Al-Hagla, Khalid S. "The Role of the Design Studio in Shaping an Architectural Education for Sustainable Development: The Case of Beirut Arab University," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 6, issue 1 (2012).
The level of interest in integrating understanding of sustainability into higher education is steadily growing. This paper investigates the principles of embedding this understanding in architectural pedagogy. It focuses on the role of the design studio as the heart of the architectural education process. It develops an approach that integrates both macro and microscale analysis to investigate the transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary aspects in architectural education. A questionnaire survey was carried out within the Faculty of Architectural Engineering at Beirut Arab University to assess the performance of five related elements: the education location, the curriculum, the external and internal characteristics of the design studio, and, finally, the evaluation process. The findings show lacking of synchronization between different interlocking disciplines and majors at university level. In addition, a clear individualism and a traditional studio culture are witnessed as main obstacles towards achieving cumulative experiences needed for sustainability understandings. Finally, the paper uses these findings to assure the need for a more comprehensive approach that draw the relation between macro- and micro-scale interventions to guarantee a better performance of the transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary aspects in architectural education.