Placemaking and the Digital: Innovative teaching in architecture

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


This paper contends that practice-based learning is an invaluable resource for students of all disciplines concerned with placemaking and that 'the digital' – in its pragmatic as well as in its virtual sense – is not an opposing force, but the key to teaching and learning in a practice-based way. The paper will discuss three challenges facing architectural education when engaging with practice-based placemaking – Teaching, Learning and Managing - investigating where and how 'the digital' can help meeting these challenges.

To respond to these questions, the paper will present, analyse and compare the live project practices of each of its four authors with the aim to draw transferable lessons about practice-based teaching and learning in different national, subject and study level contexts. The authors, experienced architectural and urban design tutors in the UK and Germany, will explore the subject with reference to the significance 'the digital' plays or could play in individual approaches to live-project teaching.

The paper concludes with discussing a range of delivery models that would enable architecture schools to more fully embed live projects into their courses. The authors contend that each of these delivery models – cross-disciplinary labs, low-residency teaching, block teaching, live project placement, distance learning – can use digital techniques to better network live projects into their academic, professional, local/community and societal contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2016
EventDRHA16 Place, Ecology and the Digital: 20th anniversary Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts conference - University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20167 Sep 2016


ConferenceDRHA16 Place, Ecology and the Digital
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Live projects in teaching
  • Practice-based learning
  • Cross-disciplinary labs
  • Digital learning techniques for making
  • Digital archiving for knowledge exchange

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    Bohn, K., Colwill, S., Cheyne, C., & Longden-Thurgood, G. (2016). Placemaking and the Digital: Innovative teaching in architecture. Abstract from DRHA16 Place, Ecology and the Digital, Brighton, United Kingdom.