Learning from the past: A conceptual model of independent typology formation in the design studio

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Students of architecture are predominantly taught in the design studio environment, through active projects, encouraging independent learning. Architectural precedent is often seen a key driver in generating design solutions and analysing appropriateness. Typologies, understood as systems for categorising precedents, and the subsequent formation of types, can be used to extract relevant design information for use in the design studio. This study examines how novice designers may use typologies to construct critical frameworks for design. By interpreting design through the Critical Method, as a process of conjecture and analysis, typologies may help to frame problems, generate design solutions and assess suitability.
A pilot study with novice designers was undertaken to assess the impact of pre-determined typologies on the design process. Initial findings suggest architectural types may help students in the conjectural phase of design, however, pre-determined categorisation may restrict individual interpretation and limit analysis. This paper describes initial findings and the developing conceptual model for interpreting built precedent and incorporating it into design studio teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2016
EventIntegrated Design at 50: Building our Future - University of Bath, Bath, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20161 Jul 2016


ConferenceIntegrated Design at 50: Building our Future
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


  • typology
  • precedent
  • design studio
  • independent learning
  • Critical Method


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