The Impacts of Cost Determinism in Architectural Foundation Design Education: An analysis of foundation design studio Conference Paper uri icon


  • This research concerns teaching cost as an integral design determinant during architectural foundation design education. It is an assumption of this research that most design students are encouraged to provide unique but often costly solutions without regard for the reality of financial limitations. Despite its importance, this issue has yet to be systematically investigated. This study suggests ways to improve and strengthen architectural foundation design education with learning objectives that include cost as an integral design determinant. Critical design methods and approaches in teaching cost considerations during foundation design education was developed for students to interpret indicators and integrate them with other design considerations. Furthermore, this study assessed the effectiveness of indicators and the integrative quality of students design to improve the value of cost determinism as a part of the foundation design curriculum. The U.S.-based architecture educators and design professionals were surveyed to investigate their perspectives and methods of teaching cost conscious and economic design concepts in foundation design education. Individual interviews were accompanied to determine and define cost indicators responding to fundamental building elements. Finally, a quasi-experiment was conducted in order to compare an existing second-year design course with a newly developed course with an aim to enhance students understanding of cost conscious design in architectural foundation education. The survey result suggests that a gap exists in foundation design education with respect to cost as an integral design determinant. The key informant interviews further iii confirm that there is a gap in architectural education pertaining to the topic of cost as a fundamental design determinant, and identified the importance of teaching the topic in architectural foundation design education. Cost indicators that affect construction cost were defined as they are appropriate to the second-year design students. Cost indicators were used as a device in this experiment to test and measure the effectiveness of cost indicators. As a result, this study found the impact and appropriateness of learning cost as a fundamental design determinant compared to the existing second-year design studio course. This research implies that teaching cost as an integral design determinant in foundation design studio courses is an effective educational method to improving students perspective of cost. The implications of cost indicators and understanding of cost as a design determinant should help young designers produce and appreciate realistic design. This study should be of particular interest to design instructors and educators, as well as affordable housing design and construction practitioners.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Lee, S., Tabb, P., Roger, J., Rybkowski, Z., & Van Zandt, S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Lee, Seyeon||Tabb, Phillip||Roger, Julia||Rybkowski, Zofia||Van Zandt, Shannon

publication date

  • January 2016