Form and configuration, as the universal language in teaching urban morphology theory and practice

Lovra, Éva and Bereczki, Zoltán; (2022) Form and configuration, as the universal language in teaching urban morphology theory and practice. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1464-1471. ISBN 9781914241161

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The Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Debrecen fosters the Urban Systems Engineering MSc programme. The English language teaching programme has started in 2019/2020, tailored to the complex requirements of contemporary urban planning and beyond. The participating students came from different parts of the globe (Africa, Asia, South America, Europe) with mixed educational training backgrounds. Although we consider the urban form and its configuration as a universal language of urbanism and for understanding the urban environment, working with such a colourful group of young professionals has been challenging and rewarding at the same time. The current study introduces the challenges we faced during the theoretical lectures, practical fieldwork and projects of our classes: Urban Architecture, Urban Morphology and Urban Renewal Processes. As a summary, the paper highlights the main lessons learned by reviewing the courses' challenges. We discuss the teaching methods, both traditional and experimental, together with the adaptation of analyses of urban form and configurations, and the supervision tactics in the projects dedicated to Urban Architecture. Our students take part in talent fostering programmes beyond the framework of the official curricula under our mentorship. The results are inspirational and open new horizons on both sides – the next step is for some of our students to continue the academic path, namely doctoral studies under our supervision, choosing urban morphology and Space Syntax related topics.

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