Reflective thinking and self-assessment: A model for the architectural design studio


  • Cemile Sanem Ersine Masatlıoğlu image/svg+xml Gebze Technical University

    C. Sanem Ersine Masatlıoğlu graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in 2010 after completing her secondary and high school education at Istanbul [Erkek] High School. She worked at domestic and international construction sites in 2010–11 and completed her master's degree in the Architectural Design Department of Istanbul Technical University Architecture Program in 2012. She received her doctorate degree from the same department in 2018 with a thesis focused on "studio culture" within the field of architectural education. During her doctorate, she worked for four months in the "environmental systems" laboratory at the Universita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II on the re-evaluation of industrial heritage. Between 2011 and 21, she taught design studios and many other courses full-time and part-time at various universities. In 2018, she began her Assistant Professor position as a founding member of the department at Istanbul Şehir University's Architecture Department. As of 2021, she continues her teaching and research at Gebze Technical University.

  • Özge Can Balaban image/svg+xml Gebze Technical University

    Born in 1981, Özge Can Balaban obtained her undergraduate degree in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University in 2005. Subsequent to a decade of professional engagement as an architect and project manager within numerous architectural design offices and at various construction sites, she returned to her alma mater to pursue a Master of Science in 'Traditional Utopianism and Architecture'. She is presently advancing her doctoral research at the same institution. Concurrently, Ms. Balaban holds a lecturing position at the Architectural Department of Gebze Technical University, where she imparts instruction in Design and several theoretical courses, including 'Architectural Readings'.



disciplinary literacy, peer assessment, reflective thinking, self-assessment, architectural education, studio-based pedagogy


Developing, experimenting, and sharing critical pedagogical approaches is becoming increasingly important in architectural education, which supposedly superposes theory and practice. In this article, the authors reveal and reflect on an enriching pedagogical approach to the traditional architectural design studio. It is acknowledged that students develop comprehensive examination and internalization abilities by developing reflective thinking and self-evaluation abilities that complement each other. Based on the pioneer educational theory of John Dewey, the researchers' selected instructional interventions. Using the action research method, four additional modes conceptualized towards disciplinary literacy -reading, mapping, discussion, and peer assessment- were injected into the traditional studio process during a semester of architectural design course. The pedagogical approach is built on questioning the two basic creativity-based abilities of learners: reflective thinking and self-assessment. The fundamental questions are: How can a reading-discussion setup designed to nurture disciplinary literacy in the design studio be a factor in developing reflective thinking ability? How can the systematic peer assessment exercise be a factor in the students' self-assessment and reflective thinking skills as a learning outcome? The results argue for the effects on students' intangible skills. The model studio setup exhibited two remarkable findings, showing that (i) the reading-discussion mode is more effective in generating reflective thinking and (ii) the systematic peer review exercise is more effective in gaining self-assessment ability. The aim is to contribute to the theory of education by making the model application in the field of architectural design studio accessible and reflective for other educators.


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How to Cite

Ersine Masatlıoğlu, C. S., & Balaban, Özge C. (2024). Reflective thinking and self-assessment: A model for the architectural design studio. Journal of Design for Resilience in Architecture and Planning, 5(1), 35–49.



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