Blog: Miro for online architectural studio learning

This write-up is a reflection on the Architectural Design 3 studio module in Ningbo University in the first semester of the 2021-2022 academic year, focuses on the use of Miro software in the architectural studio setting as an alternative to face-to-face (F2F, henceforth) learning. The sample size is small with a 77% response rate (7 students). Nonetheless, it is hoped that this initial observation shows students’ voice and concerns with the use of Miro. This blog only shows the Miro-related survey which was part of the end of semester student survey of 24 questions.

A bit of background, the module was co-taught by Fin and myself. The international program in Ningbo University has been online from February 2020 due to the fact that most of the students are still abroad. Last semester (September-December 2021) we adapted Miro for the first time. The learners confirmed that none of them had prior experience with Miro in question #17.

At the beginning of the semester Miro was also used to get to know each other through the ‘Introduce Yourself’ area. Tutors and learners had their designated boxes to showcase their passions etc. It was hoped to create a conducive online learning community, especially between tutors and learners as we did not know each other before this module. The design brief was to design a library.

Figure 1. Screenshot of Miro
Figure 2. Week 1-Week 6 Miro, out of 17 weeks learning
Figure 3. Rating of synchronous online learning

It is commonly understood that in architectural pedagogy, face-to-face studio setting is irreplaceable. The online learning provision cannot mimic the usual studio setting; however it offers a unique experience in comparison to F2F. These unique experiences are the point of departure of this observation, giving rise to the potential to incorporate the observed benefit to the existing F2F learning for future flexible learning purposes. Overall, the learners rated the synchronous online learning, using a combination of Miro and a video conversation platform DingTalk as a positive experience, see Figure 3. In addition, the online learning community is considerably well rated too, see Figure 4.

Figure 4. Rating of online learning community

Figure 5 shows the general acceptance of Miro, however this also shows that it cannot replace the F2F experience. From Figure 6 the constant (twice a week) display was rated positively by the learners (85.7%), I found this interesting as this capability is less likely to occur in a regular F2F. Usually learners get to see their friends’ work in the studio setting but not to this extent of all of their progress. 42% of the students also pointed out that it facilitates the peer learning exercise.

Figure 5. Overall rating for Miro
Figure 6. Rating of online components of the module

On the last survey (question #24), learners were asked to leave feedback on Miro use. They criticised that Miro could be slow to load at times. It is usually due to the number of images, learners’ internet connection and using the free version of Miro. This situation was mitigated by splitting the whole semester journey to three Miro boards. The first board (Figure 2) displayed Week 1-6 progress, the second board displayed Week 7-13 progress and the third board was exclusively for the final assessment (final crit, see Figure 7). There was a conflicting view on the use of Miro with regards to panel layout. One student mentioned that it saved time instead of making panels using design software such as Photoshop/AI, however another learner preferred to use the design software. Perhaps this was not illustrated clearly- in the future, it is best to highlight to learners that they can still do layout in design software and upload them as images into Miro.

During the final crit (Figure 7), the facilitators decided to combine a live presentation and a pre-recorded one. This would minimise the technical and internet problems. The live session served as a summary of the final work, and pre-recorded presentations were used to expand the design in more detail.

Figure 7. Final crit using Miro

To sum up, although the use of Miro was generally well accepted, there is room for improvement. Referring to the aim of this blog to identify the potential use of Miro to complement future F2F learning, some identified advantages are: 1) the constant display of progress was beneficial for tutors and learners, 2) minimising the need for panel lay outing, and 3) Miro can also be used to facilitate assessment in F2F and flexible learning environments. It is also observed by the author that making sketches during tutorials on Miro is as convenient as on paper-and-pen, co-sketching during tutorials with learners can also be achieved and documented.

Link to the final student work and the AR experience:

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CCNB (Creative Community Ningbo) 2019 exhibition

CCNB is a melting pot of ten designers from ten countries. I exhibited one bamboo installation and two bamboo woven artworks. CCNB (Creative Community Ningbo) is an active community for local and expat artists who currently reside in Ningbo. The exhibition was on for two weeks and CCNB hosted an opening party on 24 May 2019. Thank you all for coming!


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Happy Christmas

This Christmas I made some laser cut baubles, putting my rusty AutoCAD skill to use at last 🙂 Made around 650 of them in total for the Christmas market and personalised orders. 22 meticulous design and A-Z. Anyway, here is hoping for a Merry Christmas and have a fantastic 2019! Cheers.

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PhD project_the interactive abstract and list of output

I would like to share the good news that I recently passed my PhD viva voce examination and I will attend graduation in November 2018. Here is a link to my Prezi, of an interactive abstract. The aim of this short Prezi  is to give a snapshot of the PhD (see embedded video below).

List of publications as part of the PhD journey is as follow, one paper is under submission.

  • Tedjosaputro, M. A. & Shih, Y.-T. (2019). Perceiving Design Processes as Embodied Experience. Research into Design for a Connected World. Springer,21-31.
  • Tedjosaputro, M. A. & Shih, Y.-T. (2018). A visualization tool to investigate the interplay of external and internal processes. International Conference on-Design Computing and Cognition, Springer, 669-686.
  • Tedjosaputro, M. A. (2018). Designing with and without access to externalisations, a summary. In: Huang, W., Williams, M., Luo, D., Wu, Y.-S. & Lin, Y., eds. The 23rd International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, 2018 Beijing. China Architecture & Building Press, Beijing, 103-108.
  • Tedjosaputro, M. A., Shih, Y.-T., Niblock, C. & Pradel, P. (2017a). Differences in Sketches and Mental Imagery in Ideation Stage of Novice Designers. In: Chakrabarti, A. & Chakrabarti, D. (eds.) Research into Design for Communities, Volume 1: Proceedings of ICoRD 2017. Singapore: Springer Singapore.
  • Tedjosaputro, M. A., Shih, Y.-T., Niblock, C. & Pradel, P. (2017b). Interplay of Sketches and Mental Imagery in the Design Ideation Stage of Novice Designers. The Design Journal, 1-25.
  • Tedjosaputro, M. A. (2015b). Contribution of smartpens to design studies in capturing design process. Interplay 2015. Brisbane: International Associations of Societies of Design Research.
  • Tedjosaputro, M.A, Shih, Y., Pradel, P. & Niblock, C. (2015a). Multidisciplinary design behaviour using sketching and mental Imagery: A literature review and considerations for future research. In: Chakrabarti, A. (ed.) ICoRD’15 – Research into Design Across Boundaries Volume 1. Springer India.

A an illustration of the abstract can be found here:

20180316_poster for abstract

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PhD online program #2-


A short explanation and potential use of the scripts can be found here:

Tedjosaputro and Shih, Y.-T (2018- preprints). A visualization tool to investigate the interplay of external and internal processes. In: Gero, J.S. (ed.) DCC’18- The 8th International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition. Springer.

For the online program #1, click here. It is a study script aiming on generating the very basic linkography nodes and links visualisations. Both program #1 and #2 require .csv templates upon request.

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Ningbo Drawing Circle: a short interview with Ningbo TV

Hiya, here is an update about the short interview Gillian and I had with Ningbo TV. Ningbo Drawing Circle is part of Brew Drawing project. An article for the series of “I am in Zhejiang” covering foreigners live in Zhejiang province, is available though the Wechat article can be found here. And a link to the 3 minutes video in QQ is as follow. Thank you for the volunteers (Agathe, Sarah, Sedat, Mike and Magda), Clotilde and Wery and also the NBTV crew.

Link to the short video (3 mins).

Lastly, the behind the scene pictures:

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DCC18 conference: list of papers

List of papers could be found here:

Bringing artificial intelligence, cognitive science and computational theories to design research. July 2018. Politecnico di Milano, Italy.


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