|Thursday, June 25|
Architectural education needs to qualify students to intervene in the rapidly changing systems and processes of human settlements and have the capacity to reconnect people and place in a dynamic synergy that leads to positive impacts on human well-being. The architect needs to be an agent of social and spatial evolution towards a better ecological harmony in its broadest sense. This symposium will discuss various experiments and experiences attempting to address the following challenges in architecture education: integrating scales from a single room to part of a city, factoring human aspects into all subjects of the curriculum, reconciling explanatory and normative theory, integrating research into the design process, reinstating the human being at the centre of sustainable development (going beyond the measurable dimensions of environmental aspects), utilizing technological advances as enablers rather than drivers, and developing transdisciplinary concepts and tools that can bridge the gap between architecture and urban design, on the one hand, and other disciplines. These challenges revolve around mainstreaming People Environment relations in the multiple facets of architectural and urban design education.
* Dina Shehayeb, Nile University, Egypt
Bridging the gap between education and practice in architecture and urban design: An exploratory study
Shimaa M. Ali, Suez Canal University, Egypt
Dina Shehayeb, Nile University, Egypt
* Ferdinando Fornara, University of Cagliari, Italy
Schools of architecture are struggling to keep up with the current issues that are transforming architecture practice, and students are not equipped to meet the complexity of contemporary city challenges. In the framework of a 3-year project co-funded by the European Commission titled “Integrative Multidisciplinary People-centered Architecture Qualification and Training,” – IMPAQT, this research was conducted with contribution from the 10 partner consortium aiming to explore the shortcomings in architecture and urban design education, in order to provide evidence-based guidelines for bridging the gap between academia and practice. In particular, the focus of the investigation was put on the issues related to the content, pedagogical approach and to the education-practice gap. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected from different sources and different types of participants: expert interviews with academics and practitioners (N=31), several focus groups involving fresh graduates and architecture students (N=49) and practitioners (N=12), and finally an on-line survey with young architects and senior undergraduate students (N=106). Focus groups were conducted in Egypt whereas the expert interviews and the online-survey included Egyptians as well as European member countries (i.e., Austria, Germany, Italy, and Spain). Overall results show some consistent patterns across methods and kinds and participants. In particular, critical deficiency points that were more frequently indicated included integration between theory courses and their application in the design studios; integration between the different disciplines; lack of awareness of technological advances; lack of focus on human aspects (considered as key factors) in architectural and urban design education; and finally, lack of knowledge of different users’ needs and behavior in their interaction with the built environment. Guidelines for alternative education proposals will be suggested in order to address the emerged critical points and thus bridge the gap between academic education and practice.
Pedagogy for Environment-Behaviour Studies: A Voice from the Global South
* Smita Khan, Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, India
The study of people-environment relationship was deficient in the overall curriculum of undergrad architecture studies in India. This paper is an experiential narrative of pedagogy of Environment Behaviour Studies (EBS) introduced recently as a 200 level core course. It focuses upon need for study, its conceptual underpinnings, and pedagogical approach. It discusses introduction of the course and challenges faced in existing schema. The aim is to go beyond classroom theory sessions into the real world. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is the foundation of this pedagogy. Methodology consists of ordering experiential learning from known to unknown spatial experiences making students connect to local communities, their lifestyles and built environments. This course, brought to fore the vital importance of understanding the users for whom architects create. It exposes students to the way environs are shaped by its users and vice versa. It has perceptibly transformed their approach to design. It has helped create a strong stratum, to shape conceptual thinking upon, that precedes design development. This paper in addition provides an insight into a pedagogical model designed by the author and sheds light upon necessary administrative restructuring to support AI in architectural education. There is deep lacuna of a human centric approach in most courses imparted in technology campuses. The humanistic approach of this course makes it relevant to be imparted right from school education. Reflections and recommendations on the vital need for an overall vision for urbanism, in Global South and India in particular conclude the paper. Awareness about EBS and its relevance in all arenas of engagements with the city is abysmal. Knowledge and understanding of user centricity is the vital need of the hour towards creation of an aware and demanding citizenry and a skilled professional community of the future world. This course is a small step in this direction.
A New Older Way of Learning: The RAIC Syllabus Program Considered
* William Crompton, RAIC Syllabus Program, Canada
* John Raimondo, Raimondo & Associates, Architects, Canada
Ian Ellingham, Cambridge Architectural Research, United Kingdom
This session will explore the lessons that can be learned from the unique architectural education program operated by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. It has operated for several decades, and educates in the way in which architects were traditionally trained- by apprenticeship. RAIC Syllabus operates through a rigorous set of in-person studios, combined with on-line courses. To date, little research has been done on the Syllabus program, or its outcomes, relative to more conventional university programs. This session will present Syllabus in a case study format, offer insights, and discuss ongoing resarch. It will include reflective consideration of the program, based on insights offered by instructors, students, graduates and members of the architectural profession. Of particular interest are the close relationships between the functioning of the program and the profession, due to the ongoing work experience of the students. Most instructors are experienced professionals, not academics. Some students already have decades of experience in architect's offices, and some have substantial experience in other aspects of creating or managing the built environment, so the studio structure is inherently multidisciplinary. This research is important, as Syllabus represents an alternative way of delivering architectural education, notably for people who are unable to undertake a more traditional university program due to limitations of money, time or other circumstances. It allows graduates to immediately establish themselves, and as it is ingrained in the RAIC's structure, graduates become a part of a vast network of members. As interest in apprenticeship-based education and experiential-learning is increasing, this session will showcase the feasibility of the supported-apprenticeship approach. This research will explore RAIC Syllabus, and suggest how policy makers can implement more apprentice-style learning in architectural education. Keywords: architectural education, apprenticeship
Coalition building in architectural pedagogy: preparing students for a changing world
* Olivier Vallerand, Arizona State University, United States
Diverse design teams make for more inclusive, but also more innovative, design solutions (Page, 2007). This diversity comes from both diverse professional backgrounds and diverse gender, race, ethnicity, class, dis/abled, and sexual identities. This paper examines how pedagogical approaches that use coalition building and knowledge translation between disciplines can foreground implicit biases impacting architectural practice and education. Based on analyses of courses in two universities and interviews with educators in architecture, interior design, and planning based in North America, Europe, and Australia, I discuss how bringing together students from diverse disciplines can help them acknowledge the biases present in each discipline by highlighting how such biases often manifest themselves in different ways between disciplines. Such discussions allow students to understand the impact of biases, but also to think about tools to acknowledge and challenge inequity in the design of the built environment and in the design professions themselves. Furthermore, in addition to students working together and preparing for more collaborative and inclusive practices, cross-disciplinary collaboration between teachers can also create opportunities for coalition building, particularly in contexts where a limited number of faculty are explicitly discussing race, gender, disability, class, sexuality, or ethnicity in their teaching. Faculty members with diverse individual self-identifications can multiply their impact by working together to tackle the intersecting ways in which minoritized experiences are pushed aside from mainstream architecture discourses and education. They can also foreground their combined experiences as positive role models to create a constructive learning environments to address these issues. The examples discussed will highlight the disruptive and subversive potential of cross-disciplinary practices in architecture, challenging the generalist and universalizing discourses that still sustain much of architectural education.
On the person and the milieu: A communicational model for thinking the political nature of architectonic articulation
* Michael Doyle, Université Laval, Canada
What kind of model would be adequate for architecture to think and transform the world today? Humanity has become a natural force that is both soft (informational) and hard (energetic). Our instruments no longer simply represent the world to us, but actively realize it.1 This troubles the dualisms (contingency/necessity, language/mathematics, qualitative/quantitative) by which the sciences today distinguish themselves. Architecture as a civic art has, since antiquity, looked to artefacts in the world as a source of models to imitatemodels that mediate a relationship to something greater, which could not be exhaustively determined.2 The articulation of the world is political, which testifies to the important role architecture plays in understanding, preserving and challenging models. Any model of the world that incorporates the human, Arendt reminds us, becomes anti-political when its ultimate goal is coercion and control.3 This remark seems all the more pertinent today as the ability to sense, correlate, pre-empt and influence behaviours and psychological states finds itself at the heart of a new algorithmic governance powered by big data,4 where resulting statistical correlational evidence serves to orient design decisions or policy-making.5 With regard to these contemporary challenges, this communication will reflect upon a model of people and environments. It will do so in particular by picking up what appears to be a promising mistranslation of these terms into French as personne and milieu. If people implies a collective of individuals, the word person finds its origins in the mask that one adopts in public speech. The milieu is an in-between place, implying that it is not geometrical (an environment) but rather topological and more abstract.6 A model of the personnemilieu would be a communicational one that is natural, logical, mimetic, rhetorical, soft and hard.7 This communication will examine what such a model could offer to an architecture concerned with person and milieu in the 21st century.
* Ashraf Salama, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom