American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 1338-1344
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
The architectural curriculum of today still resembles that of a curriculum established in the 1950's. Technological innovation, while having a superficial affect on the modern education of an architect, has not been fully incorporated into an antiquated pedagogy. Schools of architecture continually utilize digital tools for innovative purposes on an individual level but rarely incorporate these tools as part of curricular development. Digital tools and methodologies – many of which are borrowed from outside fields – are generally explored by students, teachers with an interest, or recent graduates who have newly entered academia within a curriculum that does not recognize the rapid change the profession of architecture has undergone toward the end of the 20th century. Computer-generated design, digital fabrication, Building Information Modeling, computer simulations and sustainability are but a few of the major innovations that have redefined architectural practice. These topics should be imbedded into a curriculum for the 21st century, replacing outmoded teaching methodologies put in place in an era prior to the advent of the personal computer and global warming. The shift in ideology should not replace a design education but augment it – making it relevant to issues and practices of the architect in the 21st century.
This paper explores the possibilities of redesigning an architectural curriculum by incorporating contemporary digital tools and ideologies as a driving force behind pedagogical development. Digital tools and sustainability are now inseparable from architecture and should be considered as part of a complete education. Computational tools, computer-aided manufacturing, performance based simulations and sustainable philosophies should be learned in parallel to conventional design methodologies: evolving architectural design and practice. It is the role of academia to begin to educate the architectural designers of the future – ones that utilize and capitalize on the tools of today but even more importantly define or invent the practice of the future. In order to accomplish this the architectural curriculum will have to be reconsidered and refined to include the tools of today and be flexible enough to allow for the tools of tomorrow.
architecture, curriculum, digital design.