Upon successful completion of the studio course, students will:
a) have good comprehension of the parammeters of environmental design, pertinent to residential design (work-live environment),
b) have good comprehension of the fundamental principles and tools of environmental design,
c) have developed the ability of creatively utilising environmental parammeters in the design process,
d) have developed critical thinking in relation to the environmental impact of architectural design.
Course Content (Syllabus)
Environmental design is a process of integration and utilisation of environmental parameters in the design of programs, policies, buildings, or products. This process is refined in a variety of methodological approaches, at the scale of architectural and urban design. The creative use of environmental parameters, in the design process, does not merely aim to adapt buildings to the landscape and climate, to ensure comfort, but actively seeks to integrate environmental and socio-political conditions of a place.
The studio course introduces an environmental perspective of architectural design focusing on the cellular unit: residence - workplace. Housing is essential to human development and a key component of the urban fabric. Before the mass introduction of high-rise housing, the single-family residence was a common form of habitation. Contemporary urban conditions, as formulated in the context of technological developments, social, and environmental transformations leave open the re-definition of the habitation unit. The current model of urban living often includes the workplace of one or more family members. The environmental perspective of the construction of the built environment, especially in relation to urban and suburban conditions, dictates redefinition of priorities and design tools, towards multiple objectives: conservation of natural resources, enhancement of the microclimate, overall reduction of architecture's contribution to local and global environmental issues.
The studio course addresses the theme of residential design in suburban surroundings. Taking passive response to local climate, as a point of departure, the studio investigates a range of environmental tools and strategies, pertinent to the interrelation of building and (sub-urban) context.
Optimal orientation, the adaptation to local conditions (climate, microclimate, terrain, etc.), the use of solar energy for heating and daylighting, natural ventilation, optimal choice of materials, or efficient water management, while deserving a technical approach, are investigated and elaborated upon as integral parts of the design process.
Lectures by members of the teaching staff and presentations by guest speakers are scheduled for the duration of the semester and will take place alongside individual and group critiques of student projects.