The DIY Ethic of the Design Studio – Past, Present & Future
Carol Brandt | Virginia Tech
Katherine Cennamo | Virginia Tech
Margarita McGrath | Virginia Tech
Mitzi Vernon | Virginia Tech
Sarah Douglas | University of Oregon
Yolanda Reimer | University of Montana
We may not call it "DIY" but the do-it-yourself ethic has been integral to design studios for decades.
In fact it is intrinsic to the definition of studio as a space where students (and practitioners)
establish their individual place within a larger collaborative. A key part of design education is the
studio experience as a place where students learn to experiment on their own, to teach themselves
and then to use their colleagues as resources in that search.
This paper is a brief overview of findings from a three-year (2007-2010) National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded to a three-university team to investigate the studio as a socio-cognitive context in education. Specifically, the research focused on industrial design (ID) and architecture studios as a means to promote innovation, self-reliance and collaborative learning in human computer interaction (HCI). Through an ethnographic study of studio classes in ID, architecture and HCI, the project team is currently developing key principles and practices. These guidelines serve not only to inform other disciplines about studio adaptation but they provide a mirror for our own understanding, as industrial designers, of how the design studio is evolving with shifts in
culture and technology.