Our architecture program mission statement establishes that we “value design excellence centered in the poetic merging of the arts and technology”. This objective frames current curriculum and pedagogical strategies being implemented which aim to integrate the building technology sequence with architectural design studios at key moments in our undergraduate and graduate programs. Described as a “multifaceted integration model” in a recent publication by the author, a summary of strategies focused on our undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Architecture degree program was presented. These included introducing design thinking in materials and methods and the structural systems one-year sequence, integrating structures and building assemblies in design studios, industry partnerships to enhance courses, and research initiatives at the program and college levels.

This paper takes a more in depth look at the specific initiatives developed to expand curriculum and pedagogical strategies aiming towards better integrating and coordinating the Integrative Design Studio and the Technical Integration Seminar in the first semester of our NAAB-accredited Master of Architecture degree program. Both courses are taught during the same semester at each of our campus locations. Changes in faculty teaching the courses have provided a varied set of approaches and resources introduced to recent generations of students. Challenges and opportunities of delivering the two courses and their relationships as co-requisites are discussed. Collaborations among faculty teaching these courses in each location (or both through distance learning) have explored focused areas as themes for the design projects such as mass timber structures and assemblies, or lighting and green design strategies.

This paper describes the integration strategies implemented in our curriculum and pedagogical approaches, collaboration models between faculty, initiatives engaging industry and academic research partnerships to strengthen theme-based directions in our courses and program (e.g. wood), and ongoing discussions on learning outcomes and evaluation criteria at this level.

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