TEXTS ON PEDAGOGY



ON THE PEDAGOGY OF THE ARCHITECTURAL AND URBAN PROJECT

 

About the Pedagogical objectives:

Architecture degree studies would have as educational objective the architect’s training as professional to creatively intervene in the human environment.

The concept of creativity arises from its broader concept, from that referring to the interpretation of the pre-existent, researching its adaptation to contemporary, socio-cultural conditions, up to the invention of space and urban or architectural form in the complex portfolio of environmental, technological, sociological, cultural and economic circumstances.

This pedagogical goal is set out for the Bachelor’s degree, from the claiming of the essentials to maintain on the professional role. The Polytechnic feature of this training, which lies behind the Spanish professional and of it’s eminently generalist training and the role of various disciplines coordinator, disciplines that relate to the intervention on the urban or natural environment.

From these aspects the Study Programs must leave, in the curriculum for the degree, the claims of specialised training in technical or humanistic material to capitalize human resources and materials in the optimization of school time and the student work, for a harmonious coordination with the training process.

The architect’s training core is the design or projection practice on different scales, from the geographic until the detailed urban and architectural equipment design.

On the design or projection practice should therefore be structured the propaedeutics and technical blocks subjects advanced in the Royal Decree 1393 / 2007. The design practice is therefore an anticipatory experience of that which will broadly define the graduate’s professional practice. The projection or design practice should start at all scales, bypassing the repertoire pedagogy and increasing its interdisciplinary complexity and contextualization with the environment, as the programmed studies progress, for entering the PFC as a natural transition from an exercised design practice of growing complexity to a project understood as a corollary of the studies carried on, and sufficient anticipation for the professional exercise.

 

Pedagogy offers particularly useful methodologies for the Degree in Architecture studies.

Deductive methodologies that seek to "teach" students with the transmission of knowledge, in one direction, from the educator to the student, through instruments such as the lectures, bibliographies dictation, etc., should be managed prudently as they inevitably involve more or less ideological loads and set students into a very passive role.

Inductive methodologies dealing with the student "learning", and do so by inducing from the practice the knowledge acquired, are particularly effective for the student’s experience on certain codes of practices to incorporate to his/her curricular domain. Students learn to catalogue heritage, to order domestic, urban, and other spaces, to solve future professional repertory elements and issues. This is necessary and appropriate.

However, the breadth and complexity of the domain in which the Architect’s professional practice participates makes it unfeasible and inconvenient to pretend that the teaching and learning will cover and anticipate all the theoretical knowledge and all the repertoire of technical situations, formal, on space, humanistic, etc., to which the professional will face.

The main objective of the architect’s degree studies should seek to educate or form the student to intervene as creator in the human environment, as we have said.

This objective is reachable pedagogically if what is intended is for the student, assisted by the teaching staff, to form its own response mode to stimuli that require it, as a professional, i.e., on the one hand to learn how to learn, and on the other hand, to customize a “construct” or how to proceed method proper for each different case even if the context is very large and different the requirements of each case.

It is about, therefore, on one hand abdicating the fallacy of teaching the student how to solve all the possible structural, or facilities problems, not only contemporary but presumed in a near future, since that claim must be the objective of postgraduate and specialisation courses.

On the contrary, the Spanish architect polytechnic profile must defend itself on the student’s ability to understand different disciplines essential concepts (deductive methodologies), and a general evaluation ability of possible responses to technical-humanistic situations emulated by a previously dimensioned process (inductive methodologies), that can and must be set up in different scales. These deductive and inductive methodologies must be completed with works of expertise on aspects beyond disciplinary.

These works of expertise must be really relevant, recommended in a very small number throughout the career (one per year), but necessarily rigorous in its transversal ways and its relationship with reality. Expertise works are essential so that the student is formed, and builds his/her own behavior profile to be under different situations which, as we have said, his/her professional live may introduce.

In the Schools of Architecture Study Programs, human resources, and materials must prevail the optimization of the architect’s formation as a valid speaker for the multidisciplinary concurrency in an architectural or urban project; and dosage the discipline’ specialization, especially in the Technical Block, to precise works that address prior to the demand of results, to the formation component these expertise areas produce.

Its recommended, for the development of the different Study Programs that Schools optimize the departmental structure of analogous content in the surrounding university centers. So to retrieve the very concept of the structure, like the departmental implanted in the Spanish University, the school curriculum should increase qualitatively and quantitatively participation of teachers and students in the universities pedagogy debate.

Three blocks described in the Royal Decree 1393 / 2007, propaedeutics block, technical block and design block, can be transversal through the three domains that qualify, from this standpoint, the management of different subjects and their operational quality relative weights in a pedagogical process as the one described above.
The first domain would be the Instrumental Domain, comprising the Human Sciences that provide the interpretive keys on the development of men’s dwelling (philosophy, sociology, psychology, anthropology, geography, economics, architectural theory and critics and art in general).

The second domain, the Instrumental Domain comprises the exact sciences of formal and logical models (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, etc.) and the exploring and formal-space representation Instrumental techniques (Drafting, representation systems for graphical and spatial construction, models, etc.)

The third domain being the Constructive Domain, which includes specific building construction’s technical and applied sciences, manufacture of pieces and elements that make possible the space’s materialization and the habitable form on various scales through the constructive synthesis and adaptation to environmental schemes. These skills include the services’ technical support systems (facilities, equipment, energy, transport, etc.).

Study programs must integrate contemporary knowledge sources essential for adapting to environmental and sociological contexts, of growing participation in the design practice, such as Ecology, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Philosophy, Physics, Biology, etc.

Being the design practice the raison d’être for the Degree in Architecture studies, all disciplines must be coordinated with it, essentially the practical exercises. This entails programming the design practice throughout the career as a continuous experience without a continuity solution, surpassing the concept of design-subject-course level. This dynamic objective, consensual from a reasonable level, will be the framework for technical subjects and their practical exercises, where overcoming programs with linear logics for subjects that exceed a normal course (quarter) is recommended, so as it is recommended for the design practice, the increase of conditions and objectives complexity according to the curriculum so that concurrent disciplines have the same procedure, offering from the first course all the syllabus at an affordable level for the students of that step, to be revised with analogous growing complexity as the school curriculum progresses.

To prioritize the design practice in the general program is encouraged, to do it during the students’ busy time, implying teaching and learning subjects that coincide in the project.

The excessive specialization of the teaching staff is discouraged, in none of the action confines, from the urban area, passing through the territory of the architecture and up to the scale of the equipment. Developing the teaching staff’s practice on the project concurrent subjects on the design practice, as tutors of greater competence in their own subject or discipline is convenient.

This model is supported in the Design Workshop, as an essential space in the training process, and in the active theory-critics participation of all subjects taught in the curriculum teaching staff. The current teachers of architectural and urban planning projects will be supported from the remaining disciplines by their practical exercises, and theory critics presence in the classroom on the students’ design practice.






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