Barbosa E.R., DeMeulder, B., Gerrits, Y., 2014. Design Studio as a Process of Inquiry: The case of Studio Sao Paulo. In AE… Revista Lusófona de Arquitectura e Educação Architecture & Education Journal 241, Theme I, No. 11, pp. 241-254

Image available here