Integrative Multidisciplinary Architectural Engineering Capstone with a Student-Centered Team Approach to Open-Ended Projects

Ryan Solnosky, M. Kevin Parfitt, Robert Holland, Moses Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Practitioners and educators alike see technologies and delivery methods changing the fundamental way in which we approach and execute building design. As such, these same items will require changes in how we educate future generations. Over the past nine years, a student-driven capstone was implemented that had an open-ended scope in regard to assignments to simulate cutting-edge industry conditions. This study provides original contributions in creating an open-ended design project where multidisciplinary teams are expected to self-develop project-specific goals, and then select proper technologies, processes, and infrastructures to achieve those goals. This capstone course is distinguishable from other capstones in that the level of knowledge gained is relatively independent by the student teams (versus teaching by the faculty). Here, teams put their collective goals above individual goals that utilize a design competition modeled on real projects where many of the student deliverables are iterative. The results indicate that properly constructed foundations for the course will provide ample opportunities for students to engage more deeply in multidisciplinary interactions by developing more-complex and integrated designs. This paper describes successes observed throughout nine years of this approach to assist other educators in implementation of similar offerings in their programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020024
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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