Unlike other subjects, structures is one arena which is always thought to be tough to teach as well as to be understood by the students. So it becomes the duty of the faculty to make the subject matter more engaging so that the students do not see structures as a burden but as an addition to their knowledge bank. We at Sushant School of Art and Architecture change the perception of students towards structures as a discipline.
We believe in experiential learning. Therefore, interactive hands-on activities and innovative pedagogical tools have become a hallmark of our continuously evolving teaching methodology. We strive to impart structural teaching through the use of teaching aids in the form of different props, role plays, physical and virtual model making, scaled models, walking on eggs and standing on inclined slopes to understand different structural concepts.
Architects play with spaces. These spaces create volume, that are enclosed and build with structural elements like columns, beams, trusses and slabs. These elements have to be arranged in certain ways to form systems that are efficient, strong, stable, durable and economical to build. Various materials behave differently due to their mechanical properties.
Why do structures stand-up or fall down? To address the question, each semester is strategically divided into smaller modules. All the modules, across the semesters, make a collaborative effort to make the students understand:
- How buildings retain their form.
- Different structural components of a building.
- Forces acting upon a building and how to manage these forces through design.
- Simple structural calculations.
- The structural capacity of different materials and construction methods.
- Application of structural concepts in trans discipline subjects like design studio and building construction.
LEARNING BY DOING
We are slowly moving from classroom teaching activities to workshop, yards or onsite activities, where students learn through scaled models by loading them to test their structural integrity. Supplementary to the class lectures, application of trial and error method is carried out to understand the mechanical properties of various materials.
LEARN THROUGH BOOKS, PAPERS AND INTERNET
Architectural designs that follow unconventional forms have often been labeled as architect’s dream but engineer’s nightmare. Architects in their endeavours to create masterpieces have been known to come up with building forms that test structural engineering to its limit. Architects like Nicholas Gimshaw, Norman Forster, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Santiago Calatrava have truly explored the knowledge of structures, advanced building technology and new materials with revolutionary possibilities to emerge with a new definition of architecture.
LEARN BY GAMING: COMPUTER-BASED ACTIVITIES
Teaching structural concepts through sketching can lead to fundamental understanding of the subject. This helps the students transform their perception of structures as tedious mathematical calculations to a way of thinking. Hands-on activities, computer-based exercises and web-based educational platforms help us shift the perception of students regarding structures as a subject.
Architects are constantly stimulated by new ideas or new hurdles that challenge them to create new structural marvels. Therefore, a teacher should strongly believe in the motto “teach to learn and learn to teach”.
Admissions 2018 are open at Sushant School of Art and Architecture!
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