Analyze of an educational experience at courses of architecture in first year of education (referring to nature in case of sunflower exercise)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 department of architecture and urban planning, shahid beheshti university, tehran, iran


This written is going to express and analyze an educational experience during first-year of architecture which had been referenced to elements of nature as complete design patterns. The research method is descriptive-analytical and it is operational and based on case study which examined several semesters by different students and different natural elements. The case study, had been done in department of Architecture and Urban planning at Shahid Beheshti University. In case study, the research based on observation and understanding natural elements, study of architecture cases referenced to nature during visiting places and library studying.
In case of sunflower consequence exercise, the process starts from exact observation, deep discovering and complicated origins during hand drawing of the sunflower by first-year architecture students. They compared their finding as drawing by samples of geometry in architecture cases which referenced to sunflower. They have found that the geometry of sunflower has been simplified to some extent to be easy to be used in buildings. Also they said besides the geometry had been simplified, the cases reflected nature reference which was sunflower.
The process was being continued by how the rules and results of discovering could be used to design needs of students in studio.
The students realized that the geometry gained from sunflower has a center oriented property and it has symmetry so it should be used to build something which needs focus on center. The volumes which students have started to build was a hanging ceiling to corridor which ends to their studio. After that choosing material and way of making something by students would be followed. The chosen materials were balsa wood and woolen. The handmade ceiling was built by 11 students. Students studio had 3 ones which were different from each other but each of them refers to sunflower.
In result, it could be said that focus on nature as rich origin to be referenced by architecture students has advantages such as: encourage students to exact observation, approach to intellectual beauty, richness of analyzing, creating entrance to creation, attraction of doing in team-work, entrance to geometry and hand-made in real scale. In other hand, as feedbacks of the case exercise it must be said that such process are suitable to first-year of architecture education and they can cause to express the hidden affordances of students.
The challenges which teachers are encountered by are that guiding students in such process is different and hard to some extent Because the background of students is not adapted to team-work and operational exercise. In other word, the students are not prepared to do observation in exact way to understand nature. In other hand, doing these exercises is time consuming. Also different natural elements differ to each other to understand their hidden geometry.
Finally, it should be said that being in process to find origins of natural creations to create for design needs of first year architecture students is an old and responsive strategy. But, the limitation by such exercises is being surrounded by only form derived from it is not enough useful for architecture students.


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