Designing Relations in the Studio: Ambiguity and uncertainty in one to one exchanges

Alison Shreeve, Ray Batchelor
2012, Vol. 17, No. 3,


At the heart of learning and teaching in studio based
design subjects lies the engagement by students and
tutors in activities which are based on practical work
simulating design professionals’ work. We report here on a
research project which explored the student/tutor
relationship in design pedagogies across a range of
academic levels and subjects in one institution. Although a
small sample of interviews was obtained, severn students
and severn academics, the data is a rich account of
relationships which support or restrict student learning. We
consider that the relationships, which are mutable, often
ambiguous and uncertain in character, are part of enacted
roles structured by the university, the design practice and
individual dispositions. These are further complicated by
socio-cultural, political and spatial factors. In the most
positive learning engagements students and tutors are
working towards a two-way exchange on an equal level,
which enables students to achieve their best and to
become independent practitioners in their own right.


student tutor relations; engagement; design pedagogies

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