There is greater diversity in design education than studio teaching. After sketching that diversity, the paper considers three kinds of research projects conducted through design, briefly considering the relationships between texts and creative works.
In its major part, assessment of studio design projects (SDPs) on dimensions of complexity is shown to underplay additional, direct features of assessment of students often entailed in evaluation of the projects. Assessment of research projects by design (RPDs) is less parochial, being positioned in a historical and global context. Further, it is much less directly comparative or competitive. But, there are two key differences. The first is between the assessment of a SDP’s design quality compared with assessment of a RPD’s contribution to knowledge. The second difference entails greater emphasis on a RPD candidate’s demonstrated understanding of their own achievement.
Final remarks comment on what the SDP and RPD assessment situations share. Taken together, the issues concern positioning project and self within the stream of precedent, of designs and/or research findings. Perhaps the developing body of knowledge characteristic of a research tradition might only begin to accumulate when pre-professionals are required as part of their training to develop the requisite habits.