This post seeks to highlight what Coastal Studio considers the three major benefits of Design Build in Architectural Education.
The first major benefit of student led design build is this idea of collaboration, in its all encompassing sense. For most students entering a design-build studio, it will be the first time they work with clients, communicate with contacted trades, and really interject their designs into fairly close nit communities. Additionally, this experience allows them to collaborate with the everyday pedestrian. Understanding the strengths gained from this multi-disciplinary approach of working is essential for young architects who strive to create thoughtful and contextualized architecture.
The second major benefit can be described under this notion of flexibility. Design build highlights problem solving to the extreme. In architecture school traditionally students work on projects that are never realized, while in a design build studio they are forced by real constraints. This prepares students for a vastly more practical understanding of the real working world.
Finally, the last benefit we (Coastal Studio) want to highlight is this idea of the tactile learning experience. Having the ability to not only pick and choose a material palette, but going out, sourcing materials, working with them, and truly understanding the limits of material expression and application. As a research unit we feel this is a rare but invaluable skill that all designers, and makers alike should understand and celebrate.
Of course, the list goes on but the aforementioned benefits may give you a glimpse into why design build education matters in todays architectural discourse!