University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture (SLOVENIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 7476-7484
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.0634
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In today’s rapid globalization, efficient collaboration between global professionals will become increasingly crucial to successful project delivery. The article focuses on project based learning and virtual collaboration between different professionals from all around the world. All presented courses are based on Stanford University’s Project Based Learning (PBL) Lab’s award-winning course titled Computer Integrated Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC), lead by prof.dr. Renate Fruchter.

The main aim is to explore new ways of teaching architecture and urban design by using innovative methods and new technologies. The main problem discussed in this article is the lack of work on real-life projects while studying architecture and urban design. Moreover, we can notice also the shortage in long-distance and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Case studies presented in this article were done at University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture in school years 2012/2013 and 2014/2015. The evaluation of the courses is based on personal experiences and observation, and semi-structured interviews between participants at the end of the course.

The article presents three case studies:
• GUDC 2012-2013 – Global Urban Design Class: The Global urban design class brought together students from Stanford University and University of Ljubljana (architect, urban planners, economists, engineers). It challenged students to explore the complex and crucial processes of urban design that take place before the building is ever designed. Students from different continents with different backgrounds, knowledge and education formed global design teams and became immersed in an urban site they have never visited before.
• GUDP 2014-2015 – Global Urban Design Program: The Global urban design program was created on experiences of GUDC project. The program had following stages:
(1) Teams meet with clients to set up research objective.
(2) Students conducted preliminary research based on the urban challenge.
(3) Teams presented their research findings to clients.
(4) Students began applying research principles to specific design problem.
(5) Students worked on the conceptual design for their proposed solution.
(6) Students worked on the design development for their proposed solution.
(7) Teams presented their proposed solution to the clients.
• ARCHLAB 2014-2015 – Architectural Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Project ArchLab connects students of different professions dealing with architectural projects on one side and experts from practice on another side. Through working on real-life projects student prepare themselves for their future careers.

The main idea of ArchLab is to combine design studio and research work in one, unique course, and in general it has three main stages:
(1) Find a problem.
(2) Solve a problem and make a project.
(3) Sell a project.

In the discussion part we will present the value of working on real-life projects, value of project-based learning, interdisciplinary, long-distance and international collaboration for architecture and urban design. Based on presented case studies and analysis the article proposes new approaches/methods for teaching architecture and urban design. The conclusion of this paper offers guidelines for future development of presented educational programs (GUDP and ARCHLAB) and offers also the options of involving new types of learning methods in traditional school systems.
Interdisciplinary collaboration, virtual collaboration, project based learning, innovation, technology, research projects, architecture, urban design.