Art, architecture, and design curriculum in higher education has evolved in many ways over the past decade. While many universities and colleges still ascribe to the Bauhaus model as a core approach to instruction, shifts in technology, modes of making, global perspectives, and the professional landscape have required responsiveness on the part of these institutions. Today’s art, architecture, and design learners need to be equipped to navigate, evaluate, and ethically use vast quantities and varieties of information in their practices. As a result of these evolutions and the influence of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, library pedagogy for these disciplines has accordingly shifted away from traditional bibliographic instruction and towards information literacy-based approaches.
This article presents the authors’ efforts to collaborate with faculty in a curriculum-mapping program that enables shared understanding of curricular objectives and goals. By collaborating and coordinating with faculty for embedded library sessions or modules, this program can be used to strengthen information and research competencies at the appropriate academic levels throughout the degree program. Curriculum mapping helps communicate opportunities to bring together teaching and learning from the lecture hall and studio to the library where students can be introduced to pertinent resources and information that will support their course work and build their understanding of research.
While much has been written about implementing the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education in various classroom settings, this article addresses mapping the ACRL Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education to the Framework in designing instruction for art and architecture students. Disciplinary lenses, allowing for an integrative, pragmatic heuristic, are coupled with an integration of approaches found in the library instruction literature, including faculty and librarian teaching partnerships and assessment. The versatility of mapping these professional documents is demonstrated through implementation in both one-shot and embedded instruction.
For this article, an architect and librarian teamed up to systemize the means of theoretical development in architectural design students through the use of visual culture (film). To achieve their goal, they used pedagogical criteria to measure and assess the accrual of visual skills. Architectural design education is inextricable from city-based exploration and research. Traces of how architecture is taught and evaluated are embedded in the built environment. Teaching strategies that guide the development of visual literacy skills are essential in order to optimize the learning experience. To effectively apply these strategies, professors and academic librarians need to work in close collaboration to strengthen their students’ visual skills.
It is essential for the 21st-century generation of students to be equipped with proficient visual skills and the need to use visual methods for teaching design in architectural undergraduate studies cannot be overemphasized. Photographs are used for analytic illustrations and case study presentations mainly in architecture. However, utilizing photographs as a visual reference tool will build a better prospect for students to enhance their creative thinking and design concepts.
In collaboration with students and faculty, the Library of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University developed an interdisciplinary Materials Laboratory that offers students in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction a hands-on and interdisciplinary sensory experience of building and construction materials. Materials research is a key component to students’ learning in design disciplines, and the tactile and visual experience of handling physical building materials samples allows students to investigate and discover materials in new ways. This article explores the collaborative creation of the Materials Lab that positioned the library as a central and innovative educational resource for all design disciplines.
An architect’s education requires a broad mastery of visual skills. Particularly in design courses, students must demonstrate the skills necessary for the use and production of images to achieve a competitive academic performance. However, the development of these skills in students and the evaluation of their work by faculty members are based mostly on subjective criteria supported by the faculty’s experience. The research used digital photography as an object of research to understand the processes of learning in architectural design. The results help to establish new educational strategies for the development of visual skills to be used during the design process. The collaboration between faculty members and librarians of the School of Architecture at the University of Puerto Rico presented new partnerships that have enriched the planning process of different pedagogical activities for the advancement of knowledge with the development of visual literacy skills in students.