Integrating sustainability principles into architectural design studio

Mohamed, Kamal Eldin
Architectural education prepares the students for their professional lives by teaching them design skills and technical knowledge. The design studio is a special course within the architectural curriculum, while design itself is a structured process or a tactical guideline to accomplish a unique expectation of a product. On the other hand, the concept of sustainability in design is meant to ensure that the product of the design is in harmony with human and nature, by taking into consideration the three aspects of sustainability, i.e. environmental, social and economic. The objective of this research was to integrate sustainability principles into the architectural design studio in order to train future architects who will be able to design sustainable buildings. The study aimed to create an integration method that could be validated through the junior students’ work in the innovative Sustainable Architecture Design Studio at Izmir Institute of Technology. Three experimental sustainable architecture studios were executed consecutively and the pedagogy and the teaching method were modified after each execution to respond to the previous experimental recommendations. The impact of the pedagogy on the students’ ability to integrate the sustainable design principles into their projects were measured through the evaluation tools formulated for this purpose by the instructors. Further, the students’ feedback through course evaluation, questionnaire and colloquium at the end of each term was used to assess and revise this method. Furthermore, the impact of this training on the professional life of the students who had taken one or more of these design studios were also tested through the post course interviews’ feedback. The findings of this research demonstrated that the innovative studio pedagogy and teaching method were successful in integrating sustainability design elements into design studio projects, and the level of sustainable elements integration was 68%. The research recommended further improvement to the studio pedagogy and teaching method as well as emphasizing the importance of embedding sustainable design in the architecture curriculum


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Citation Formats
K. E. Mohamed, “Integrating sustainability principles into architectural design studio,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2018.