The mission of the Department of Architectural Engineering is to educate students in preparation for a career in architecture by providing them with a thorough and comprehensive knowledge s that define the forms of the built environment, while recognizing the need to remain current adjusting to the changing social, physical, and technical influences.
The wide range of elements to be addressed in achieving the mission through an architectural curriculum can be generally categorized in four broad areas of study: Cultural Knowledge - Design and Creative Development - Building Science - Professional practice. Within each of these four areas, there are specific learning objectives that are developed through the curriculum and incorporated into the four years of the program. These objectives constitute the basis of the courses in the program and provide the essential learning parameters for a comprehensive architectural education.
This component of the curriculum provides a basic understanding of the cultural background, context, and societal priorities that have been expressed through architecture and the related arts. The objectives are:
- To introduce the history of architecture and its relationship to the other arts.
- To understand the physical and cultural parameters of the human being and the subsequent requirements for shelter and accommodation.
- To develop an awareness of the influence that context has on the design of architecture.
- To cultivate an awareness of the design influences of contemporary society, their impact on the built form, and future directions evolving from current parameters.
Design and Creative Development
The design courses are the primary focus of an architectural education and are augmented both directly and indirectly by the knowledge and skills developed in other areas of the curriculum. This component of the educational process is critical, as it forms the basis for all architectural design. The objectives are:
- To introduce architectural theories as elemental processes, values, concepts, and design influences leading to a personal philosophy of architectural design.
- To develop a wide vocabulary of techniques with which to explore design solutions (2-D and 3-D graphics and spatial comprehension, the use of color, texture, lighting and other design elements).
- To develop an ability for analytical thinking as a means of addressing architectural problems through research, data collection, and analysis of information, all leading to a clear understanding of the problem.
- To develop a sensitivity of building in relation to site and urban context.
- To develop an ability to contribute constructively to team effort in group learning situations.
Knowledge of the technical aspects of design and building are essential to ensure successful conversion of the architectural concepts into an environment that satisfies the parameters of shelter and the enrichment of human activities. The objectives are:
- To introduce the nature and use of materials, and the construction assemblies and methodologies that define the building envelope.
- To become fully conversant with structural engineering principles as they apply to the built form, and to acknowledging structure as an integral component of architectural design.
- To become knowledgeable regarding the mechanical engineering principles of a building, including heating, ventilating, air conditioning, plumbing, fire safety, etc.
- To become knowledgeable regarding the electrical services of a building.
- To become knowledgeable regarding the parameters involved in the preservation, renovation, conversion.
As society matures and becomes more complex, there is a need for the increased role of regulatory bodies. As the technical elements of design and construction become more intricate and integrated, the establishment of professional societies are necessary to administer and maintain architectural accuracy. The objectives of this course include:
- To instil in the architecture student a sense of social responsibility, including the preservation of the biosphere, as well as responding to other social priorities such as handicap accessibility, homelessness, cultural heritage, etc. (This objective is identified as an overall attitude to design that is applied throughout the curriculum and is incorporated fully into lectures and studio projects).
- To introduce the issues of legal responsibilities, professional and business ethics, the role of building codes, by-laws, zoning and other elements pertaining to a professional practice.
- To introduce the financial management aspects of an architectural practice.
- To introduce the elements of business management in a professional firm.
- To introduce the role of the professional associations and their relationship to the practicing architect.
Upon completion of this program, graduates will be able to pursue a career as architects in either the public or private sector. They will have a positive influence on the quality of future building environment through their professional standards, knowledge and creativity. With their solid academic foundation in this program, graduates could also pursue graduate studies in either architecture or urban planning.