Al-Ain: The College of Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, organized a workshop entitled“A New School of Thought for Creative Architectural Design Studio” hosted by the Australian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Under the supervision of Prof. Dr Ahmed Agiel, Department of Architecture, 62 students and alumni from the College of Engineering participated in this event. The workshop focused on architectural education and developing intellectual, creative methods for teaching and learning architectural design by adopting new strategies based on theories and analytical components in psychology.
Presenting the results of his study related to understanding the link between Al Ain community and their heritage architecture, Dr. Ahmed Agiel pointed out that Al Ain community has a close attachment and connection to the local architectural style, and he said:“This close attachment has become a psychological need for the communities. We, as a competent authority, must provide the communities with future engineers, considering this psychological need when qualifying students to design future buildings, and enabling students to identify and explore this psychological need for the community.” This new approach was implemented in a classroom experimentally with the participation of 27 students in the Department of Architecture under the name of (Brand Design Strategy Studio). The experiment was highly successful based on the assessments of the participants in the workshop.
He added,“This difficult task to qualify architects, who can meet the psychological needs of societies while allowing the architect-designer to be unique in his/her architectural style is one of his most important current concerns. The focus on this gap of knowledge extends during four years under his supervision of a PhD student. Subsequently, he confirmed that the initial results of the research attracted significant interest from British psychologists and their desire to track the future of this study.“
The workshop included an open dialogue with the audience, consisting of 62 students and alumni from the Department of Architecture the College of Engineering at the UAEU, about their vision and proposals in developing architectural design studios and the method of teaching, analyzing, and discovering them. An advanced methodology (Staying F.O.C.U.S.E.D) was used which is suitable for solving complex problems with great depth, definition, and accuracy. The attendees presented a set of important proposals, such as that design studios contain more awareness and education about architectural history and adopt psychological methods and tools for analyzing and evaluating building design processes in terms of architectural form. In addition, they called for participation in local and international architectural competitions with students at other universities to expand their knowledge by considering the architectural identity of their cities.
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