04A1 Elaborate teaching and pedagogical methods and strategies assuring the expected learning outcomes for the MEDES Countries

We observed that internationally architectural thinking and creation was undermining the role of Sciences and Humanities, two sectors that had a strong dominance in architectural discourses and the construction of values of architectural creations in the second half of the 20th Century.  Nowadays Architecture is  looking for a place in an environment more compatible with the nature of its own mission, which is to create space. In order to create space Architecture definitely needs  engineering as well as definitely the humanities, while its proper and essential core as cultural activity is the act of creation. This is why Architecture appears increasingly inclined towards the Creative and Performing Disciplines as an expression of this dynamic of change.

The teaching approaches we implement to educate architects are always conditioned by the outcomes we expect to get by implementing them, that is to say the profiles of the graduates we want to get. Since graduates’ profiles are dependent upon complex dynamics, are not stable in time. Changes in the profile certainly affect the way (methods, contents, priorities, pedagogy) we  educate architects in schools of architecture. We cannot teach our students the way we have being taught. This is why the development of educational approaches must follow all significant reconsideration of the expected outcomes.

This working group elaborated proposals for updated and adaptable teaching and learning approaches to the above description of this intellectual outcome. The WG  was structured by academics of the partner institutions with experience in educational issues. It was supported by professionals of the partnership as well as by invited pedagogues to support the formulation of teaching and learning proposals.

In order to test the elaborated proposals for innovative teaching approaches, two students’ workshops were organized. Both of them had as main objective to create a class simulation where teachers and learners collaborated in order to produce educational outcomes related to the analytical work done in the framework of all previous activities linked to the planned intellectual outcomes. After each one of the workshops an evaluation of the results and the implemented educational processes took place in order to formulate the final statements about architectural design education.  They worked as an observatory of students’s behaviors on the implemented teaching approaches and offered interesting insights for testing and evaluation.

The first Intensive workshop used as vehicle for the investigation of the previously elaborated teaching approaches, design themes focusing on innovation looking towards the new technological advances and their efficiency to tackle local environmental and climate issues. The second intensive workshop worked in a reverse order. It used as vehicle architectural design themes focusing on innovative and experimental approaches to local cultural heritage and social problems and inspected how new technologies and environmental issues served creatively the above themes.

In parallel to the above intensive workshops two other intensive staff training programs took place directly related to this intellectual outcome.

Teaching staff in schools of architecture are never trained as educators and they normally teach as they have being taught,  that is to say according to teaching logics, methods and processes developed for different priorities, values and conceptions of architecture and of the conceived at that time profile of the architect. It is extremely important to improve the quality of teaching if we want to improve the quality of teachers especially in this period of crisis where we need to do more with less.

The seminars presented to the trainees the outcomes of the work of the project and introduced them to the learners’ oriented architectural education. In order to be more operational and experimental the seminars took place in parallel with the students workshops giving this way the possibility to have a real class simulation and observation of teachers’ and students’ behavior. The first Pilot intensive training program focused on architectural design education in relation to the technology and environment and the second on architectural design in relation to Culture, Society and Heritage.