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Trans-Disciplinary Design Teaching for Civil Engineers and Architects: Lessons Learned and Future Plans

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Civil Engineering Education and Workforce Development Challenges

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1541.1 - 22.1541.19



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Paper Authors

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Sinead MacNamara Syracuse University

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Trans-disciplinary Design Teaching for Civil Engineers and Architects – Lessons Learned and Future PlansThis paper describes ongoing efforts at ______ University to institute a trans-disciplinarycourse that brings together architecture and structural engineering students for a jointdesign seminar. This course forms part of a larger NSF funded project aimed atincreasing innovation and creativity in engineering curricula. The principal aim of theoverall project is to find strategies to foster and reward creativity in engineering students.The principal aim of the trans-disciplinary course under discussion here is to investigatethe degree to which the integration of architecture and engineering pedagogy issuccessful in producing desirable outcomes for either group of students. Given theirdifferent but potentially complementary skill sets, engineering and architecture studentsare a natural fit for investigations into creative pedagogy. In fact, the practices of bothdisciplines are intimately related and, yet, students whose careers may be so closelylinked, rarely have opportunities for cross-disciplinary interaction in their formativeyears, least of all in design contexts where dialogue and collaboration could be soproductive for both. This paper describes the course, the results of the evaluation of thefirst iteration, and ways that the course will evolve for future years. The evaluation isparticularly concerned with establishing how or if this approach can change engineeringstudents attitudes regarding creativity in engineering. We further hope to positpedagogical strategies for successfully combining these two different student groups.Particular attention is required in the areas of division of labor in the design process andestablishing a common vocabulary to successfully articulate and appreciate design goalsin both disciplines.

MacNamara, S. (2011, June), Trans-Disciplinary Design Teaching for Civil Engineers and Architects: Lessons Learned and Future Plans Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18401

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