The American Institute of Architects has awarded a coveted AIA Innovation Award to an academic institution, the School of Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Architecture and Design. Most often awarded to architecture firms, the Innovation Award recognizes technologies and practices of architects and designers related to buildings or research in practice or academia.
The award recognizes the overhaul of the school’s curriculum that leads to a Bachelor of Architecture degree. This new educational paradigm could serve as a model for schools across the country as it integrates the content of stand-alone courses focused on technology into the design studio experience. This innovative, interrelated curriculum leverages and expands the college’s digital agenda and leads to a broader and more applicable design education.
“Our faculty created a new model for integrating building technology with design studio in ways that both anticipate the realities of integrated practice and meet design students where they are,” said Jason Young, director of the UT School of Architecture. “The new model uses team-taught, project-based modules to enliven and sustain content that has long lacked meaningful reinforcement in the studio. We’ve changed how and therefore why we teach building technology for the benefit of our students.”