Architecture education is defined as the amalgamation of art and science. The two distinct domains of the architecture curriculum are the-“profession and discipline” (Andrzej Piotrowski,2001), where the profession sticks with the concerned current structure of the practices and, the discipline implies to the collective body of knowledge. The design studio is a physical environment where students are primarily taught three aspects of design education – a new language, several new skills such as visualization and representation, and architectural thinking (Patience Lamunu Opiyo Lueth,2008). But the environmental approach in traditional practices is missing, and less importance is given to the outside world, thereby cultivating a false sense of practice and providing inadequate training, lacking attraction to the social aspects of design.

“The design education forms the cornerstone of the profession, where the design studio serves as the backbone of the architectural pedagogy” (Ashraf M. Salama and Nicholas Wilkisnon,2007).

The objective is thus to state the need to follow a multi-disciplinary approach in the design-studio, rather than only being concerned about the functional and the technical aspects. Such diversities in pedagogy could break in the traditional concept of a design studio. The need is to recast the pedagogy, replacing the present functional and rational with the “making” and “concerned making” (Mehta, Jaimini, 2006). For improving the quality of education, one needs to understand the diversified needs of the country and character, being conscious of the values, governing life. Architecture education should be based upon a deeper understanding of the complexities of land, its people, their culture and built heritage that has evolved in response to life (Khan, Smita and Habib Khan,2019).

The traditional architecture theory in practice today, is essentially not related to the domain of the environmental behavioral research theory, being substantive rather than being procedural (Ashraf M. Salama, 2015). The pattern being followed in the traditional studio design processes creates a scenario where the students somehow remain being deprived of the freedom to address the responsiveness of the site given to them for their design projects, in terms of the broader perspectives. The institutionalized methods of architectural education promote subjectivity over collaborative processes and community-based learning (Ashraf M. Salama, 2015). To eradicate the issues of indoctrination of architecture students in architecture schools, formulating into language and tactic knowledge, followed in the traditional curriculum, is what the present scenario demands. The collaboration of individual creativity with collective service implies the need for “participatory design approaches”, maintaining a balance between creativity, service, and pragmatics along with engaging in a broad range of social, economic and environmental needs. When it comes to participatory design approaches, the processes involved in the same, cultivate the co-existence of the behavioral approach of the public and the sustainability concern in each stage, resulting-out in the design outcome, addressing the three pillars of a sustainable environment. The need for the present architecture pedagogy is to train students about how to respect the various parameters in context to the respective site and to generate a completely sustained product.

An approach to building the environment as an instrumental force for social-economic and environmental justice connects the design education and professional practice with the skills to address global issues (David Hill,2019). To prepare the students for practice, not only for competence but also for civic management. Connecting the design process to global issues (David Hill,2019), further establishes the public value of design to a broader audience and provides designers with a larger platform to affirm the value of all the design disciplines (Nadia M. Anderson, 2014). This transmissive module of education is to foster a critical and holistic approach with social constructivism. Idea is to be an “active constructor” and not a “passive absorber” (David C. Berliner,1996). The role of architecture education should be to train young minds, making them aware of their roots and being conscious of the vastness of the society they need to serve.

A lack in the social context of architecture education results in the lack of concern in environmental sustainability aspects. Evolution demands a new approach, redesigning of the practice followed in studios for the betterment of the profession. The participatory design approach opens to a wide range of non-materialized ideas that could be used out in driving the interventions. Process of giving a form to the social life of a community. Problems require understanding, possibly through actual hands-on learning (Khan, Smita and Habib Khan,2019). So, students at the institutional level must be taught about how to follow a multidisciplinary approach towards sustainable architecture. Social-economic sustainability should properly be taken care of. The proposed designs should fulfill the stability aspects in terms of the materials used, ideas incorporated, etc. Collaborative approaches provide a practical solution for utilizing the effective principles of sustainable development on both environmental and architectural aspects. Good designs require attention and sensitivity to social, economic, political, cultural and behavioral issues (Lisa M. Abendroth, Bryan Bell, 2018). The need is to prepare students for the outside world to tackle the confusion in the application of what is being learned in the design discipline into the practical world, keeping the approach to be stable & sustainable in a broader aspect.

A new goal of architecture education should be to understand the context, respecting the diverse needs serving the larger section of people and making them aware of the service of architecture as a profession. Together we can understand the genesis of plague and work towards a meaningful architectural design education (Khan, Smita and Habib Khan,2019).


NOOREEN AFZA is a student of Bachelors in architecture who aspires to be privileged enough to influence the millions of minds out there, positively. She loves architecture as much as she respects the words winding-up its whole essence together. Her character is defined by being bold and influential through her writings.

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& Design Awards 2020

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30th April 2020

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