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Presentation: Reactive Instruction, Fast Construction

  • Savannah College of Art and Design USA (map)

In collaboration with Ryan Salvas. Modern art and architecture came into being as something first glimpsed, later recognized, and finally realized thanks to a series of clunky, often awkward and frequently fortunate ideas. The legacy of the twentieth-century art and architectural timeline is that of countless stumbling discoveries by practitioners who were—especially at the dawn of their careers—discovering a new process or form by doing something else entirely. The innovative mindset is one that is not best left idle; it requires just the right blend of frenetic pace, abstract process, multi-directional linkages, and reactive flexibility to foster a sustainable imagination. This paper seeks to set the framework for a pedagogy predicated on understanding, predicting, and capitalizing on the catalyst in design innovation. One response, which is being practiced in the foundation architecture studios at Auburn University, is to not resist the evolution of the field, but to understand how to teach design innovation by teasing out the inventive process, oftentimes a product of time and toil, through fast-paced, reactive teaching.

Presented in this paper is a glimpse into an educational process. It is not a model, but an ethos developed through debate, occasional lapses into stricture, and continuous challenge to an emerging sense of literacy in the studio environment. The primary goal is to foster a learning process based on maintaining an iterative drive and allowing for emergent ecologies of production, creativity and innovation to develop.