The Future of Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Concept - Test – Realization in Architecture

Dirk Donath, Bauhaus University Weimar (Germany)

Bernd Rudolf, Bauhaus University Weimar (Germany)

Juergen Ruth, Bauhaus University Weimar (Germany)

Asgedom Haile, Addis Ababa University, EiABC (Ethiopia)


“Building is more than architecture is". Walter Segal, architect

A major part of architecture design is learning how specific architectural designs balance the internal and external constraints. The article explores the meaning of architectural prototyping, as a means of realizing prototypes to experiment with new architectural proposals in real size under real conditions with respect to a system under development. An architectural prototype is primarily used to explore and experiment with alternative material, systems and technology and design styles in order to balance different architectural qualities. The article argues that architectural prototyping provides key insights that may otherwise be difficult to obtain before a design is built.

Architects always need to ‘being there’. The involvement in the realization of prototypes that reflects essential architectural qualities and realities furthermore lead to a new proposal which cannot be replaced by something else.

There is no question about the importance of the involvement of experimental work into the educational stage. Experimental learning is necessary to transfer the theory into the practice and to get involved in the process, the difficulties, the details on site, to get responsible and prepared for all the stage of design and simulation before. The students involved in the design and construction process understood the construction’ opportunities, possibilities, and also its limitations and developed a feeling for the design idea and how it could be transferred in the building sector.

The educational use of architectural prototypes is illustrated and discussed by three realized experimental prototypes [3]. These real “design built” projects are a prelude to a whole series of full-scale experiments that have already been constructed in an international educational as well as research project between 2012 and 2015. They are an example for a creative academic cooperation between a European and African institution too.

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