Ashraf M. Salama



Advocating the integration of interactive learning mechanisms into theory courses in architecture, this paper responds to the misconceptions that continue to characterize the delivery of knowledge content in architectural courses. Such misconceptions are identified as: a) science as a body of knowledge versus science as a method of exploration, b) learning theories about the phenomena versus getting the feel of the behavior of the phenomena, and c) the real versus the hypothetical. Based on reviewing the literature on pedagogy the paper explores the value and benefits of introducing active and experiential and inquiry-based learning (IBL) in theory courses in architecture. A framework is developed and employed to demonstrate the way in which these types of learning can be incorporated. The development and implementation of a series of in-class and off campus exercises in two different contexts reveal that structured actions and experiences help students to be in control over their learning while invigorating their understanding of the body of knowledge delivered in a typical lecture format.


Architectural education; inquiry-based learning (IBL); experiential learning; active learning

Full Text:



Ackoff, R. (1974). Redesigning the Future: A Systems Approach to Societal Problems. New York, NY: John Wiley.

Bonwell, C. (1996). ‘Building a supportive climate for active listening’, The National Teaching and Learning Forum, 6(1), pp. 4-7.

Bonwell, C. (1999). Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom, Proceedings of the Active Learning Workshop, Great Mountain Falls, Colorado: Charles Bonwell.

Bose, M. (2007). Design Studio: A Site for Critical Inquiry. In A. M. Salama, and N. Wilkinson (Eds.), Design Studio Pedagogy: Horizons for the Future (pp.131-141). Gateshead, UK: The Urban International Press.

Boyer, E. L., & Mitgang, L. D. (1996). Building Community: A New Future for Architectural Education and Practice, Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Bruner, J. S. (1961). “The act of discovery”. Harvard Educational Review 31 (1), pp. 21–32.

Dean, E. (1996). ‘Teaching the proof process: A model for discovery learning’, College Teaching, 44(2), pp. 139-144.

Fernando, N. (2007). Decision Making in Design Studios: Old Dilemmas-New Strategies. In A. M. Salama, and N. Wilkinson (Eds.), Design Studio Pedagogy: Horizons for the Future (pp. 143-152). Gateshead, UK: The Urban International Press.

Fisher, T. (2006). In the Scheme of Things: Alternative Thinking on the Practice of Architecture, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Habraken, J. (2006). ‘Questions that will not go away: Some remarks on long term trends in architecture and their impact on architectural education, Open House International, 31(2), pp. 12-19.

Keeton, M., & Tate, P. (Eds.) (1978). Learning by Experience, San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass Publishers.

Koch, A., Schwennsen, K., Dutton, T., Smith, D. (2002). The Redesign of Studio Culture, Washington, DC: Studio Culture Task Force, The American Institute of


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR


- ISSN (Online) #1938 7806 - ArchNet-IJAR is covered by ArchNet@ MIT Libraries, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, EBSCO, CNKI, Pro-Quest, Scopus-Elsevier, Web of Science.

- Published work in ArchNet-IJAR is licensed under Creative Commons: CC-BY--NC-ND license, see

Copyrights © Archnet-IJAR 2007-2018


Hit Counter
Visitor Hits Since 15 Jan 2014