Perceptions about the Role of Problem Specifications in Design Learning and Studio Assessment: A Study in Jos, North-Central Nigeria

  • Ebelechukwu Obianuju Enwerekowe
  • Elizabeth Tidak Dassah


Problem specifications are useful for framing the problem solving context within which the designer acts. This study looks at student and mentor perceptions on the role of problem specifications during the design process and the resultant outlook on the outcome during the critique or jury. Using empirical and theoretical data obtained from the Department of Architecture, University of Jos in north-central Nigeria, the study findings examine student and mentor perceptions and preferences on the composition of problem specifications, and the relationship between student performance and staff assessment of project assignments using problem specifications. The study also considers obstacles and aids to the development of problem specifications. The study proposed firstly, increased mentoring during the formative years of design education to guide students on the significance of problem specification as a problem framing tool; secondly, expanded use of digital tools of production due to the emergence of virtual studios; and lastly, expanded and continuous study of teaching methods on problem specifications to promote enduring cognitive, creative skill in the profession.Key words: design education, problem specifications, student/mentor perceptions