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Integrating sustainability in design studio through blended learning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World AMPS, Architecture_MPS; Stevens Institute of Technology New Jersey / New York: 17-19 June, 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEducation, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World -
Duration: 17 Jun 201919 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameAMPS Proceedings Series
ISSN (Electronic)2398-9467


ConferenceEducation, Design and Practice – Understanding skills in a Complex World


The complexity of sustainability often makes its integration into architectural education a difficult challenge. Consequently, sustainability is often not taught holistically or critically, leaving students confused as to what sustainable architecture is and how they might approach this themselves. At the same time, sustainable design must not be at the expense of our architectural imagination, yet within education and practice this is also often the case

This paper investigates how to bring sustainability knowledge into the studio instead of bringing the architecture studio to sustainability knowledge. In doing so, through two case studies undertaken at Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark, the authors illustrate the integration of sustainable design in architecture studio using blended learning, such as making use of pre-recorded video lectures; group seminars, discussions and presentations; workshops and peer-peer learning as well as traditional studio drawing activities.

Changes within pedagogies need to occur to ensure that sustainability is embedded within the design education, acknowledging the dichotomy between the technical requirements and creative expression which are crucial for well-integrated holistic, sustainable architecture . To embed sustainability in the architectural studio, both poetics and sustainability need to be taught together, focusing especially on the aesthetic and spatial implications of sustainability. The key to integrating sustainability in the architectural studio is not only to give knowledge but to ensure that specific learning activities allow for the application of this knowledge into students' design process as well as to discuss the implications of this knowledge for the students’ own design project and the subsequent architectural language. This supports deep learning, critical thinking, and reflection skills. In the two cases outlined in this paper, this incorporation was embedded through developing studio-specific learning activities that cover both architecture and sustainability aspects, with students completing in-depth investigations and mappings of exemplary sustainable architecture case studies.


  • sustainable, architecture, education

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland