An Investigation into Uncovering and Understanding Tacit Knowledge in a First-year Design Studio Environment.


Tacit knowledge, intuitive responses, empirical research—how can design elevate itself as a discipline when its main forms of knowledge gathering and generation are still believed to be less valuable than those in traditional academia? Beginning design students must learn to put words to their actions, to understand their processes, and to be critical and reflective throughout all stages of a project. By guiding students into developing rigorous iterative processes that combine theoretical research, empirical research, questioning, and reflection students will no longer need to hide behind the lure of the enigma of intuition. The introduction of writing in the studio classroom is one method that can help students see the relationship between the various stages of their creative process and articulate the reasons behind the decisions they make. Experiential learning techniques that combine writing, making, research and reflection will help students shift their personal frames of reference and thus create a more critically engaged student body.