2022 ‘Devise’ — Architecture Design Competition Launched by UNI to
Institute for technical learning design challenge
The concept of tinkering, creating, and fixing has existed since ancient times. We devised fundamental inventions such as the wheel, lever, and pulley which remain consistent with the modern definition of engineering. These technical skills were passed down from generation to generation, adapting and evolving according to the needs of the time.
The basics of devising and making things eventually converted to the societal level, which paved a path towards the need for formal technical education. After the war and industrial revolution, occupational changes resulted in a spike in programs for the skills required to work for it.
Since then technical education has produced engineers who are responsible for the creation of practically every significant advancement in tools and technology. From machines, we use for our home chores, transport systems, and even the device you’re currently reading this on exists primarily because of engineers.
In past decades, advancements in technology have induced the need to curate, operate and make it better. It has fuelled passion and the need for development in almost every nation, which has inspired youngsters to consider it as a career path. The world has over 4500 plus schools/colleges that offer technical education and around 7.5 million graduates.
But due to the increased demand for engineers and commercialization of education and the field, the quality of education is affected. In the speculated years of education in an engineering/technical school, most of the learning is based on textual knowledge which is quickly forgotten and is of no practical relevance.
While positive modifications in the curriculum will happen over time, as architects and designers what can we do to improve learning in the existing academic system? We often forget that learning highly depends on the environment and the spaces that house it.
Then, how can we inculcate better learning in technical schools/colleges through spaces?
Brief of the competition
Dedicated spatial parameters for engineering programs other than practical rooms happen to be a myth in most institutions. Can we change this spatial divide between classrooms and practical studios? Can we provide a more collaborative and hands-on learning experience that becomes a manifestation of the “see and learn” principles? Added to that there is a gap between current engineering education and the workplace. Very few graduates pass out with relevant hands-on experiences and basic principles of the subject at hand.
What if an engineering/technical institute could embody learning from the industry in itself? Can there be provisions for the companies that offer placements to play a role not just in the final year of education but also in the initial years? Can this in any way bridge the gap between the education industry?
Brief: Challenge is to design a Technical School that is the very embodiment of the study it professes.
The school should not be just an institution for technical education but also function as a laboratory for it, where students are fully engaged while learning.
- Dedicated: The institute should take into account all the special spaces for different courses and the needs of students.
- Pragmatic: The design must incorporate the “see and learn” principle applied to technical learning.
- Identity: The institute should represent the subject in its functions and form.
- Involvement and collaboration: The design and spaces must seek to involve the technical job industry/community.
The above serve as qualitative checkmarks for the design of the institute. Participants can assume a mixed demographic for designing services and provisions etc in the institute. Participants are even free to draw from their own study experiences, incorporating what they thought was lacking from their institute of study.
Participants can choose any four technical subjects according to their understanding of the needs of today in technology and engineering. The space programme for the same, however, will be derived from the information given ahead.
● Lecture/Seminar Halls
● Subject specific experimental Labs/Workshops
● Common learning/discussion areas
These areas can be fragmented or integrated through the structure according to your design concepts.
● Faculty Rooms
● Exhibition Hall
● Playgrounds/Sports Pitch
● Toilets and Washrooms
● Utility and maintenance for specific labs and the institute as a whole
Participants are free to add no. of students admitted per batch etc, but it has to be in line with the universal acceptability of the professional technical/engineering degree programs. The list of spaces above is not exhaustive, and participants might alter the program if it benefits the design, but these may be used as checkmarks to conceive the design in finality.
- Location: Bristol, England
- Area: 17,460 sqm
- Height restriction: 12 metres
- Maximum Built Up Area: 17,460 sq.m
- Ground coverage: 50%
- Coordinates: 51°30'13.7"N 2°30'52.3"W
The rise in technological advancement has transformed many countries/regions concerning infrastructure and education. Among the many rising states, England stands among the highest-ranking places to study engineering and is a future candidate for the upcoming IT Hub. The site selected is near renowned universities as well as close to the IT industries making it a location perfect for Devise.