Integrating Sustainability within Architectural Education in Cairo

Sameh El-Feki, Inji Kenawy
Architectural education has great potential to moving the entire in-dustry towards sustainability within buildings and cities. Having the fundamental knowledge to apply the sustainable strategies can help solving different environmental challenges being faced today. Sus-tainability is then recognized as a core topic in architecture and to re-flect this recognition, it is crucial to integrate it into the architectural education curriculum. Many approaches are used to introduce the concept of sustainability into the architectural programs ranging from integrating the concept into existing modules to adding new mod-ules that are entirely dedicated towards this subject. The design stu-dio is the most dominant module in architectural education having the highest credit hours per week; and being a pool within which all subjects dissolve. The studio is characterized by creating a unique learning environment modelled around a problem solving practice. Introducing sustainability into design studio was then found to be a key potential that enable graduate architects to make sustainable de-cisions within their design process rather than handling it separately. Realizing that potential; architectural educational institutions used different approaches in order to include sustainability within their curricula. This paper sheds lights on the education of sustainability within the architectural curricula in a number of Egyptian universities. It dis-cusses the teaching and learning of sustainable design then, identi-fies and analyses different approaches used in integrating the con-cept of sustainability into the curriculum. Follows, a qualitative anal-ysis takes place from semi structured interview conducted to practi-tioners and educators from various universities in order to stand on methods used to integrate sustainability into their architectural cur-ricula. The findings are to develop recommendations that could help discovering the best practices that could enhance the learning experi-ence for integrating sustainability in design studio modules.

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