Published in 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings, June 26, 2011, pages 22.943.1-22.943.11.
The College of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo is the only college in the nation that has departments of Architecture, Architectural Engineering and Construction Management in the same college. The institution has a 60 year tradition of collaboration between the engineering, architecture and construction disciplines, particularly at the lower division level. To enhance this collaboration, the college committed to providing an upper division interdisciplinary experience to every student in the form of a project based, team oriented five unit studio that every student would take. This new course, launched in 2009, requires small teams of architecture, architectural engineering and construction students to complete the schematic level design of an actual building for a real client. While developing a college wide interdisciplinary course sounded simple in theory, it has proved to be much more challenging in practice. The course is in its second year and continues to offer new challenges that fall into three major areas: institutional, logistical and pedagogical. The paper describes how the challenges listed above have been overcome particularly concerning the role of the faculty in the course and the merging of very different department cultures. This paper reports on the progress of this course using survey assessment data and direct performance indicators. This same data provides valuable support to the 3 a-k ABET program criteria. Finally, the future of the course and the suggested improvements are highlighted.
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