Embracing Simplicity and Critical Thinking

The Architectural Technologist

Mar 29 2024 • 19 mins

In this insightful episode, Jonathan delves into the significance of embracing simplicity in both lifestyle and education, drawing parallels from Edward de Bono's book on simplicity. The discussion takes a deep dive into how Jonathan has practically applied de Bono's concepts to his architectural technology classes, promoting a minimalist approach to critical thinking and learning.

Jonathan reflects on de Bono's idea of "teaching backwards" and shares his strategy for relating new teaching material to students' existing knowledge bases. He exemplifies this through a manual drafting lesson that connected drawing techniques to physical constructions the students had previously encountered. Simplifying content and restricting word count in assignments encourages students to communicate effectively and think critically, a practice inspired by de Bono's work.

Key points of consideration include the integration of other fundamental texts for architectural students, which delineates essential techniques and principles in the field. The conversation touches upon the notion of how simplicity in design and education doesn't equate to ease but rather the distillation of complexity into its most effective and clear forms.

  • Embrace simplicity in lifestyle and educational practices to enhance learning and understanding.
  • Use the concept of "teaching backwards" to connect new material with prior knowledge.
  • Simplified content in assignments encourages clarity, conciseness, and critical thinking skills.
  • Understanding the importance of lateral thinking in problem-solving, as proposed by Edward de Bono.
  • Recommending key resources for architectural students to develop foundational skills and knowledge in the field.


Studio Craft & Technique for Architects: Second Edition, By: Anne Gorman, Miriam Delaney

Simplicity, By: Edward de Bono

Six Thinking Hats, By: Edward de Bono