Architectural design pedagogy stands on the twin pillars of expression and defamiliarization. Students, immersed in this studio-based culture, develop a subjective artistic consciousness aligned with the various evolving artistic tendencies within the profession. Technical considerations – those dealing primarily with structure, enclosure, energy/environment, and life safety – are introduced within separate courses, and integrated with design at some point in the curriculum through comprehensive design exercises.
I am not challenging the two-sided nature of architecture – its peculiar status as an "art" and a "science." However, the teaching of architecture has not caught up with radical changes in building technology that call into question the strategy of applying "technology" to designs that have been conceived and developed largely on the basis of subjective expressive goals.
Architectural pedagogy prior to the twentieth century could "separate" building technology from design largely because building technology was firmly embedded within the various design vocabularies that formed the basis of an architect's education. This is no longer the case: increasingly abstract building design objectives, on the one hand, and increasingly subtle technical requirements, on the other hand, have created a perfect storm of building failure in practice – a failure rooted in current pedagogical assumptions about design and technology.
|Keywords:||Design, Pedagogy, Technology|
Professor, Department of Architecture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA