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CREATIVITY AND CRITICISM IN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION Ar-Suvarna Lele Creativity and its important aspects Creativity is defined as the

tendency to generate or recognize the ideas, alternatives or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others and entertaining ourselves and others. It is most essential part of solving a design problem. The question is whether creativity can be taught? A student coming to Architecture is unaware and totally new to the concepts and implementation of word ‘Design’. He is like raw clay which has to be molded into a sculpture. To make him understand the basic principles of design is a task in itself and the Design Complexities go on increasing with the advancing years. Building is not only a monument which stands solely for aesthetic purpose but it is inhabited by human beings and has to be functional and incoherence with environment, appropriate technologies and social structure. Every human being is creative some way or other and these creative instincts in students are to be explored by a teacher. Creativity is inventing a product or a process in usual terms which as per Macquarie Dictionary defines meanings of to create as to bring into being, to compose, to conceive, give in rise to, author, and parent, throw together. Creative means generative, innovative, ground breaking, originate, handmade. Creativity involves the translation of our unique gifts, talents and vision into an external reality that’s new and useful. In case of Architecture, creativity can be used to design buildings, building processes and services better and creativity would make your organization and clients become happier through improvements in your quality and quantity of output in practice. The exercises in creativity start from subjects as basic design and workshop in first year which end up in designing complex problems in last year. Every material to be explored has certain characteristics. The exploration of the qualities of materials and formation of the compositions through them becomes the first exercise in creativity. The generation of novel and useful ideas to the problems is first step towards creativity. The creativity unavoidably takes place inside personal, social and cultural boundaries. The three important aspects of creativity to be considered of great significance are – 1) The creative process focuses on the mechanisms and phases involved as one packages in creative art. 2) The creative person – personality traits of creative person are significant. The environmental atmosphere and the social influences are the third aspect. Criteria or characteristic of creative products are sought. It is unfair that all students should be judged through same parameters while assessment of a Design salutation as the values, ideas and perceptions change from person to person. Inculcating habit of creating thinking – Using special techniques, deliberate creative thinking can be used to develop new ideas. These techniques force the mergence of wide range of ideas to spark off new thoughts and process. Group discussions and analysis on a certain problem helps in creation of new ideas and questionnaire on problems also helps in generation of new ideas. It might be merging of someone else’s ideas with your own to create a new one. The process can be accidental or

deliberate. Without using special techniques creative thinking does still occur but usually in accidental way. Brainstorming is also one of the techniques which help in building ideas, although they might not be original. The continuous investigation, questioning and analysis that develop through education, training and self awareness occurs all the time. Ongoing creativity maximizes both accidental and deliberate creative thinking. Ongoing creativity takes time and deliberate practice to become skillful at, but it is technique surprising how quickly it becomes an attitude Aids to increase a student’s creative thinking power. 1]Experience – Experience and experiments with several materials like paper, cotton, wood, metals, clay, thermo Cole, and plaster of Paris would lead them to understand the characteristics of the materials. Experience can be first hand or second hand but first hand experience is superior. 2] Traveling- It’s necessary to get out of the environmental rut and expose you to new people, customs, ideas and ways of living. Traveling broadens and refreshes your outlook. It necessary to inculcate the ideas of traveling. Every culture is unique and provides a way of looking at common situation and solving problems. Taking photograph and maintaining diaries is excellent way to record the moments and cultures. 3] Personal contacts –. Look out for creativity in an individual. One way to think creatively is to associate your self to different arena of people with diverse culture and diverse living style and attitudes. An individual can stimulate your thought process 4] Children - A child’s world is filled with fantasy, if you make an effort to interact with them you can have fantastic ideas yourself. Relate yourself with children around as they are constant source of inspiration and creativity. Playing imagination games with children and creatively interacting with them is one good way to get back in touch with your imagination. 5] Hobbies – Painting, drawing or sculpture, photograph can be real workouts for imagination; Technical hobbies too can provide creative exercise. For example, amateur radio, electronics, home computers, mechano and several others. These hobbies cannot avoid putting your brain to extra work and imagination. 6] Reading and Writing – To write down your experiences in your own words or describe a certain product, procedure or process requires imagination. Inculcating writing habit might improve this power.Slelective and active reading would also help a great deal to improve the creativity although reading can be considered as a second hand experience. 7] Self reliance – The self analysis and self dependence is significant for development of creative thinking. The solutions to given problems may be wrong experts and consultants should be viewed as collaborators. Criticisms should be taken in the right spirits. Student should be taught to rely on nobody to solve any problem, however difficult that might be. 8]Watching movies and net surfing – Creative movies with different themes develop your ideas and instigate the imagination process while net surfing gives access to various sites with general information and academicals information. Gives access to several informative sites which are knowledge vaults themselves RESOURCES TO INCREASE CREATIVE THINKING Internet Resources


Mailing Lists

World Wide Web

Tools for individual use Books


Audio Recordings

Magazines and Journals

Films and Videos

Miscellaneous Products

People related People & Organizations

Conferences & Events

Understanding Brain Anatomy and its relation to creativity. Human brain and computer are very different in working. Human brain is complicated in the sense that it works linearly like computers as well as associatively. It compares, integrates and synthesizes simultaneously. Association plays significant role in every mental function. A very effective method of note taking and useful for generation of ideas by association is developed by Tony Buzan called as technique of Mind Map which contain the development of new idea, through development of web diagram, composed of key words and key images, producing a growing organized structure. Key features of mind mapping are – 1]Organisation, keywords – Association, clustering 2] Outstanding character – Every mind map needs a unique centre.

3]Visual Memory – Print the key words, uses colours, symbols, 3D effects and outlining group of words. 4] Conscious involvement. Multiple Intelligences – as per Professor Howard Gardner of Hardware University, there are at least eight different kinds of human intelligences. One can categorise our own intelligence as one of these. Mind Maps

Process of Creative thinking. There are several steps a student must follow to instigate creative thinking process – When a problem is given a student must be helped to think by visual images, images in action, skillful thinking with the help of slide shows, group discussions and libraries. All the tools and material must be kept ready with proper environmental conditions and a thorough concentration and relaxed attention Drawings and model workshops for experimenting with lines, textures, colours, forms ,shapes becomes important in the process of creation. Externalised thinking, seeing by drawing, patterns seeking, group spacing, analysis of shapes and forms comes through this experimentation. The forms perceived, seen and visualized can be brought to actual form by or sketch fantacising, abstracting, visual recalls and structuralizing the imagination. The sketch form can be converted to actual design by computation and cognition. All methods of teaching creative thinking include taking a different point of view, to look at the problem in a different angle also a deliberate application of absurd ideas. Consequently, playfulness and associated spontaneity become an essential part of the mix. So, in a simplified form, the ‘moment of ‘pure’ intuition may be traced back through a combination of steps such as Knowledge of subject matter, Spontaneity, Gestation and Intuition. Creative Thinking has no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ outcomes as a Mathematics problem, just more or less applicable or effective outcomes. There are techniques for defining a problem, exploring attributes of a problem, generating alternatives, visual explorations, metaphors, analogies, and evaluating and implementing ideas. It is better if an Architecture student gets well versed with all the techniques. CRITICAL THINKING What is design thinking?

Design thinking is a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that look for improved future results. Design thinking is creative process based around the building up of ideas. There are no judgments in design thinking. This elimination of fear of failure encourages maximum input and participation. In visual arts composition is the plan, placement of the elements design according to the principles of design within the work. It contributes to the response from the viewer, the work of art is said to be aesthetically pleasing. Aesthetic judgment – It is a significant part of a design. It is a branch of value theory which studies sensory or sensory-emotional values some times called judgments of sentiments or taste. One can identify the object of analysis as beautiful sublime, disgusting, cute, harmonious, and tragic and so on. Judgments of aesthetic value clearly rely on our ability to discriminate of sensory level. With aesthetics, function also plays a significant role in a design. Critical thinking about a design categorically includes aesthetics, function, sociology and environment and all these things are intimately, intertwined. Architecture is a public art, utilitarian as well as ever present act. Designs teaching as a process – Students coming from Science Faculty are quiet raw and the field is extremely different with the subjects which are totally new. The students who are aware of principles of design, compositions, and colour schemes may be said to have a better chance of understanding. The design process with advancement in year gets complicated with several considerations being added. To understand a better structure it is necessary to learn what a better structure is. At first year level the problems might be simpler as designing for a single family unit but here the student is not well equipped in totality to analyse the design to full. A basic question asked here would be why the structure is good? What are the criteria’s to define the structure to be good? Here the depth of understanding basic design by a student can be perceived. The various basic design principles whether applied properly to give the ultimate good results, can be judged. Architecture certainly is no Mathematics where the end results of 2 + 2 might not be 4. Here the emotions and senses are also involved while giving the judgment. If a design is aesthetically appealing then why is it so? Here the knowledge of basic design like principles of design, compositions, 2D forms, and use of various materials and ultimately implementation of this into ultimate design is widely applicable. The other criterion applied to Design is functionalism. Architecture is totally utilitarian art where the user plays a significant role in resulting design. Contrary to other design forms as painting, music, dance this form of art is totally related to satisfaction of the user due to its physicality. An aesthetically pleasing form need not be functional every time. With the advancement in grades the other criteria’s like social, environmental, political and advanced technological aspects are included in Design process. To analyse these criteria’s and whether they are perfectly co-coordinated is to be judged by a student; where teacher can help him and teach him for self criticism at every level of design. Students must be equipped with knowledge, information and second hand experience through Libraries, internet, slideshows, and seminars and so on. Also in the success of any design studies, choice of assignments is first step to the success of design. The presentation and configuration of these assignments is very

significant. Introduction to a series of incremental and additive exercises within a defined set of constraints is effective step in design teaching. Objectivity can be applied to analysis of design as good proportions, good colour schemes, and good textures giving rise to a visually pleasing architectural form which is totally functional. There are several techniques applied to increase the analytical power. The ability of mind to generate more and more two or three dimensional images is real strength of designer. Student must be well versed with visual vocabulary of forms, shapes, figures linked with function. General Goals of teaching Criticism. Limited visual perception can be increased with the help of books, net, drawings, slideshows and discussions. A teacher can inculcate the sensitivity towards spatial relationship. When an object is placed in front of a student’s eye he should be able to differentiate psychological, physiological and emotional responses to visual art products. The creative workshops can be used to broaden the scope with respect to tools, equipments, materials, processes, medium selection and techniques which would also help in establishing appropriate standards of composition, content and craftsmanship. Teacher should also keep in mind that the teaching criticism should help them to define and depend on their own standards of aesthetic judgment and value and the interaction with the fellow students is transparent and productive instead of just being competitive. Student should be able to understand visual art concepts after analysis. The visual vocabulary should go beyond ‘I like’ or ‘I don’t like’ with a categorical and methodical analysis of the object with questions like ‘Why I do like’ or ‘Why I don’t like’ with respect to his work. Various skills inculcated in students increase the Analytical thinking power. a) Design vocabulary plays an important role in analysis of an object with the terms like primary vocabulary – as point, line, plane, forms, and volume. b) Hierarchy plays a significant role in design process where a relationship of primary, secondary, tertiary can be analysis. c) Articulation-The next components for analysis would be how the structure is connected with what kinds of joints and connection with its workability d) Drawing Analysis-Plans sections, Orthographic projections, isometric projections are to be understood and analysed in totality. e)Special Precincts (Zones), treatments solids and voids, capacity, transparency, translucency, reflectivity, light qualities and colours, variations themes (constants and variables). f) Analog and digital – Integration of design techniques with currently available. 2) Fundamental Design Skills - The basic design principles must be applied properly to the buildings, interiors and landscape. 3) Developing Graphic skill abilities – Use of technical skills and computers to convey the combination of design elements to convey the concept. 4) Critical thinking skills – Exact analysis of the structure using precise questions and reach a well reasoned conclusion. Consideration of contradictory or diverse point of views also helps in judging a structure. The analysis can be compared to the set of standards and criteria’s.

5) Skill for understanding relation between form space and order which can be cultivated by presenting Architects several slide shows and power points of renounced. Points to be considered teaching Design criticism:With the advancement in technology, growing awareness regarding environment, and wide use of computers in design, it has become necessary to rethink in the way design is taught and criticized. The designs are interlinked with environment, history, politics, sustainability, its urban set up and several other issues. There should be a proper cognisance of these factors by students while designing and it becomes a teacher’s duty to make him realize all these aspects. 1] Innovation – The awareness to all newer materials, technologies, their suitability to a particular design, their economies and feasibilities are to be taken into consideration before starting any design process. The ultimate design should be sustainable functional, technical with proper aesthetic requirement suitable to an appropriate urban context. 2]Environmental comfort and psychology – Microclimates landscape design climatic factors site conditions have become important considerations in design process which have become essential part of the studies in all Architectural schools. Energy efficient designs have become an integral part of the design procedure. Due to global warming and dilapidating natural resources it has become necessary to think about recycling and reuse of scarce natural resources. Simulation tools can be introduced at teaching level to evaluate air-conditioning, acoustic electrical consumptions and so on. Several research methods have grown but design often fail to anticipate user comfort. 3] Computer Aided Design: Computers have become an integral part of Design process. The introduction of several packages to evolve a design according to Architects perception have been introduced in markets including ACAD, REVITT, ARCHICAD, 3D MAX, HOME ARCHITECTS and several others. The permutations and combination of several perceived forms can be directly seen on the screen not only three dimensions but also colours, textures, cut thorough, site sections, camera, photographs of the site and so on. A student should be made aware 70 explore fully the computers ability to store and retrieve information coming from diverse design variables. 4] Sustainability – A design becomes sustainable through implementation of several factors as soil quality, use of appropriate materials, soil conservation, construction density and several others. This factor certainly influences the design procedure. A Building should be durable as well as functional; it should also take into consideration the ecological factors for comfort of the user. Building services and infrastructure quality is important through the combined concept. As per question of sustainability student should be able to analyse building materials as per their life cycle cost, strength, durability, and economies of scales, raw material and transportation costs. Attributes of a critical thinker: A critical thinker should be clear in his perception along with being accurate and relevant. The reasoning should be fair and significant and the logic should be coherent and valid. A critical thinker should have command over language where vagueness anal ambiguity can be avoided by use of exact words and definitions can be put to use effectively. The evaluation of simple and analogical reasoning, scientific and concept theories should be perfect. Also evaluation of source of information, arguments, relevance of evidences becomes significant for proper reasoning.

Thus an Architecture student should be well versed with the principles and processes used in Critical thinking, Appraisal and Evaluation of Design. The aim to teach criticism in Architecture should be to develop a logical and coherent framework for aesthetic appraisal, leading to an in-depth knowledge of the various value attributes of the often misunderstood entity called "Aesthetic Architecture". Value attributes of Architecture as social and cultural, moral, religious, economic genetic, aesthetic should be thoroughly studied by a student of Architecture before criticizing an Architectural work REFERENCES-1) Aesthetic, 2),,Critical 3)Thinking for Architects- Barry D. Yatt, AIA, CSI, 4)Mind Maps-Tony Buzan,,, 5)Donald Welch: Pedalling Creativity