June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.573.1 - 15.573.15
Facilitating Collaboration of Engineering and Architecture Students via an International Travel-Study Workshop
This paper presents an overview of a joint School of Engineering and School of Architecture initiative at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that facilitates collaboration between students, faculty, and practitioners from both disciplines. The program is presented with respect to its learning objectives and is described in terms of its historical development and the various components that contribute to its overall mission. The international travel-study workshop component is given particular emphasis in terms of its ability to expose students to best practices which rely upon cross-disciplinary intelligence and to foster collaborative work among engineering and architecture students as a precedent to the same in their professional lives and careers. This paper is primarily of a descriptive nature, including an informal assessment of the overall program with emphasis on the travel-study workshop.
The development of substantive collaborative activities between engineering and architecture students can be challenging, especially given the natural reluctance among students (and disincentives for faculty) to embed themselves in study outside their discipline. Constructive interdisciplinary interactions can be facilitated via formal programs that structure collaborative interactions between these groups of students, especially under the leadership of instructors with relevant field experience. At Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, such a program (the Bedford Program) exists and has been in operation for more than ten years. It is a joint School of Engineering and School of Architecture program that focuses on investigations of progressive architecture and engineering practice and the various and emerging interdisciplinary approaches to design. The full program consists of three component initiatives that are led by a visiting professor from architectural engineering practice. The activities that are coordinated by the visiting professor include an interdisciplinary seminar, a collaborative design studio, and an international travel workshop. The semester-long seminar course exposes a balance of architecture and civil (structural) engineering students to progressive contemporary and historic architectural projects and practices that have relied upon significant collaborations between architects and engineers. The Bedford Studio teams upper level architecture and engineering students in the design of a building through the design development phase with an emphasis on systems integration in the early design phases of an architectural project. The third initiative, also coordinated by the Bedford Visiting Professor, consists of an international travel-study workshop which annually seeks out and visits concentrations of exemplary buildings and practices. In recent years, the travel-study workshop has been held in major cities in England, Germany, France, Japan and most recently, Spain.
This paper provides an overview of the Bedford Program with a particular focus on the international travel-study workshop component. Emphasis is given to the ability of the program to foster collaborative work among engineering and architecture students and the student experience during the most recent ten-day travel-study program in Spain. Furthermore, a brief
Symans, M., & Mistur, M., & Danziger, B. (2010, June), Facilitating Collaboration Of Engineering And Architecture Students Via An International Travel Study Workshop Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16636
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