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Innovative Teaching Ideas - Global Perspective and Human-Centered Design

Center for Awareness of Global Issues (1992)

This studio project provided an opportunity for students to identify and area of personal interest regarding a global issues, and design a conference facility for diverse groups of temporary residents. The project promotes "community" among the participants to generate insights in dealing with a specific global issues. The project description includes program requirements, recommended process, and generalized criteria for evaluation.

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Death Ritual Pavilion

Commonalities between all cultures are rites of passage such as birth, adulthood, marriage, and death. Death is one rite that exudes with culture specific meaning represented in color, symbology, and ritual. The graveside ceremony in America, however, has become an unrefined, mechanically orchestrated ritual stripped of cultural significance. Often, the ritual site unconsciously emphasizes physical discomfort or limitations due to climate, elderly or disabled attendees, and site inaccessibility because of the terrain. Last rites are also debased with the use of metal folding chairs and a temporary tent. Ceremonial space and equipment should convey a cultural connection, dignity, and permanence instead of blandness, disregard, and temporality.

To understand how other cultures experience death and interpret cultural symbolisms into their death ritual, students will research a selected culture’s death ritual and apply it to the creation of a culturally inspired, permanent, and accessible pavilion.

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INHABIT: An Interior Space for Work, Rest and Play

The Inhabit project is a semester long studio project aimed at providing an interactive teaching and application methodology for introducing the principles of interior design to students. Introductory content is traditionally delivered in lecture format and tested via examination or through essay submissions. This approach deviates from that tradition by delivering course content through an integrative, semester long
investigation that was divided into five phases. In each of the five phases new spatial criteria, design objectives and human factors were introduced to enrich programmatic development and creative thinking.

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International Service-Learning Field Experience

This field experience serves as a framework for creating an international creditbearing service-learning experience for students from related design disciplines during an intersession, summer, or non-traditional semester. The experience’s limited duration ensures a high impact learning environment where students are focused solely on the course at hand. This framework outlines the course content, requirements, and outcomes from field experiences conducted in rural and urban townships near Cape Town, South Africa. Students from Interior Design, Architecture, and Landscape Architecture engaged with community partners and residents in a short-term community based project to improve the quality of life for residents in the townships. Throughout the experience, students explore, first hand, the rich history, cultural diversity and geographic landscape of South Africa, explore global citizenship, and design and construct a local community based project.

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