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Delivering integrated engineering and architectural design education

Bradley, Fiona and Angus, Michael (2009) Delivering integrated engineering and architectural design education. In: Fifth International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century (CITC-V): Collaboration and Integration in Engineering, Management and Technology, 2009-05-20 - 2009-05-22.

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Abstract

The relationship between the engineer and the architect remains the most significant association in the architectural design process and realisation of the built form. In architectural education, the architectural design task is set to establish certain specific learning outcomes. However, the overall aspiration remains to establish holistic design capability. The writers have prepared and delivered an integrated educational programme that encourages the development of holistic thinking, across specifically the class subject areas of Building Technology and the Architectural Design Studio, within the BSc in Architectural Studies (Hons.) degree and within the multi-disciplinary projects undertaken by students studying for the Building Design Engineering (Hons) degree. An integrated curriculum is fraught with issues of delivery and content. It must also be tested against contemporaneous issues which can impact negatively on this aspiration and can cause the disintegration of holistic design capabilities. For instance, continuous advances in Computer Aided Design representation skills allow the student to present to a very high degree of sophistication which can sometimes mask their minimal understanding of basic structural or construction processes. Other contemporaneous issues however such as sustainable design do present an opportunity to reinvigorate the relationship between the disciplines. The writers maintain that the two professions, engineering and architecture, need to persist in identifying shared common ground in times of technological and environmental change. The paper proposes to present case studies as evidence of the writers' attempts to improve the mutual understanding and respect between the engineer and architect.