The Instructor’s Interpretation of Space and Its Influence on Architectural Education



The present article is extracted from a multi-dimensional research around “space”, how architecture instructors interpret it and how this interpretation can influence their instruction. To fulfill this end, special attention has been paid to different spatial patterns of architecture besides a thorough study of opinions stated on the subject by different patterns. Following a lexical investigation of “space”, the philosophical bases of the concept and also stances of different architects on it will be studied to form a theoretical ground for analyzing opinions stated in the survey. Space has tight bonds with life, and how we interpret meanings induced by it is rooted in our worldview and earlier cognitions. Hence, contemplating over interpretations of different philosophers and thinkers of the subject of space can help us further richen the architectural implication of the term. Nevertheless, their definitions of space do not seem to be in concert with those of architects. Equipped with the study of existing opinions, the present research focuses on analyzing the opinions of a number of lecturers and professors at two architecture schools in the city of Tehran. These opinions certify that despite their agreements on the definition of “space”, differences among them carry a greater weight. These differences of opinion are especially evident in the questioned authorities’ opinions about teaching “spatial creation” – in other words means of getting the instructor’s interpretation of space through to the students. Furthermore, the instructors’ definitions of space consist in a range from clear-cut definitions to non-definitions or, in other words, disbelief in any existing definitions of space at all. In a similar trait, instruction practices ranged from “Knowledge-Accumulation” (for all student and design-subject types) to methods based on “Catechization” (Based on the mentalities of individual students and properties of different design-subjects); hence the logical induction that instructors have either false interpretations of the concept of space or they have trouble reflecting their interpretation over to their students.The end results of the research can be listed as below: 1. Despite frequent literal references to the concept of space, it is treated vaguely in educational practice. 2. In different level of Presence of students in various architectural spaces and their trying to observe and describe or criticize and analyze these spaces is of significant importance to help them achieve a deeper understanding of the concept. 3. Stressing environmental psychology in architectural design education can help students’ feel, understand and perception of different spaces. 4. According to the importance of the subject of space in architecture and architectural education, it is essential to refer to architectural schools and views of architects who belonged to them in theoretical subjects such as history of contemporary architecture. In addition it is important to find the relationship between philosophical point of view of architects and different educational styles. 5. Successful application of educational tools and spatial modeling is requiring of students’ mastery in the recognition of volumes and their powers of imagination, which indicates the importance of workshop practical instruction in early years of academic education.