Convergence in Engineering and Architectural Design Education: Mission-driven Integrated Design Studio

Ryan Solnosky, Moses Ling, Lisa D. Iulo, David Eric Goldberg, Sez Atamturktur

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This paper presents a convergence-driven educational approach for a newly formulated cross-disciplinary design studio for architecture, landscape architecture and engineering students. The studio, titled Mission Driven Integrated Design (MDID), was taught in both Spring and Summer 2020 and is continuing to be offered in Spring 2021. Studio-based educational settings documented in literature often rely less on formal lecture delivery but instead adopt a Socratic mentoring style. At the forefront of the traditional architectural education, studios place creative emphasis on how to develop the aesthetics through form and space with general function of the building and engineering systems taking a secondary role. A comprehensive design studio, especially one including engineering students, on the other hand, interconnects architectural design and engineering principles to simultaneously achieve two goals. The first goal is delivering traditional content that is in architectural design studios for architects; and the second is the inoculating system-level thinking and integrated design of supporting building systems. To achieve these two goals, interdependencies between spatial organization and engineering systems are emphasized in the MDID studio course. Emphasis is placed on such topics as the iterative design process, systems-of-systems thinking, considerations on how to maximize overall building performance and occupant well-being all while keeping the design environmentally conscious and economically viable. By interlinking the architectural and engineering aspects, the course provides a learning experience where students focus on integrated solutions that require careful coordination of various design decisions, study of the synergies and tradeoffs each decision and convergence of disciplinary expertise to reach a holistic yet balanced design. This paper discusses how the studio courses can mutually support cross-disciplinary collaboration of architecture, landscape architecture, architectural engineering students by providing mission driven lenses informed by real-world issues and clients. Discussion points in the paper include course outcomes, collaborative mechanisms for multi-disciplinary instruction - both in-person and remote, teaching students to focus on the mission of the project, format of the course and generalizable trends on the success of the course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021
Event2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jul 26 2021Jul 29 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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