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Avoiding Graphic Illiteracy: Incorporating

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Architectural Engineering Education II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.246.1 - 10.246.7



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Paper Authors

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Eric Hansberry

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Guido Lopez

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Avoiding Graphic Illiteracy: Incorporating Architectural Graphics into the Engineering Curriculum

Eric W. Hansberry, Associate Professor, And Guido W. Lopez, Assistant Professor

Northeastern University School of Engineering Technology 360 Huntington Avenue, Room 120 SN Boston, MA 02115-5096 Tel: (617) 373-4852, Fax: (617) 373-2501 e-mail:


Major problems stem from graphic illiteracy resulting in interdisciplinary communication breakdown in the engineering field. Factors that distinguish the exceptional engineer include the ability to make, read, and interpret plans; effective interdisciplinary communication skills; and the ability to combine creative thinking and visualization to make unique designs. Incorporating architectural graphics into the general engineering curriculum exposes all engineering students across the disciplines to a universal language and the creative design process. The practical application of architectural graphics is presented across the fields of general, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering.


Engineering graphics is a fundamental communication medium used by technically trained people worldwide to design, construct and operate structures, machines or products. The registered professional engineer (P.E.) assumes a working and legal responsibility for the technical correctness of a device or design as represented by the engineering graphic language. The design effort is hampered by the inability of an engineer to read the interfacing plans of the engineering disciplines. This graphic illiteracy creates a schism not only between applied and research engineers but also between engineers of different disciplines. Many of the problems that result from this communication breakdown can be avoided through exposing all engineering students to architectural graphics as part of the general engineering curriculum. In addition, benefits such as increasing student’s creativity and motivation within the field of engineering are added benefits of including architectural graphics in the curriculum.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering Education.

Hansberry, E., & Lopez, G. (2005, June), Avoiding Graphic Illiteracy: Incorporating Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15355

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