Learning from Qatari architecture : impressionistic evaluation and experience based pedagogy

Salama, Ashraf (2007) Learning from Qatari architecture : impressionistic evaluation and experience based pedagogy. In: Towards Solutions for a Liveable Future. School of Architecture & Building, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, Australia, pp. 215-222. ISBN 9780958192538

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Abstract

This paper advocates the integration of research into undergraduate architectural education by arguing for the exposure of students to primary source materials that enable them to get as close as possible to the realities being studied. It introduces a framework within which an impressionistic approach for evaluating the built environment through experiential learning can be incorporated. It argues for exposing students to primary source materials and for educating them about the production of knowledge. The paper outlines an approach for learning from Qatari architecture by conducting procedural evaluation of ten buildings identified based on discussions with students. Findings indicate that students were able to make judgments about the built environment and to give reasons for those judgments. However, students’ analyses reveal shortcomings in their abilities to comment, where= some could not express their concerns verbally while few could not write an understandable reporting statement. Students' feedback on this experiment reveals that this approach helped them recognize what to look for in the building, understand relationships between different design factors, while comprehending the impact of one factor over others. Based on these results the need for incorporating evaluation research through experiential learning into architectural pedagogy is emphasized as an underlying paradigm of architectural science.