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Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2022) | Viewed by 33431

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster, London W1B, UK
Interests: environmental design; natural ventilation and passive cooling; innovative natural cooling methods; sustainability in architecture
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster, London W1B, UK
Interests: the environmental performance of existing buildings; design methodologies for environmental design; the environmental performance of the informal city; future trends of environmental design; the environmental implications of urban density

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the context of the 2018 resurgence of the global movement of Climate Action, architects around the world have taken responsibility for actions against Climate Change and for abiding to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in both practice and education. The various international Architects Climate Action Networks in 2019, followed by the UK manifesto of Architects Declare, underpin a wave of greater awareness, positive action and greater commitment to sustainability in architecture through individual practice as well as policy-based systemic change [1]. Architecture schools around the world have joined this movement and pledged to follow the UN SDGs as part of their curricula. However, the attempt to embed principles of sustainability and environmental design in architectural education is not new, and can be traced back decades, if not centuries or millennia. There is, nevertheless, a genuine concern that the current level of sustainability education provided in the mainstream architectural curricula is no longer sufficient to face the urgent climate challenges [2,3], and that a stronger transdisciplinary approach needs to be followed where architectural students are formed and empowered with a different pedagogical paradigm, better tools and diverse sets of skills.

This Special Issue seeks to examine the barriers and opportunities within the international architectural education scene in shifting values and creating rapid change in curricula and delivery. It is important to acknowledge the evolution of sustainability in architectural education, encompassing multiple practices involving design studios and technical courses, and to identify early efforts and ways we can build up from those legacies. We must avoid the danger of constantly reinventing the wheel and the fallacy of considering sustainability a fringe subject at odds with other drivers of architectural education, traditionally more concerned with aesthetics and representation. Equally, it is important to recognise the emergence of genuine experimentations and unconventional didactic practices which are resulting from better knowledge, greater awareness, more refined analytical tools and, more recently, the new avenues opened by online and digital learning during the pandemic. Hence, this Special Issue welcomes contributions on historic perspectives and evaluations, experimental learning methods, pedagogical theories, current case study practices, and emerging trends in the integration of sustainability in architectural education globally. This Issue will aim to take the pulse and give a snapshot of the various efforts made internationally into enabling climate action through architectural education and the formulation of related new educational paradigms.

References:

  1. Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), 2019. Website online: https://www.architectscan.org/action (Accessed on Jan 2021).
  2. Altomonte, S.; Canguelli, E.; De Herde, A.; Horvath, S.; Lopez De Asian, M.; Riemer, A.; Yannas, S. Education for Sustainable Environmental Design – The EDUCATE Project, 2012. Available online: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331528095_EDUCATION_FOR_SUSTAINABLE_ENVIRONMENTAL_DESIGN_THE_EDUCATE_PROJECT (Accessed on Jan 2021).
  3. Grant, E. J. Mainstreaming environmental education for architects: the need for basic literacies. Buildings and Cities, 1(1), 538–549. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/bc.41.

Dr. Rosa Schiano-Phan
Dr. Gonclaves Joana Carla Soares
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable architecture
  • environmental design
  • architectural education
  • climate change
  • sustainable development goals
  • higher education

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 171 KiB  
Editorial
Sustainability in Architectural Education—Editorial
by Rosa Schiano-Phan and Joana Carla Soares Gonçalves
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10640; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710640 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
In the context of the 2018 resurgence of the global movement of Climate Action, architects around the world have taken responsibility for taking actions against climate change and for adhering to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in both practice and education [...] Read more.
In the context of the 2018 resurgence of the global movement of Climate Action, architects around the world have taken responsibility for taking actions against climate change and for adhering to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in both practice and education [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

32 pages, 13184 KiB  
Article
Proposing a Pedagogical Framework for Integrating Urban Agriculture as a Tool to Achieve Social Sustainability within the Interior Design Studio
by Sarvenaz Pakravan, Shahin Keynoush and Ehsan Daneshyar
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7392; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127392 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2775
Abstract
Evidently, the global population is increasing. A decline in the stock of agricultural land per capita is becoming a global issue. The future agriculture output may need to grow in order to satisfy the future growing demands. Feeding the global population of 9.1 [...] Read more.
Evidently, the global population is increasing. A decline in the stock of agricultural land per capita is becoming a global issue. The future agriculture output may need to grow in order to satisfy the future growing demands. Feeding the global population of 9.1 billion by the year 2050 requires growth in global agriculture output by approximately 60% to 110%. Urban agriculture as an alternative solution can reduce the future burden on agriculture sector. As a response to this issue, the interior architecture design studio-V (INT 401) proposes a futuristic vision which is based on the notion of urban agriculture. This vision requires a pedagogical framework to be defined for the interior design studio-V. The proposed pedagogy consists of the following three notions: (1) residential urban agriculture, (2) context-based and culture-based design approach, and (3) social sustainability. The proposed pedagogy follows a futuristic vision that advocates that future interior spaces and adjacent spaces should be capable of cultivating food. The proposed pedagogy tries to integrate the concept of residential urban agriculture within its core. The context-based and culture-based design approach highlights the importance of considering the local context during the design process. The interior design studio pedagogy should be valued, studied, and reflected in local traditions, practices, and values. The proposed pedagogy is based on the threefold schema of social sustainability that comprises development sustainability, bridge sustainability, and maintenance sustainability. The proposed design studio pedagogy highlights the following three points: (1) defining a vision for the interior design studio; (2) the interior design studio should be responsive to the contemporary and future social, environmental, and economic issues; and (3) the importance of considering the local context and reflecting it within the interior design studio pedagogy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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29 pages, 6582 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Experience of Teaching Life Cycle Assessment and Circular Design to Future Architects: A Learning by Doing Approach in a Design Studio Setting
by Vanessa Gomes, Maristela Gomes da Silva and Doris Catharine Cornelie Knatz Kowaltowski
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7355; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127355 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2931
Abstract
Architects and urbanists help to shape the built environment, which is both highly impactful and indispensable to support the sustainable development of any society. Hence, they must not only have a basic understanding but also be trained to routinely incorporate sustainability checks into [...] Read more.
Architects and urbanists help to shape the built environment, which is both highly impactful and indispensable to support the sustainable development of any society. Hence, they must not only have a basic understanding but also be trained to routinely incorporate sustainability checks into their design practice. Published pedagogical experience with teaching life cycle assessment (LCA) in higher education usually covers students with engineering backgrounds, often at the graduate level. No records of regular courses for architecture and urbanism undergraduates were found. After eight years of teaching, and involving 213 students, this paper shares experience and insights gained in the only undergraduate architecture and urbanism course in Brazil openly dedicated to teaching LCA and circular design metrics within the design studio atmosphere. To encourage and inspire other initiatives, the article emphasizes the last four course offers. The current course design is aligned with recent recommendations and international practice. Still, the total workload is insufficient to adequately tackle complex design objects. Students’ final grades across different years show improvements, but actual knowledge retention evaluation requires some post-course follow-up. We confirmed that undergraduate students can successfully apply LCA during design development with compatible additional effort if equipped with adequate tools. An online calculator was developed and is expected to allow expanded design experimentations in future editions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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28 pages, 7744 KiB  
Article
Pedagogy Pro-Design and Climate Literacy: Teaching Methods and Research Approaches for Sustainable Architecture
by Rosa Schiano-Phan, Joana C. S. Gonçalves and Juan A. Vallejo
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116791 - 1 Jun 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3178
Abstract
There is a genuine concern that the current level of sustainability education provided in the mainstream architectural curricula is no longer sufficient to combat urgent climate challenges, and that a stronger interdisciplinary approach needs to be followed where architectural students are formed and [...] Read more.
There is a genuine concern that the current level of sustainability education provided in the mainstream architectural curricula is no longer sufficient to combat urgent climate challenges, and that a stronger interdisciplinary approach needs to be followed where architectural students are formed and empowered with a different pedagogical paradigm, better tools, and diverse sets of skills. This paper examines the various pedagogical approaches to the teaching and learning of environmental design principles and practice in architectural education with a focus on recurrent methods applied in specialist curricula in the UK. An in-depth analysis of a pedagogical case study based on the eight-year experience of the Architecture and Environmental Design MSc course at the University of Westminster is presented with reference to the pedagogical methods identified in the literature. A reflective exercise based on the specific methods adopted in the course and examples of students’ outputs and experiences allows a critical evaluation of the pedagogical case study. The paper concludes by highlighting the challenges and opportunities of introducing climate literacy at postgraduate level and the benefits of adopting a research-led approach based on collaborations with industry partners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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29 pages, 8473 KiB  
Article
Developing Methodological Framework for Addressing Sustainability and Heritage in Architectural Higher Education—Insights from HERSUS Project
by Aleksandra Đorđević, Aleksandra Milovanović, Milica P. Milojević, Ana Zorić, Mladen Pešić, Jelena Ristić Trajković, Ana Nikezić and Vladan Djokić
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4597; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084597 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2056
Abstract
This paper addresses the challenges of architectural higher education to cope with a state of continuous change within the relationship between heritage and sustainability. The initial assumption is that research activities based on design taxonomies—terms used in architectural discourse of heritage and sustainability—followed [...] Read more.
This paper addresses the challenges of architectural higher education to cope with a state of continuous change within the relationship between heritage and sustainability. The initial assumption is that research activities based on design taxonomies—terms used in architectural discourse of heritage and sustainability—followed by fruitful analysis and discussion can contribute to the advancements in curricula design and development. Accordingly, the paper aims to develop a new methodological framework for addressing sustainability and heritage, enriching curricula design and assessment strategy. Data collection on identification and analysis of terms was carried out within the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership titled Enhancing of Heritage Awareness and Sustainability of Built Environment in Architectural and Urban Design Higher Education (HERSUS). After the process of filtering, interpretation, and comparison of project findings, a three-fold comprehensive analysis was conducted: (a) learning outcome quantitative analysis, (b) cross-cutting analysis of spatial scales and course types, and (c) synthesis. The paper results in the methodological framework that reinforces different pedagogical approaches to heritage and sustainability derived as a result of the applied research process. The main conclusions are concerned with the applicability of the methodological framework, designed for the improvement of existing and development of new comprehensive courses and programme contents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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27 pages, 4965 KiB  
Article
Defining a Pedagogical Framework for Integrating Buildings and Landscapes in Conjunction with Social Sustainability Discourse in the Architecture Graduate Design Studio
by Shahin Keynoush and Ehsan Daneshyar
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4457; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084457 - 8 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3224
Abstract
The primary objective of this research is to define a pedagogy framework for architecture Graduate Design Studio. The proposed pedagogy framework pursues the following three principal objectives: The first objective focuses on buildings and landscapes and the interconnection between them. Such connectivity facilitates [...] Read more.
The primary objective of this research is to define a pedagogy framework for architecture Graduate Design Studio. The proposed pedagogy framework pursues the following three principal objectives: The first objective focuses on buildings and landscapes and the interconnection between them. Such connectivity facilitates a ground for walkability. The second goal is to incorporate green elements within buildings and landscapes with regard to increasing the percentage of available green spaces within contemporary and future cities, which may encourage human respect for nature. The third objective promotes the notion that contemporary and future built environments should be envisioned as environments wherein fresh local food can be cultivated, processed and distributed. It incorporates urban agriculture within buildings and landscapes. The Graduate Studio pedagogy focuses on the concept of social sustainability. The three mentioned objectives of the framework are in line with the core concept of social sustainability, which includes improving the well-being and quality of life of contemporary and future urban dwellers. Overall, the Graduate Studio envisions buildings and landscapes as pedestrian environments, as grounds where green elements are incorporated and local fresh food is cultivated. The mentioned framework has been implemented within the Graduate Studio. Four design project samples are presented as successful precedents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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17 pages, 1105 KiB  
Article
A Survey-Based Study of Students’ Expectations vs. Experience of Sustainability Issues in Architectural Education at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland
by Marcin Brzezicki and Agata Jasiolek
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10960; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910960 - 2 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2539
Abstract
Sustainability is currently one of the biggest concerns in the field of architecture and civil engineering. The presented study elaborates on the students’ expectations vs. experience of sustainable and ecological design in their architectural education. Students were surveyed after the interdisciplinary Hybrid Factory [...] Read more.
Sustainability is currently one of the biggest concerns in the field of architecture and civil engineering. The presented study elaborates on the students’ expectations vs. experience of sustainable and ecological design in their architectural education. Students were surveyed after the interdisciplinary Hybrid Factory Design (HFD) course carried out at the Faculty of Architecture WUST, Poland. Respondents were asked to anonymously fill in a two-part online questionnaire in the last week of the summer semester of the academic year 2020/2021. The questionnaire was composed of 30 compulsory single-choice questions and 8 optional open questions. The single-choice questions were prepared using a five-point Likert scale, ranging from 1 (negative answer) to 5 (positive answer). Additionally, the Expectation Fulfilment Rate (EFR)—an original tool developed by the authors—was used to assess students’ expectations. The conducted survey revealed a significant disproportion between students’ expectations and experience regarding sustainable and ecological design aspects. There are also knowledge gaps in certain areas that should be addressed. Topics related to urban planning, green areas design, renovation and adaptation are not sufficiently represented in the curriculum. Moreover, it is essential to provide students with a broad, cross-disciplinary overview of sustainable architecture to deepen their understanding of different design aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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21 pages, 24552 KiB  
Article
Implementation of the New European Bauhaus Principles as a Context for Teaching Sustainable Architecture
by Kajetan Sadowski
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10715; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910715 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4599
Abstract
Due to the presentation of the European Green Deal (EGD) on 11 December 2019, it is important to introduce a new context for the education of architects corresponding to the objectives set by the European Union. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing [...] Read more.
Due to the presentation of the European Green Deal (EGD) on 11 December 2019, it is important to introduce a new context for the education of architects corresponding to the objectives set by the European Union. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, designing buildings in accordance with the principles of the circular economy, using renewable energy, as well as promoting ecological food and protecting biodiversity. As part of the design course Environmentally Friendly Housing Architecture, inspired by, among others, the design of the New European Bauhaus and the former Bauhaus art school, both of which are compared in the first part of this article, we identify a number of new, assessed design indicators related to the achievement of the above objectives, in line with the trend of sustainable architecture. The indicators are divided into four main categories: energy, environment, indoor climate, and society, where, for example, the environmental category includes the following criteria: embodied energy (MJ/m2), embodied carbon footprint (CO2eq/m2), use of rainwater and gray water (% of demand), use of mains water (% of demand), local production of vegetables and fruit (% of demand). During the design process, changes were made to achieve better indicators, and the final designs were described using radar charts. The paper presents a statistical summary of the achieved values for individual indicators, the progress achieved, exemplary design solutions, and the assessment of the methodology used. The design course Environmentally Friendly Housing Architecture was assessed by the participants by means of a questionnaire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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26 pages, 356 KiB  
Article
Collaborative Learning Experiences in a Changing Environment: Innovative Educational Approaches in Architecture
by Ernesto Antonini, Jacopo Gaspari and Cristina Visconti
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8895; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168895 - 9 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3201
Abstract
The sense of uncertainty and fragility due to the effects and magnitude of global challenges we are facing (from the circumstances of the pandemic to the impacts of climate change) requires—much more than in the past—the capacity to generate a visionary and forefront [...] Read more.
The sense of uncertainty and fragility due to the effects and magnitude of global challenges we are facing (from the circumstances of the pandemic to the impacts of climate change) requires—much more than in the past—the capacity to generate a visionary and forefront design approach in the young generation, with an aim to stimulate their reaction attitude rather than providing consolidated tools from past conditions that no longer exist or will rapidly evolve. Within this general framework, we have investigated the effectiveness and impacts of experienced-based methods of learning and innovative educational tools in architecture that are aimed at shaping expertise that addresses the aspects of environment and climate change in the context of socio-cultural dynamics, real potentialities and constraints, and their transdisciplinary trajectories. We analyzed five international pioneering teaching experiences that provided the opportunity to understand the outcomes of collaborative and experiential learning processes by which the educational activities leverage dialogue between diverse communities (including academia, citizens, policymakers, and practitioners). The study outcomes show that shifting the pedagogical paradigm towards experience-based models can improve the awareness of future practitioners for the climate implications of architectural design, implement their analysis and project skills, and trigger processes of knowledge transfer and co-production at the community level. Experience-based models also allow them to better address the societal and cultural issues involved in decision making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
22 pages, 50221 KiB  
Article
Integrating Water Sensitive Design in the Architectural Design Studio in China: Challenges and Outcomes
by Maycon Sedrez, Jing Xie and Ali Cheshmehzangi
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4853; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094853 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4273
Abstract
Urban areas around the world are increasingly facing environmental challenges such as water scarcity, water pollution, and water-related disasters, which demands sustainable design solutions for cities. Efforts to introduce sustainable methods in architectural education are noteworthy since the early 1990s. However, Water Sensitive [...] Read more.
Urban areas around the world are increasingly facing environmental challenges such as water scarcity, water pollution, and water-related disasters, which demands sustainable design solutions for cities. Efforts to introduce sustainable methods in architectural education are noteworthy since the early 1990s. However, Water Sensitive Design (WSD) has not been fully integrated to architectural education. WSD is an interdisciplinary approach that considers the water cycle as the primary element of design strategies, integrating the site’s ecological and social aspects to structure water management. The main objective of this study is to identify cases introducing WSD in an architecture design studio revealing its pedagogical approaches, comparing and discussing with a WSD-focused design studio. This study adapts on an exploratory and descriptive research, analyzing the literature on the topic of WSD in architectural education and documenting a graduate-level architectural design studio that proposes the development of water-oriented masterplan. The results suggest that WSD, as interdisciplinary method, can be incorporated into the design studio as the topic due to its tangible tools and strategies towards water. It also fits the proposal of a design studio to integrate knowledge from diverse disciplines. This unique study presents a comprehensive WSD introduction in an architectural design case and indicative pedagogical methods, contributing to the development of an approach for future related works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Architectural Education: Legacy and Experimentation)
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