The critical usage of information technology at the School of Architectue of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil
conference contributionposted on 2006-05-04, 15:37 authored by Jose dos Santos Cabral Filho, Ana Paula Baltazar dos Santos
This paper describes the work carried out in Lagear (the Computer Laboratory at the School of Architecture at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil). Lagear was founded in 1993 and since then much teaching and learning has been conducted there. Course modules, such as 'Environmental Comfort' and 'Perspective', took place in the Laboratory, where the students were required to use computers; other subjects, such as 'Computer Graphics' and 'IT Applied to Architecture' were entirely focused on the use of computers in architecture. A critical assessment of students' experience shows that there is a difference between teaching 'Computer Graphics' and teaching 'IT Applied to Architecture'. The first one refers to the use of CAD software to represent, geometrically, the object of architecture; the second one is the use of computers as tools for thinking about architecture. Using examples from students' work this paper demonstrates this difference by tracing Lagear's experiences, from using computer resources as representative tools, to using the computer as a creative instrument with which to think. An evaluation of the traditional use of computers in architecture is offered, together with indications of the directions found to be the most interesting in the learning process. Figure 1 - an investigation into CAD modelling and self-image - illustrates Lagear's students non-conventional approach to investigating the use of computers in design.
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