I'd like really to only speak about first year. One aspect of the depth of first year could be that briefs are not live- first years need a year of "building basics" in a supportive educational environment.To expect them to manage the contradictory critiques of industry feedback while learning good design principles could be confusing and difficult. I suppose they could do live briefs but not take the solutions to industry?
Ok. I like this.
I would like to concur with what janet has said re: first years and working with a client brief. The building basics is what they need initially along with exploring and understanding the question of what it is that they are studying (your second question). The aspect that is not mentioned in the list of attributes (which relates specifically to the first years) is that first years have to learn 'how to design' - how to manipulate a concept through design choices and the basic design principles that enable this process.
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