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Teaching Dynamics Of Cultural Dimensions In Design To Create Sustainable Environment: A Cross Cultural Comparison 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

Technical Issues in Architectural Engineering II

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1207.1 - 11.1207.23



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Paper Authors


Suining Ding Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne (Eng)

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SUINING DING is an Assistant Professor at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. She has taught both interior design and architectural design courses since she joined faculty at IPFW. Because of her diverse background with international training and professional practice experience, she is currently exploring the dynamics of cultural dimensions in architectural design.

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

Teaching Dynamics of Cultural Dimensions In Design To Create Sustainable Environment: A Cross-Cultural Comparison Of Architecture


Sustainable design is the concept that recognizes human civilization as an integral part of the natural world, and that nature must be preserved if the human community itself is to survive. Cultural dimensions of design are the tangible and intangible aspects of cultural systems that are valued by or representative of, a given culture and reflected in the built environment [12]. There was no existing course in our curriculum to cover the topic of culture and design. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new course to fill this gap. The author was awarded a Summer Instructional Development Grant in summer 2005 to deve lop INTR330 – Culture and Design: A Cross-cultural comparison of Architecture. This course is designed as an interior design elective course as well as a general education course in Area IV Humanistic Thoughts to fulfill the diversity requirement on campus. It has been approved as general education course. The goal of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to have an exposure to diverse cultures through a cross-cultural comparison of Western and Eastern architecture. This course emphasizes the interactive and complex relationship between human beings and their built environment. It also emphasizes the creation of sustainable environment by encouraging meaningful cultural reflections. The inter-relationship of architecture and culture is examined through design theories and philosophy expressed by means of architecture digital photos and DVDs. It is expected that students will better understand the dynamics of cultural dimensions of design in the creation of a sustainable environment.

This paper presents the innovative teaching methods with technology and non-traditional class activities for educating our students to understand the dynamics of cultural dimensions in design to create sustainable environment. As the second objective of this paper, it presents the proposed assessment methodology, data collection and analysis methods to assess the learning outcomes. It is anticipated that the results of assessment will be used for future course improve ment and cross-culture studies.


This course covers a wide range of subject matters from cultural impact on human behaviors to space perceptions and designs. The comparisons are focused on several topics such as palace architecture, houses, gardens, temples/churches, city planning of the Eastern and the Western. The comparisons were between same types of buildings that were built during the same time period. Since it is very hard to find a textbook, which covers all subject matters in this course, writing a student manual becomes the first task. The student’s manual was developed based on the course syllabus total about sixty pages. Each part of the manual covers one subject matter, which will be introduced to students. Followed each part, there is class activities and assignments for students to use. Since interior design or architectural design is a profession, which expresses its final products by means of visual images, Microsoft PowerPoint presentation

Ding, S. (2006, June), Teaching Dynamics Of Cultural Dimensions In Design To Create Sustainable Environment: A Cross Cultural Comparison Of Architecture Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--336

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