Digital RE Thinking: Digital Literacy in Beginning Design
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A challenge to CAAD pedagogy is how to use digital tools and the digital environment to explore design thinking and process that makes inspiring beautiful architecture to educate a new breed of "Digital Master Builders"? At the beginning design level how can educators subvert the digital tools available to develop a strong design foundation supporting the generalist core? In the rigor to develop BIM for professional practice focusing on technical information, how can the power of such a tool be co-opted to develop fundamental problem solving design-thinking skills? The methodology this paper will discuss is a process for digital thinking in beginning design. First, I will look at this process to describe a digital design thinking exercise exploring the morphology of industrial designed products by beginning architectural design students. The book by Kieran Timberlake, Refabricating Architecture is a model that has inspired a re-thinking architectural practice. The digitally enabled design process that has enabled the authors' methodology can also be co-opted for a digital thinking methodology for beginning design. The second case study investigates a digital collaborative project titled "shared city" completed by Third year students who engaged the digital design process to create and fabricate a collective block wall using emerging technology. The morphology and "shared city" projects go beyond technical CAAD competency to introduce Digital Literacy, which recognizes that this new digital world "calls for a new set of assumptions and a fundamental reorientation in thinking" , a digital discipline "mastering ideas, not keystrokes".