Natanian, Jonathan, Or Aleksandrowicz. "Environmental Education of an Architect: The Case of Final-Year Design Studio at the Technion, Israel." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research. 12, 1 (2018): 356-366.
The need to integrate environmental design into the education of architects has been widely recognized in recent years, leading to the development of different pedagogical approaches. While most studies on this challenge are dedicated to the theoretical aspects of creating new pedagogical frameworks, only few examine their implementation in actual student design projects. This paper reports on the integration of environmental concepts in final-year undergraduate student projects at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The design studio followed an iterative approach to the integration of environmental knowledge in design, which meant that the design process progressed through a continuous dialogue between environmental data production and other design considerations. The application of the iterative approach is examined in this paper through four student projects from two consecutive years of teaching, with each case focusing on different stage of the design process. The outcomes of the design studio indicate that the iterative approach has a potential to make environmental design a defining theme in final-year design projects, especially when applied consciously and at well-defined design stages. In addition, the use of quantitative indicators and analytic tools was found to invigorate innovative environmental design strategies. However, preliminary training and theoretical background in environmental design were found to be critical to the students' ability to integrate their body of knowledge effectively and holistically. Based on these outcomes, this paper offers guidelines for future development of environmentally-driven design studios.