Tectonics informs Digital: Deep learning in the design class
This paper describes the findings of a study conducted in the context of a Digital Design course of sophomore level during the 2015 fall semester. A design-build methodology was implemented to guide the students to learn how to design complex geometrical patterns not only by using digital modeling but also a variety of laser cutting techniques for fabrication. A post-assignment survey was used as an instrument to collect data from students and correlate the quality of their designs and their exposure to a decision making process that not only dealt with geometry but also with the characteristics of the materials used for fabrication. Findings indicate that the methodology encouraged the students to take into account the nature of materials in the design process and as a result improve the quality of the design product. The design-build training made the learning memorable and has contributed to an overall deep-learning experience.