|M.Sc Student||Yonni Avidan|
|Subject||Talking-Architecture: Language, its Place and Roles in the|
Architectural Design Process
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Goldschmidt Gabriela|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Language is a means to communicate knowledge, ideas, feelings and other information. Design Students are often asked to talk about their concepts in reviews, which sets verbal language as the main tool of communication despite the fact that the architectural act is physical. The purpose of this research is to examine the ways in which architecture students integrate verbal concepts in the different stages of the design process. The study challenges the definition of language as subordinate to visual representations in design, and argues that language is an integral part of the design process and can reflect its potential alongside visual artifacts.
Most of the data for this study came from the conversations between teachers and students (desk critiques) in two second year studio groups, which were recorded and transcribed in order to capture verbal concepts. Verbal Chronological Graphs of the design processes were created and later examined and correlated with the students' final studio grades. Concepts that were mentioned more than once in the process were defined as Continuous concepts. Later another distinction was made: while evolving concepts are verbal ideas that developed along the process, unchanged verbal concepts are permanent ideas which have not evolved throughout the design process.
The design space in which the student’s project is developed is a dynamic realm created by both the student and the teacher, assembled from both visual and verbal components. In this research, semantic networks represent the design space of each of the students. It is composed of nodes - verbal concepts, and the links between them.
The study found a correlation between the proportion of Continuous concepts and the studio final grade. In addition, high correlation was found between the final studio grade and the proportion of evolving concepts. Design processes wherein one concept was transformed into another by developing and enhancing existing verbal concepts, as well as continuous concepts along the design process, were rated higher at the end of the semester. Comparing semantic networks showed a higher number of links among concepts and therefore a more solid framework for students with higher studio grades, while low-graded students were characterized by a more disassembled network structure.
The findings of this study support the claim that verbal language has an important role alongside graphic products in the architectural studio. It is proposed that a meticulous choice of words defining the designers' wishes may lead to a more satisfying result.