Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


*pedagogy, Architectural design

Publication Details

Iterations - Design Research and Practice Review, Issue 5, June 2017


This is a reflection on teaching practice, focussing on design process in a BA Honours in Design – Interior and Furniture, in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). An intrinsic case study approach (Stake 1995) was taken for this research, which focussed on the use of the learning theories in the delivery of an undergraduate interior design project brief. A third year commercial office design project has been used to assess teaching and learning styles. This article will show that, in terms of delivery, in a typical third level interior design project in DIT, the process incorporates all of the learning theories set out by Jordan and Carlile (2005), at different stages. These four learning theories i.e. behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism and social constructivism, are those most commonly prescribed for use in undergraduate courses at DIT. The interior design project brief is broken into four parts, which relate to design fundamentals. The design fundamentals commonly covered in a DIT project brief are: research, concept development, design resolution and presentation, (as referenced for the year 4 Design Thesis in the BA Hons. Design – Interior and Furniture online programme and module catalogue) with occasional variations which are module specific. This article demonstrates practical examples of lecturer instruction and student related work activities, to illustrate how the delivery of a particular part of the project corresponds with one of the four learning theories, reinforcing the relevance of use at particular stages of the design process, in this case.

Keywords: learning theories; interior design; design fundamentals; behaviourism; cognitivism; constructivism; social constructivism;