Education of Sustainable Architecture or Sustainable Education of Architecture

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman

2 Lecturer, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman


There is a strong interest to sustainability in contemporary architectural literature. So, a deep rethinking and review seem to be necessary for the sake of purification and improvement of sustainability discourse. In academic scale, there is a duplicated necessity. As education is a momentous field with important influences on professional world of architecture, any misunderstanding about sustainability in architectural education infects architectural activities and built environment. On the contrary, an accurate sense of understanding about sustainability in architecture can help the community toward sustainable development. Unlike traditional Persian architecture, in recent architecture of Iran a type of fake sustainability is usually seen instead of truly authentic accuracy of it. In other words, traditional Persian architecture contain essential and substantial concepts of sustainability tacitly and implicitly, because sustainable architecture essentially has been the natural result of "sustainable wisdom", " sustainable organic life", "ecological sensitivity" and will occur only when a true native tendency toward the soul of sustainability exists in common sense and lifestyle of the community. Some terms like "indigenous knowledge", "local knowledge", "tacit knowing", should not be forgotten, ought to grasp some epistemic bases of sustainable architecture. while contemporary architecture of Iran only contains an extremely quantitative and humble use of sustainability term. This real problem is invested in this paper, tending to some educational strategies toward a justified sustainability in architectural education. So, initially the significant difference of two terms is discussed: "education of sustainable architecture" and "sustainable education of architecture; proving validity and accuracy of the second. In "sustainable education of architecture", some key properties and dimensions within educational strategies and tactics lead the student implicitly to the basic senses of understanding sustainability, sustainable responsibility, and consequently sustainable architecture. Then the true meaning of "sustainable architecture" will be purified from fake suppositions about it. Sustainable architecture is not a "style", not an "option", not a disguise, nor any accidental phenomenon, but is an essential entity living in the soul of ontologic, epistemic and pragmatic characteristics of an architecture. Then, some propositions in a hierarchic set contains three concepts, six strategic attitudes and six educational advice will be presented to make easy earning a true sustainable education of architecture. The concepts are: inclusivity, completeness and unity. These concepts should be the dominant leading regulator of mental space in academic environment, to avoid some syndrome like partialism, sentimentalism, immaturity and dispersion which are frequently negative intervening factor of architectural education. Some of strategies are nativism, inclusivism, contextualism and attention to affordances and basic patterns, balance between architectural intensions and extensions, accordance of logical and intuitional orientations, existed experiences about environment. Educational advice are also based to this concepts and strategies, so as educators can help students to earn themselves true soul of sustainability in mind and action, trending to an authentic sustainable architecture. Furthermore A pluralistic approach is necessary to contain cultural diverse, not to suppose sustainability as a blind formulated mechanism. Accurate attention to significant characteristics of culture, lifestyle, values and climates should be regarded in architectural education.