Illinois Institute of Technology (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 3804-3813
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
This paper introduces an innovative and useful approach to the education of the architect/engineer through a multi-disciplinary design studio. It is the belief of the authors that both of the architectural and engineering professions draw from collaborative efforts between them, in particular when advanced technology comes into play. For the last five years the first author has led the instruction of such studio.

The goal of the IPRO (Interdisciplinary Professional) research and design studio is to establish an energy-based architectural education. By having students from architecture and engineering in the same class, greater interaction of knowledge and input is achieved which proves to be extremely valuable to the eventual success of the studio.

The studio focuses on a specific project, but in an investigative and experimental manner. For one semester, the studio handles and proposes design/research-based solutions for a university campus of a medium size, located in Dubai, UAE, at the time was under design in the College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The class is divided into working groups; each group tackles a separate problem and develops energy conscious concepts for the design taking into consideration BIPV, wind energy, and other applicable technologies. Each group surveys and conducts extensive research, on the one hand, on state of the art of applicable technologies, and on the other hand, on traditional architecture that is deeply rooted in the region environment, culture, and religion. Experts in the field, along with specialized professors are regularly invited to give the class highly focused presentations, and to answer students' questions.

The paper gives a detailed encounter of the development of such studio elaborate examples of the design process. The end result of each project consists of a cutting – edge and innovative architectural and engineering solutions, which will help provide insights into methods for integrating environmental concerns into the architectural/engineering design process

The participants in the studio include facilitators, students and invited experts. The cultural and professional backgrounds of these participants are diverse. At times, participant involvement is geographically remote. Critical to the success of studio, therefore, is a well-designed system of communication for course content and dialog between participants working collaboratively. The communication system must be both simple to use and able to accommodate complex exchanges. Web-based platforms offer tools most conducive to such communications. This paper will detail the use of web-based platforms in support of the studio research/ design.

Though the focus of the studio is the integration of energy-based solutions with architecture, this paper will also provide a framework that can be extended to cover areas beyond a focus on environmental concerns. It will demonstrate how relevant digital technologies coupled with web-based platforms can provide the structure for a global or universal studio, one that is multi-disciplinary, collaborative, and is inclusive of remote participants.

collaborative approach, architectural/engineering research, design process, energy.