SETTING UP THE UPSETTER: a vertical studio for architecture

  • YEAR
    Francis, Kerry
    Garbarczyk, Magdalena
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science: Design Education and Research
    Conference Papers


Contemporary education systems tend to subdivide learning groups into horizontal slices of similar age or similar levels of experience or skill. Architectural education programmes in most western countries generally follow this pattern and work in a horizontally stratified manner. Similarly, architecture and design practices tend to ossify in patterns around specialisations in work processes. To maintain all the qualities required of creative practice there is a need to shake up these patterns, to destabilize the obvious in order to constantly reinvigorate practice. As design educators and practitioners, we have long recognised a need for what we have called upsetter projects. In 2017 a Vertical Studio experiment involving final year BAS and first year MARCP students was initiated to try and shake things up and generate a stronger peer learning/ peer assessment culture. The first half of the paper describes and analyses that original Vertical Studio and discusses the insights gained. The second half makes use of a matrix derived from that analysis and proposes two upsetter projects each using a different method of generation. The paper concludes that there is potential for further use of these methods in the development of upsetter projects designed to enrich both pedagogy and practice.


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