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Seismic Design Education In Schools Of Architecture

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Teaching Innovation in Architectural Engineering I

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1111.1 - 11.1111.15



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Paper Authors

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Christine Theodoropoulos University of Oregon

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

Seismic Design Education in Schools of Architecture

Abstract Currently, no comprehensive or coordinated information exists on seismic design education for architects and architecture students in the United States. This subject deserves attention, particularly in view of recent trends toward the nationalization and globalization of architectural practice. Many architects, educated and based in areas of infrequent seismicity, find themselves more and more frequently required to design in regions of the U.S. or abroad where the seismic hazard is more serious. Unfortunately, this has not been adequately reflected in architectural education. Architects assume a pivotal role in seismic resistant design and are responsible for communicating seismic resistant strategies to building owners and community leaders. It is important that seismic design educators and practitioners understand how seismic design is currently taught in schools of architecture in order to identify new avenues for seismic design education and disseminate best teaching practices.

This paper reports on findings from: a survey of professors who teach structures in the U.S. schools accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB); a review of school catalog materials; and an examination of school performance related to relevant student performance criteria used in the accreditation process. It includes a review of the seismic design content of architecture programs and the methods used to teach seismic design in an effort to chart how students learn seismic design concepts at various institutions. Findings include information about regional influences and the professional profile of instructors as well as faculty assessment of currently available teaching materials and identification of future teaching materials needs. Most significant is evidence suggesting that although most schools of architecture address the concepts central to seismic design across the curriculum in a variety of courses, there are barriers that may prevent students from learning how to incorporate seismic design lessons into the architectural design process.

Background In the past two decades the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have funded several projects directed to architectural education. Recently, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), with the support of FEMA, completed Designing for Earthquakes, a manual for practicing architects that was developed in response to the need for a text that consolidated information needed by architects preparing for practice in earthquake country.

Theodoropoulos, C. (2006, June), Seismic Design Education In Schools Of Architecture Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1016

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