The Effects of Model Making on Design and Learning in Landscape Architecture Education

Tugba DUZENLI1 Serap YILMAZ2 Elif Merve ALPAK3
1Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, TURKEY.
2Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Landscape Architecture, TURKEY.
3Karadeniz Technical University, Faculty of Forestry, Department of Landscape Architecture, TURKEY.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2017.70.7


Purpose: One of the modeling methods used in the training of all design disciplines is physical model making. This study investigates the model-making technique and emphasizes the positive effects of model-making and its utility in the academic setting in order to understand its effects on design and learning. The “Equipment Design” course, taken in the 3rd academic semester at the Landscape Architecture Department at Karadeniz Technical University, was addressed as the application for this study. This course aims to convey to students the knowledge of how to utilize equipment in the design process in terms of ergonomics and aesthetics. The objective of the course is to design creative equipment that has appropriate dimensions and form that integrates with the selected activity. During the course, the students were assigned a sitting activity as a design problem and asked to design unique seating equipment and to express it through a model.

Research Methods: In the first phase, the intention was to explore how students analyzed the seating activity through the model and how they interpreted the relationships among the dimensions, form and equipment in their designs, and thus equipment models were investigated accordingly. In the second phase, a survey study developed examines the effects of the model technique on the design process and student learning. Thus, the effects of the model-making technique on the level of teaching in the Equipment Design course were determined.

Findings: Consequently, it was determined that students’ notions of design develops through model making and that making a model of the seating equipment was found to be an instructive method for students of landscape architecture in terms of dimensions, form and material.

Implications for Research and Practice: The “Equipment Design” course can contribute to the design processes of students especially in terms of creativity and realism. The model making approach facilitates students’ understanding of dimension, form and the dimension-form relationship and material and the material-form relationship in the learning process, while contributing greatly to the development of the students’ design processes.

Keywords: Creativity-realism, educational model, equipment design, learning.