Learning from Qatari architecture: impressionistic evaluation and experience based pedagogy

  • YEAR
    Salama, Ashraf
    2007 Conference Papers
    Built Environment


Abstract: This paper advocates the integration of research into undergraduate architectural education
by arguing for the exposure of students to primary source materials that enable them to get as close as
possible to the realities being studied. It introduces a framework within which an impressionistic
approach for evaluating the built environment through experiential learning can be incorporated. It
argues for exposing students to primary source materials and for educating them about the production
of knowledge. The paper outlines an approach for learning from Qatari architecture by conducting
procedural evaluation of ten buildings identified based on discussions with students. Findings indicate
that students were able to make judgments about the built environment and to give reasons for those
judgments. However, students’ analyses reveal shortcomings in their abilities to comment, where
some could not express their concerns verbally while few could not write an understandable reporting
statement. Students’ feedback on this experiment reveals that this approach helped them recognize
what to look for in the building, understand relationships between different design factors, while
comprehending the impact of one factor over others. Based on these results the need for incorporating
evaluation research through experiential learning into architectural pedagogy is emphasized as an
underlying paradigm of architectural science.


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