Learning by Building: Design and Construction in Architectural Education
Learning by Building challenges today’s architects and students to experience the energy and creativity of construction. Based on the example of famous architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, who considered construction an integral part of the design process, "design-build" is standard practice in growing numbers of today’s architecture firms. Architect and professor William J. Carpenter explores ways to integrate construction into architectural education, bridging the gap between theory and practice—between designing and building. Mr. Carpenter traces the history of construction in architectural education, from medieval times, to Jefferson’s Monticello, to the German Bauhaus. He cites twentieth-century artists such as Richard Serra and Donald Judd, whose work is generated by the process of making; like the artist, "the architect should be immersed in the potential of construction." Ten in-depth case studies of schools that have incorporated design-build into their curriculum illustrate how construction studios help future architects learn real-life pragmatics and collaboration. Through text and photographs, Mr. Carpenter recounts the diverse experiences of high-profile schools such as Cranbrook and Yale University, providing models for other schools that wish to include design-build in their curriculums. Mr. Carpenter also gives a helpful outline of the practical details involved in design-build, such as team issues, legal issues, and built applications of the process. Learning by Building is a wake-up call to architects and students alike to immerse themselves in the process of architecture—to rediscover, or witness for the first time, the excitement of building.
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