Talk to me! The communicating styles of architectural students
Authors: Potangaroa, Regan ; Murphy, Chris
ABSTRACT: Many students perceive the topic of architectural science and technology as being
overtly mathematical and quantitative. It is considered a “hard” topic within the design course and as
such demands teaching strategies to meet these negative perceptions. Part of the challenge is to
understand the type of student you are teaching and gain an appreciation of how they learn.
To this end, the authors undertook a survey into the communication style of students across the five
years of the course from the School of Architecture at Unitec in Auckland New Zealand. The study
used a survey instrument developed and adapted by the authors from earlier work by Casse (1981)
designed in part for cross-cultural communication. This instrument classified each of the 242
architectural students surveyed according to the four communication orientations of Action, Process,
People and Ideas.
The study was then extended to include the Schools of Engineering and the School of Construction
students at Unitec, a total sample size of 492 students. The results were analysed and compared.
This paper discusses the educational background behind this survey, suggests results and possible
courses for action as a result of the conclusions drawn.