Amalgamating sustainable design strategies into architectural curricula

Elnokaly, Amira and Elseragy, Ahmed (2009) Amalgamating sustainable design strategies into architectural curricula. The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 6 (1). pp. 103-134. ISSN 1832-2077

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Abstract

In the era of climate change, rising sea levels, the hole in the ozone layer and current food
crisis, sustainability is no longer a matter of choice; it is a must. While the term sustainability manages
to embed itself in all aspects of contemporary life, sustainability in the built environment requires
special attention. Designs created by architects and planners play a fundamental part in shaping the
way we live, behave and interact with our surroundings. Smith (2001) argued that instilling sustainable
design in curricula at schools of architecture is a significant method of encouraging sustainable architectural
design in practice. This is particularly important in non-sustainable societies such as those
of the Middle East. For these reasons, this study aims at exploring ‘sustainability strategies,’ as they
may be described, adopted in different schools of architecture. The research surveys architectural
curricula at different Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) exempted schools of Architecture, at
part 1 and 2 levels. Meanwhile, it also observes the contradiction and difficulties of teaching sustainable
architectural design in Egyptian and Middle Eastern societies, whose cultural fabric does not encourage
environmental awareness. Finally, the study attempts to investigate, in an increased level of detail,
how sustainable design education fits into the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula of the Architectural
Engineering and Environmental Design Department (AEED) at the Arab Academy for Science,
Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) in Alexandria, Egypt. The paper concludes that the
proper application of sustainable design strategies at early stages of architecture education has developed
architects with sturdy understanding of their environment, climate and local identity, which
can never happen if this is addressed in postgraduate studies or at later stages of the Architecture
career.

Keywords:Architectural Education, Sustainable Design, Architectural Curricula, Environmental Awareness, Life Projects, bmjconvert
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:8491
Deposited On:28 Mar 2013 20:14

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