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Home Point

Part 1 Project 2003
Mari Schrammeyer
Martin Baillie
University of Tasmania Tasmania Australia
The Home Point learning by making project was a fantastic opportunity for a group of first year architecture students to experience first-hand the design and realisation of a ‘real’ built project with ‘real’ clients.

The process of design was a challenging exercise. With a class of over forty students - all with their own opinion - it is easy to imagine the frustration and chaos that could potentially emerge. Smaller groups explored various potential themes for the project through 1:5 sketch models. A number of common themes emerged, and it was from these, that the final design evolved.

Before the Home Point project, most of the group had little or no hands-on building experience and the various construction and design issues encountered along the way changed our way of thinking about the relation between technology and design.

Mari Schrammeyer
Martin Baillie

Project outcomes were a small public building with information panels designed and made by 20 first year architecture students. The job was done for UTRIA (Upper Tamar River Improvement Authority). To achieve the final result, students had to design to a client brief, gain client approval, submit Development and Building Applications with Local Council, manage a Budget and work with consultants.

The Teaching and Learning activities were very different to those encouraged by traditional design studio processes. We call them Learning By Making.

The Learning by making (LBM) approach believes that when a real building is there for all to see and use, students minds are focused beyond speculative possibilities and loose academic critique. A real experience is obvious for all, and allows students to adjust and review process and ideas in preparation for the next challenge. Students can then to take a step backwards and really enjoy the fruits of a job well done. This mimics the experience of architectural practise and forms the ultimate testing ground and driving force behind design strategies and outcomes.

LBM teaching and learning have developed from three guiding principles.

The first is based on a belief that learning how to design cannot be separated from making. Making engages all senses. To feel and sense design potential and strength of materials by making, is a very rich experience compared to drawing and talking. Too often learning design is distanced from realities of making and experimenting. Therefore: Learning by making extends and enhances design skills to include knowledge of construction and structure from first hand experience.


Fergus Purdie
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