25 Years of shaping future architects and architecture - The evolution of a sustainable building curriculum
Paper in proceedings, 2015
In order to approach an architecture beyond green, the architect’s role and knowledge base has been challenged during the last decades. How far have we come with the education of future generations of architects? The aim is to discuss the shifting paradigm for architectural education towards an integration of sustainability aspects. By looking back 25 years, we examine the development of the sustainable building curriculum at the Department of Architecture, Chalmers, Sweden. The story is told by staff, i.e. teachers and researchers involved to a varying degree in the development of the curriculum. Document studies and information searches has been carried out together with a focus group meeting. Based on four courses the discussion revolves around the extent of the curriculum, learning progressions, and collaboration with other disciplines and outside academia. The sustainable curriculum on the Masters’ level is highly attractive for international students. Participation in the international student competition Solar Decathlon shaped a new generation of attractive architects. In order to keep up with knowledge development, integration of different disciplines and stakeholder groups from the construction sector is necessary as well as further education of the teachers. Improved cooperation with other universities, nationally and internationally, could support a better integration of the sustainability curriculum. Finally, evolution is a long-term process, it takes time to shape architects and our future built environment in a sustainable way. Important factors for success are integration, collaboration, continuity, progression, and enthusiasm!