The use and evaluation of euretics as a pedagogy for motivating creative designs among architectural students



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Developed by Gregory Ulmer, euretics is a pedagogical approach that increases the possibility for creative work to be produced following exploration and metaphorical interpretation of abstract art. This dissertation tests the effect of euretics on the creativity of architectural student designs when using images of abstract expressionist paintings. These are compared with architectural designs using images of noted architectural projects as motivational tools. Creativity measures were assessed by Donald W. MacKinnon's five criteria of creativity used in his work on personality assessment. The criteria include: originality, adaptiveness of the design to reality, sustaining the concept, and aesthetic content, as well as creating new conditions and principles of human existence. The study also investigates whether the euretics method using abstract expressionist painting produces creative ideas more quickly than when students use familiar architectural projects or do not use any motivating images at all. Third- and fourth-year architectural students were randomly appointed to three groups who received design project statements. The first group received motivational images of abstract expressionist paintings and instructions for interpretation. The second group received motivational images of familiar architectural projects and interpretation instructions. The last group, the control group, received the project statement only. The vii students' designs were evaluated after 2 hours, after 4.5 hours, and upon submission 12 hours after starting. Data collected from faculty evaluations of the creativity of the students' designs indicate that: 1 . The scores' means of the painting group were significantly higher than the control group in all time evaluations and under all five measuring criteria. 2. The painting group progressed faster than the control group at all times and with regards to all measures. 3. Both the painting group and the architecture group scored significantly higher than the control group on all measures. 4. The scores for the 12-hour evaluation were significantly higher than that of the 2-hour evaluation and the 4.5-hour evaluation for all groups. Meanwhile, the 4.5-hour evaluation was also significantly higher than that of the 2-hour evaluation for all groups.