Architectural field study in an unfamiliar culture: case study in China trips

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Architectural field studies in unfamiliar cultures can address issues of globalisation in architectural education. The aim of designing in different culture is for students to consciously design with cultural and environmental sensitivity in a variety of cultural and geographical locations. This requires design skills in an unfamiliar culture and communicative strategies to work with local communities, staff and students in local universities. Architectural students from the University of Huddersfield in the UK undertook two trips between 2008 to 2009 to the Kunming city in Southwest China and their design projects were set in the local context in China. During the trips, four step tasks were proposed for students to develop communication strategies and to look at a place through others eyes. These four stages are translation, imagination, joint projects and reflection. The study argues that the international trips and the teaching and learning methods discussed in the paper had enabled students to embed their understandings of the culture, religion, family structure, and social aspects of the users in their design projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeing There
Subtitle of host publicationReflections on 20 years of the international course at the Huddersfield Department of Architecture
EditorsYun Gao, Hannah Tarpey
Place of PublicationHuddersfield
PublisherUniversity of Huddersfield Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781682180864
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


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