INTEGRATION OF DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
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Certification Boards visiting architecture schools regularly demand more ‘technology’ in the curriculum, and an increased ‘integration’ of design and technology in the teaching programme. The persistence of this over many years, despite substantial changes in what is meant by technology, suggests that it is not easily achieved, or by any means a straightforward matter. Their reference is to building technology which now needs to be distinguished from information technology where students are often more competent than their elders. Building technology is seldom theorised (with a few notable exceptions) by either design theorists or those who teach technology. Even so called hi-tech architecture (which uses marine technology aesthetically rather than technically) is not theorised. It is sometimes assumed that everything taught in an architecture school should be useful or necessary for a competent architect. Each subject claims this status, but this essential knowledge already crowds the curriculum. The level of understanding demonstrated by the students nevertheless appears to be minimal when compared with their precocious design abilities. It is proposed that integration with design of half-understood technologies is too much to ask of any student during, or even after, five years of study. This paper starts to unravel some aspects of the teaching of technology and discusses issues around the notion of integration.
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