EMBEDDING THE INTERNATIONAL DIMENSION INTO SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE’S CURRICULUM AND PROGRAMS
Helwan University, Faculty of Fine Arts (EGYPT)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Internationalisation is one of the major powers impacting higher education as it changes to meet the challenges of the 21st century. While the term sustainability succeeded to embed itself in almost all aspects of higher education programs, sustainability in the built environment still calls for a special global attention. It is an education that is supposed to combine a focus on social, cultural, economic and environmental traits in both the curriculum and the learning experiences provided to students. Accordingly, a re-orientation of sustainability education must be entreated. Such re-orientation must involve assessing existing sustainable architecture curriculums against qualities/abilities in the students, while measuring indicators that regulate access to the profession, nurturing the values of sustainability in the training and practice of architecture. Unfortunately, at an international level, several pedagogical barriers delay the effective promotion of the internationalisation of sustainable design in higher education curriculum such as the flexibility of approach due to reasons which include cultural choice, tradition, and local requirements. An international examination, however, indicates that the implementation of sustainable environmental design in accreditation, regulatory bodies and qualification criteria sits at the core of the present and future agenda of many academic architectural institutes. This is mostly vital in non-sustainable societies such as those of the developing countries, whose culture does not encourage public environmental awareness.
The principal goal of this paper is to critically reflect upon the potential benefits and limitations of the internationalisation of architectural institutes teaching sustainable design. The first half of the paper focuses on pedagogical strategies needed to reframe sustainable architecture programs in order to introduce the international dimension to its students. While in the second half of the study, the author presents a number of attempts made by regional and international architectural organizations in transforming and internationalizing sustainable architecture’s higher education systems worldwide. The implications for following benchmarking, accreditation and qualification criteria established by national and international regulatory bodies are also examined.
Keywords: Internationalisation, sustainable design, architectural curriculums.