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Communicating Emotion in Design: The studio experience

Ben Jonson

This paper looks at the role emotion plays in design education and the studio experience in particular, from both a practical and theoretical perspective, at a time when design is migrating to the university environment. It draws from the author’s experience of studio teaching and pedagogic research across a broad spectrum of design domains, and shows how emotion is embedded in the studio experience. It highlights the personal relationship design students have with their subject, and argues that emotional communication is critical to teacher-student interaction and learning outcomes. It compares the studio model with the lecture model and suggests that university-based design needs to raise emotional awareness in higher education discussions.


emotional communication, learning styles, studio experience