When Practice Dictates Change: A New Framework for Architectural Education

Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Caught in the crossfire of different approaches arising from the digital paradigm , architectural education desperately requires the introduction of a new framework to guide students to legitimate interdisciplinary knowledge, to encourage them to go beyond the borders of conventional design and to act as a meta-designer who is able to bridge the gap between artistic sense and computational techniques. Traditionally, the majority of architectural practitioners have been mere users of computer packages, restrained by the limitations of the software. As a result, apart from concerns such as the Whorfian Effect (Whorf 1956), creation—the kernel of design—has been drastically threatened. On the other hand, software developers are still striving to present up-to-date platforms that are aware of design requirements. This chapter argues firstly that attaining such platforms is nearly impossible. Secondly, it seeks to look at the dilemma of praxis critically by offering a deeper inquiry into stances of programming in architecture. It argues that if practitioners are taught the appropriate tactics of manoeuvring between knowledge frontiers, the scene of design will witness a new collaboration in which not only a more thorough understanding of the design problems will be achieved, but also the process of design will be defined and executed more efficiently.


Architectural education Digital paradigm Computation Tool-making 



I would like to thank Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) and those who contributed to this research as the interviewees. Special thanks to Manchester architecture firms for their help, especially, Sheppard Robson Office, Fairhurst Design Group (FDG), Chapman Taylor Architects , AFL Office and finally, Ian Simpson Architects in Manchester. I would also like to thank Dr. Roland Hudson for his help via email.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and DevelopmentThe University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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