טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentDaum-Cohen Michal
SubjectStructure in Architectural Design Processes and the Quality
of Products: a Comparison between Novice and
Advanced Students
DepartmentDepartment of Architecture and Town Planning
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Gabriela Goldschmidt
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

The process of educating architects and designers is long and demanding, yet not always does it yield desired outcomes. Outstanding architectural achievements and painful failures are found side by side. Studies of design activity are meant to increase the understanding of expert behavior in design, which could eventually improve design education and practice.

The current research addresses issues of structure in design processes and quality of design outcomes and investigates whether they are correlated within two groups of different levels of expertise. The study compares between novice and advanced students of Architecture. Based on a 'think aloud' experiment, the students' verbalizations and sketches were collected. Structure is analyzed by Linkography, a method for the notation of links among protocol segments. The quality of the design products are represented by evaluations by expert judges. The literature reports that the rate of linkage among protocol segments is commensurate with the evaluated quality of the products. In the  study the relationship between the two is addressed for the first time with statistical tools and Linkography is implemented for the first time to compare between levels of expertise. New developments of the method are introduced.

The initial assumption was that the process' efficiency as revealed by its structure and the quality of the products would be higher among advanced students. In addition, it was assumed that measurements of structure parameters would be positively correlated with the quality of the products, especially among senior students.

The main results indicate a tendency towards small and statistically insignificant differences between novice and advanced students, in both process' structure and product's quality, in favor of the advanced students. This tendency is in line with published results in the literature. It is proposed that few extra years of experience do not give advanced students a significant advantage over their less experienced peers under the constrains of the experiment in this study. Although no significant correlations were found between the structure of design processes and the evaluated quality of the products, a better fit between these two variables was nevertheless found among advanced students.

The research demonstrates that agreement among judges about the quality of the products may change considerably relative to the levels of expertise. The link index, which is an important parameter for the evaluation of efficiency and productivity of the design process, was demonstrated to be an expression of the average number of links per segment.