DESIGN STUDIOS AS ACADEMIC TESTLAB FOR TECHNICAL INNOVATION AND FIT-FOR-REALITY TRAINING

DOI: 10.18503/2309-7434-2019-1(13)-39-50

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Authors:

ULRICH PONT, MSc., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria

SIGRUN SWOBODA, MSc., Assistant Professor, Research Unit of Digital Architecture and Planning, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria

ANDREAS JONAS, MSc., Assistant Professor, Research Unit of Digital Architecture and Planning, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria

ARDESHIR MAHDAVI, Univ. Prof. Dr., Full Professor, Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria

Abstract: Design studio courses constitute a predominant part in most curricula of architectural schools. Regularly the major intention is to offer students a sandbox training environment for development of new ideas and exploration of architectural morphologies. However, often these courses do suggest building designs which might be of high degree of creativity, but do not necessarily reach the level of detail that would be required for technical realization of the buildings or obtaining building permits. That can be considered as a severe educational shortcoming, given that these skills are regularly expected by alumni of architectural schools in their first jobs and starting years of practice. Moreover, if this is not properly trained in university courses, many practitioners see graduates of architectural schools more as apprentices than as employees or colleagues, which also is represented in the little willingness to pay respectable wages. Another aspect is that traditional design studios often focus on one task in one scale that has to be conducted by a single student. This does not represent reality anymore, where projects larger than single family homes in between only seldomly are worked upon by single persons. The more common principle of today’s building planning is teamwork in design groups, which often have a strong interdisciplinary character. This might have to do with the transition of building planning and delivery of recent years: Increasing time- and cost-pressure and tightening requirements require other forms of architecture design production. The wish to integrate so called “integrative” design studios can be observed internationally in academic context, however, only few successful integration examples are reported about. The present contribution illustrates efforts conducted at TU Wien, Vienna, Austria, to bridge the gap between pure designing and technical implementation aspects. Thereby the didactic concept and principal scheduling of specific design studios aiming to bridge this gap is highlighted, as well as the deployed interdisciplinary collaboration within these courses.

Key words: design studios, building science, collaborative efforts, building permits, technical implementation.

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