Architectural Design - Engaging Technology

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The practice of architecture is a complex undertaking drawing on knowledge of and skills in history, theory, environment, human behaviour, services, structure, materials, construction, communications, law, management and more. Professional accreditation requires that all architecture programs recognize and address this diversity of topics within their curricula although the order, emphasis and content detail may vary widely between programs. However this material is dealt with, it is in the design studio that, ideally, all will be manifest in the work students present. Assuming a sound knowledge and understanding of architectural technologies are essential to the creation of successful architecture it is suggested that these are seldom sufficiently acknowledged in the design studio. Based on survey data from University of New South Wales (UNSW) architecture graduands, the first part of the paper reviews factors perceive by students to be significant to their performance in the design studio. In particular it draws attention to the role of the tutor and a perceived lack of recognition given to architectural technologies. In the context of the survey findings, the second part of the paper reflects on two specialist elective technology/design courses available to senior students. The projects are specifically designed to achieve a greater recognition of structural and construction issues in both the design outcome and course assessment.
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Murray, Peter
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