This study aims to make a critical reading on the constraints and potentials that emerge through the transition from face-to-face to screen-to-screen teaching and learning experiences in design education during the COVID-19 pandemic. By making a critical reading of current discussions, mostly in narrative surveys, on architectural design education, it is attempted to re-contextualize the emerging concepts of the remote teaching and learning to the broader context of design studio pedagogy literature. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the model developed by Shaffer (2003) regarding the three main elements of the design studio pedagogy as (1) “surface structures”, (2) “pedagogical forms” and (3) “epistemological principles.” The study revealed that the current situation, on the one hand, opened the ways for us to test “new” tools, methods and experiences of teaching and learning, and on the other hand, allowed us to better understand the potentials and well-functioning aspects of the “existing” pedagogical models. Rather than reducing the discussions on remote teaching and learning to a ‘technology-driven’ paradigm change in design education, future research should focus on the effects of changing pedagogical tools and practices on the manifold dimensions of ‘human learning’, which in turn will have implications for the epistemology of design pedagogy.
COVID-19, architectural design education, design studio pedagogy, remote teaching, new normal, human element