Object-Based Learning and research helps students to focus

Nieuws - 01 oktober 2018

The historical objects on display were originally used for educational purposes at the department of Decorative Arts or the Freehand Drawing department. The story behind brings you back to the late 19th century when freehand drawing classes were offered to all engineering students as a minor specialisation to sharpen observation skills and broaden the imagination of students.

Every semester the Academic Heritage Team invites a teacher to select a series of objects from TU Delft Library’s Special Collections for this display. After Annoesjka Cabo and Bart Root, Charlotte van Wijk is the third educator to curate an exhibition in the Teaching Lab. Van Wijk is researcher at the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment and curator of the faculty’s Chair Collection. Charlotte: “The Chair Collection is of great importance to the faculty’s identity and educational potential and is still growing through donations.”

Object based learning and research

Up until recently the Chair Collection’s use in education was just to show them during lectures about the designer or some research. Charlotte: “Teachers often only discussed the design product with the student, but did not explain how to develop a design which is a complex and confusing path. Object-based learning and research would help the student to clarify this and give new meanings to collections.”

The exhibition in the Teaching Lab includes student designs from a design course which used the chairs from the collection as point of departure. The examples show how teachers and researchers activate the faculty’s collections through integration with education and research and the added value of it. Charlotte: “Starting the design process from an example helps to focus. The frame of reference that a student builds up through studying existing designs, works as a catalyst and speeds up the design process like a chess player practising moves.”

Increasing demand

Katrien van der Mast, member of the Academic Heritage Team at TU Delft Library: “A large part of the Special Collections originated and then dissociated from teaching and research. We encourage teachers to re-connect the objects to education and scientific investigation. The Chair Collection of the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment is a beautiful example of this.”

The exhibition can be seen in the Teaching Lab until February 2019.

If you are an educator and you would like to curate an exhibition at the Teaching Lab, please contact the Academic Heritage Team of TU Delft Library at: heritage@tudelft.nl.