Students Perceptions of Excellence in Landscape Architecture Studio Projects: A UNSW Perspective

  • Linda Corkery


This paper describes an action-research project undertaken to explore teaching and learning in the design studio in the Faculty of the Built Environment (FBE), University of New South Wales, Sydney. The research project involved three undergraduate design programmes (architecture, interior architecture and landscape architecture) within the FBE, however this paper will focus only on the findings related to the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLArch) programme. The studio is at the core of the design-based curriculum for the landscape architecture degree. This setting nurtures and encourages students to demonstrate a range of capabilities and attributes expected in professional practice. Design projects are complex, integrated assessment tasks. While design teachers use criteria to assess knowledge and skills, students often feel the judgement of overall design project excellence is based on subjective interpretation. There is also concern about the effectiveness of design teaching across the studios. Specifically, the study identified students' perceptions of what constitutes the mark of High Distinction (HD) and characteristics of the ideal design teacher. This paper does not present a discourse analysis of the theoretical framework and concepts of the research project. That material is presented in previous and subsequent publications (Corkery et al, 2003).
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