The Timeless Way of Educating Architects: A New Master in 'Building Beauty' in Naples, Italy

25 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2016

See all articles by Maggie Moore Alexander

Maggie Moore Alexander

Centre for Environmental Structure

Enzo Zecchi

Lepida Scuola

Peter Russell

State University of New York (SUNY) - Buffalo

Mariapia Vidoli

University of Strathclyde, Department of Architecture, Urban Design Studies Unit (UDSU), Students

Antonio Caperna

International Society of Biourbanism

Ombretta Romice

University of Strathclyde

Sergio Porta

University of Strathclyde

Date Written: September 29, 2016

Abstract

Christopher Alexander showed us that beauty can be investigated in nature, in things that are made and built, and in our collective and individual selves, in a way that leads us to understand and enhance wholeness. All of this he pursued on the basis of objective physical evidence. Also, Alexander showed that the unfolding geometry of beauty can be sought with practical means that demonstrate its connections with all of life.

A new Master program in “Building Beauty: Experience of Ecologic Design and Construction Process” is now assembling at the University Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples, Italy, with the mission of pursuing beauty through a new model of architectural education inspired by Alexander, with colleagues of the Center for Environmental Structure (CES), the organization Alexander established for his professional and educational work.

In this paper we introduce the context of “radical” traditions of architectural education and culture from the 1960s and the current debate in the United Kingdom and the US; we then present the program’s general vision, that merges a truly holistic practice of building with nature and the community, with a research/evidence based approach to knowledge; finally we focus on pedagogic principles aimed to align with, and support, such vision; the proposed pedagogy covers both teaching and assessment, by introducing a constructionist approach implemented through an original Project-Based Learning model updated with latest fundamentals of Agile Project Management.

Keywords: Architectural Education, Christopher Alexander, Agile Project-Based Learning

Suggested Citation

Moore Alexander, Maggie and Zecchi, Enzo and Russell, Peter and Vidoli, Mariapia and Caperna, Antonio and Romice, Ombretta and Porta, Sergio, The Timeless Way of Educating Architects: A New Master in 'Building Beauty' in Naples, Italy (September 29, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2846153 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2846153

Maggie Moore Alexander

Centre for Environmental Structure ( email )

2701 Shasta Road
Berkeley, CA 94708

Enzo Zecchi

Lepida Scuola ( email )

Italy

Peter Russell

State University of New York (SUNY) - Buffalo ( email )

12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14222
United States

Mariapia Vidoli

University of Strathclyde, Department of Architecture, Urban Design Studies Unit (UDSU), Students ( email )

75 Montrose Street
Glasgow
United Kingdom

Antonio Caperna

International Society of Biourbanism ( email )

Italy

Ombretta Romice

University of Strathclyde ( email )

16 Richmond Street
Glasgow 1XQ, Scotland
United Kingdom

Sergio Porta (Contact Author)

University of Strathclyde ( email )

16 Richmond Street
Glasgow 1XQ, Scotland
United Kingdom

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