Adjusting the curriculum for teaching the basics of architectural design on the basis of future requirements of students in architectural design studios

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Conservation of Historic Buildings and Sites, School of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science & Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, School of Art and Architecture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran.


Architectural education is vital to enable the students to create a three-dimensional space for human activities and providing a better environment for human societies. The process of teaching architectural design is a complex issue according to its content and method. The reason is the wide extent of required theoretical and practical training in various fields of art, science, psychology and engineering besides an attempt to develop the intellectual creativity of students. Although many issues have been discussed about the education of architectural design process in several investigations, but one of the major challenges is the irrevocable training that students need to be familiar with it before entering the architectural design courses. This paper is an attempt to transfer the lessons learned from the authors' long experience in teaching the basics of architectural design, which is actually the alphabets of architectural design. This research aims to look at the project briefs of preparatory courses for architectural design studios in various universities of Iran and world and finally the list of projects in the design studios of authors themselves. Then based on the results of surveys of graduates of this course in their following third or fourth years of study, the prioritization of curriculum concepts will be offered as prerequisite based on the needs of students in their later years of architectural design courses. The results of survey showed that projects based on recognizing the characteristics of form are their first priority. Their next level of interest includes exercises related to getting familiar with the features of space and also the specific practice which was trying to move backward from the architectural product to the design concept in the mind of architect through simplifying the building gradually. The third and fourth level of prioritization belongs to the composition of cylindrical forms and the final project of small-size real design in order. The fifth level of importance depicts the first team-work introductory exercise presented in the beginning of the class with the title of recognition of the existing state and critical analysis of a daily-used object such as their chair, table or class door. The final category is related to the project based on building a conceptual model after watching a movie. The reasons for these results could be classified into two groups. The first is related to the rate of usefulness of these exercises in their future architectural design courses. The second reason could be relevant to the quality of presenting those specific exercises in the studio. Considering all these factors, could reveal that students prefer the projects dealing with training the form, space and their interrelated composition. The next stage emphasizes on projects helping the perception of design process practically. The high interest of students to the form and volumetric composition could be of two reasons as follows: Any education is not given to this matter while it is important in the final judgment. Learning this subject needs long time which makes it necessary in the beginning of architectural design education.


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