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Student perceptions of the architectural design jury

Salama, Ashraf M and El-Attar, M. S. (2010) Student perceptions of the architectural design jury. ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 4 (2-3). pp. 174-200. ISSN 1938-7806

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The jury system is a traditional architectural learning assessment tool. Since the early years of the 20th century, it has been imported to schools of architecture throughout the Arab world by foreign expatriates and native scholars educated in the United States and Europe. The system has been well documented through the study of its evolution, the analysis of its processes, and also was criticized heavily in the literature of the Western world. However, there appears to be a severe lack of research and documentation in this area in the Arab world. The purpose of this paper is to fill this informational gap and attempts to answer the questions of how jury practices are performed in the context of the Arab world and how students perceive the jury system and its underlying practices in such a context? In an attempt to answer these questions, a multilayered methodology is deployed. First, to induct generalities between the two contexts (Western and Arab) an extensive literature review is conducted on the educational value of the jury system and the embedded communication processes. Second, to deduct particularities concerning specific contexts of the Arab world, two empirical studies are carried out with the intention of investigating jury practices and student perceptions within the context of selected cases from Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The understanding and portrayal of the Jury system and its associated problems contribute to the development of a set of recommendations to improve the performance of the Jury and its acceptability to architecture students.