Apprenticeship learning in interdisciplinary and multi-cultural environments: The Tejido Group from Panama to Palestine

Mark Frederickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the past twenty years, the Tejido Group has developed into an interdisciplinary and collaborative applied research program in which faculty, students, and professionals in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, and business management collaborate in apprenticeship- style learning environments. Tejido is also an international and multicultural experience focused on a wide range of project types including: sustainable community development, urban and small town revitalization, urban waterfront design, and sustainable tourism projects in the United States, Latin America, and the Middle-East. Given the complex nature of the global political, socio-economic, and environmental contexts within which we work, our research and resultant design strategies necessarily need to consider a range of ordering systems as potential sources of design and planning form, i.e. economic, environmental, cultural, functional, and aesthetic measures of sustainability. This in turn, suggests that our teams become interdisciplinary and international in composition. Although cultural and political schisms are at times all too apparent in these multinational collaborative environments, we often find that cultural and professional commonalities emerge and become increasingly apparent to all participants involved. We also find that these experiences begin to catalyze better understanding of the potential influences and confines inherent in our design and planning professions regarding their ability to effect meaningful change in urban and small town fabrics. We seek to develop learning environments where mutual interests become increasingly apparent; where participants begin to realize that they are in the process of acquiring an array of global professional skills capable of effecting consequential change; and if we are fortunate enough, an environment where a shared sentiment begins to emerge that we are a part of something significant and enduring. This paper will introduce the purpose, process and products of the Tejido Group through review of recent international projects, including discussion of the often innovative and at times unpredictable, educational, and professional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-51
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Design Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Apprenticeship Learning
  • Design Process
  • Global Practice
  • Studio Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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