Visualizing identity: Perspectives on the influences of digital representation in architectural practice and education
Hancock, Lillian Lubaton
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Being an architect today is not the same as it was twenty years ago. The discipline of architecture continues to be influenced by the use of technology, specifically digital representation, which in this study refers to the use of software to create virtual three-dimensional models. Digital representation continues to grow in use in both the profession and in architectural education as the demand for realistic visualization increases. In this changing context, new students and seasoned professionals in architecture find that the identity of an architect has evolved over time to include skills in technology, in addition to the foundational skills based in design thinking. Firms seek talented graduates, students seek the right balance of learning, and educators attempt to bridge the expectations between education and practice. When students learn to be architects, how can technology be integrated with foundational learning to align with professional expectations? In order to move beyond the previous studies that typically focus on student artifacts as proof of successful technology integration, the framework for analysis of this research is based in sociocultural learning, with a focus on situative motivational theory. The influence of social context on student learning and ongoing practice is a compelling perspective from which to understand the reasons for change. The communities of professional practice and education exercise influence on each other, and the individual members construct their communities through activity and engagement with each other. Digital representation in professional practice is examined for its influence on student motivations and identity formation in preparation for practice. Supplemental Materials include interview transcripts, interview summaries, and classroom observation transcripts.
- Architecture