Technology and Architecture Education in Uganda
Olweny, Mark R. O.
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Architecture education is a relatively new undertaking in Uganda. Despite this opportunity to develop an updated curriculum and pedagogy, an old paradigm continues to persist; isolating the teaching of architectural technology from ‘main stream’ design studios. The consequential inability by graduates to link architectural design and architectural technology in design is evident throughout Uganda, often with disastrous outcomes. This paper discusses the implementation of integrated design studios in the architecture programme at the Uganda Martyrs University. Using a Project-Based Learning approach, these studios sought to introduce architecture technology as an integral part of the design studio, enabling students to build a holistic view of their designs. Two studios are the focus of this paper, Architecture Studio I, the first studio in the Bachelor of Architecture graduate programme which had a fully integrated studio, and Design Studio III, a second year studio in the undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Building Design and Technology. The outcomes of the studios suggest students are better able to understand and apply technology in their projects and derive meaningful design outcomes if they are presented with the information as related to the design project, rather than as secondary information are given in support courses. Students will come to care about the constructed world only if academic staff can show them why this is worthwhile. Simply telling students to think about and experience the built realm differently (or to have them arrive at this through abstract design exercises) will have little long-term effect – as the contemporary constructed environment all too often confirms. (Coleman, 2003:353).