Hakan Anay, Ülkü Özten



The present study investigates architecture students’ pre-established schemata or prejudice structures towards architecture before their formal education starts. This would be particularly deemed important since architectural pedagogy might be tweaked or even reformulated accordingly.


The research employs “content analysis” which is a method that uses set of tools and procedures to read texts for generating knowledge-based inferences. On such a ground, the research is based on single-sentence answers given to a simple question asked to students: “what architecture is all about.” and the recordings of a follow-up open-ended discussion with the students on the initial findings. The data is evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively.


Findings indicate a series of pretexts in students’ responses, particularly a residing (historical) determinism, a belief in zeitgeist, a conservatism, a pessimistic, passive understanding of architecture. On the other hand, they did not relate architecture to newness, change, difference, innovation, and they did not conceive architecture as an agent of these aspects. Research shows that students’ horizon of expectations and their preconceptions about architecture seem to be quite a mismatch with any trajectory of architectural education tradition that might take these notions as essential to itself and its intellectual core.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study is aimed to be part of baseline data for carrying out future investigations, a step toward more systematic analysis of changing state of today’s architectural education and a larger/global effort to map this phenomenon with its possible effects in architectural education.


The study makes an original contribution to knowledge by being one of the first studies to focus on the question of “what architecture is all about” on behalf of the first-year architecture students in Turkey.


Architectural education, architectural pedagogy, architecture, schemata, prejudice structures

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