The Multidisciplinary Approach to Architectural Education: Bridging the Gap between Academic Education and the Complexities of Professional Practice

Volume 5, Issue 1, February 2020     |     PP. 1-22      |     PDF (1092 K)    |     Pub. Date: September 25, 2020
DOI:    207 Downloads     3213 Views  


Shafik I Rifaat, FAIA, FAICP, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, 122 College of Architecture Building, Houston, Texas, USA.

Many schools of architecture focus on developing students' competence in the spatial and aesthetic aspects of architectural design, with less effort to inform them about the multidisciplinary nature of actual design in practice. The paper will describe the main disciplines that are often involved in the design and construction of actual projects, and will highlight the importance of informing architectural students about the complexities of design in practice. It is noteworthy that several activities take place even prior to commencing the design process. These are referred to as pre-design activities and include preparation of a building's program, economic feasibility, site selection, surveying, and geophysical investigation, which all involve experts and specialized inputs. However, the paper will focus on addressing the processes involved in design and construction. The main activities and disciplines involved in design and construction Phases Disciplines and entities Involved Preliminary design Civil engineering Design development Landscape architecturePreparation of Construction Documents Structural engineering Administration of Construction Contract Mechanical engineering Electrical engineering Plumbing engineering Specification of materials and Equipment Cost estimation Material, equipment, and building ContractorsAll the disciplines and entities listed above are commonly involved in each phase of the development and realization of a building project. In addition, certain assignments such as hospitals, libraries, auditoria, and restaurants, predicate the involvement of special consultants. It is not suggested that architectural students would be groomed to perform any particular function or professional service other than architectural design. The architect though leads and synthesizes the work of all those involved in the process of realizing a building project, and needs to be able to converse intelligently and interact professionally with all those who are involved in the process.


Cite this paper
Shafik I Rifaat, The Multidisciplinary Approach to Architectural Education: Bridging the Gap between Academic Education and the Complexities of Professional Practice , SCIREA Journal of Civil Engineering and Building Construction . Volume 5, Issue 1, February 2020 | PP. 1-22.


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