Thesis

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Title: Sensemaking in construction; The Necessity of Making
Author: Vrouwe, I
Contributor: Pak, B (Supervisor), Luyten, L (Co supervisor), Lichtenberg, J (Co supervisor)
Creation Date: 2018-08, KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture, Campus Sint-Lucas Ghent

The formation of concepts is central to human learning. Concepts can result from various experiences and interactions like formal learning in schools and universities, non-formal learning through games and workshops, and informal learning in everyday life. The concepts as formed are used as a means to make sense of experience, structure our actions, and support interaction with our environment. Concepts are personal constructions. As the result of this subjective nature, concepts are not right or wrong, good or bad. Nevertheless, some concepts resonate more strongly with concepts that are considered as correct (i.e. types), compared to other. As a means to provide a universal way of understanding in education, concepts are extended, relearned, and changed through various interactions. With the development of digital media, our surroundings (i.e. developed and newly industrialize countries) have become increasingly more fluid and complex. Based on the experience that information as acquired in education today is likely to be obsolete or revised by the time it is required in future professional applications, knowledge construction has adapted. In the interaction with novel experiences, learners revert increasingly to concept learning through doing, testing, failing, and redoing. This study aims to support concept learning in construction education at universities of the arts, design, and architecture. Based on the various learning characteristics that result from developments as previously introduced, the research outcome is three-fold. Firstly, sensemaking is introduced in order to support learners in the interaction with complexity and getting familiar with unfamiliar concepts. Based on a reference model for spatial construction, a tool is designed that supports learners in the reduction of complex concepts into sub-concepts, so as to facilitate learning in manageable steps. Secondly, a learning situation is designed that supports concept learning through contextualized education. Starting with exploration, testing, and making, concepts are formed through various interactions. Finally, three integration strategies are designed that support making by various amounts of types. Through these strategy designs, learners are assisted in composing types into a design solution effectively. Bases on the properties of our environment as previously introduced, a research method is designed that allows for fluidity and change. The design centres around a series of extended action research cycles. Through this active iterative approach to research, the research method allows for redirection and adjustment during the process so as to allow for fluidity and change.