Document Type

Conference Proceeding


2012 ACSA International Conference

Publication Date



Barcelona, Spain


In Sustainable Environmental Design Teaching, Research and Practice Simos Yannas1 identifies the need for a ‘clearly laid out, continuously evolving approach that sees sustainable design as an integral part of architectural training from the outset’. Thus sustainable design is not an optional technical addendum, but a key ingredient in a new practice that needs to be fostered by a different approach to architectural education. According to Yannas this approach is defined by a holistic knowledge triangle, which might have ‘different origins’ and might well ‘represent different forms of learning’ than we know today. The first point on this knowledge triangle is indicated as the word pair ‘Conceptual / Theoretical’, which deals with ‘Knowledge and understanding of how natural processes and the occupant’s environmental design requirements translate into architectural design’. The second edge is ‘Empirical /Experiential’, which requires ‘Data acquisition and systematic assessment of how things have worked in practice’ and the third point is called ‘Analytical / Comparative’, which relates to ‘Parametric studies as an essential component of the learning process as well as a means of informing sustainable environmental design’. Direct access to knowledge within the ‘Analytical / Comparative’ branch of the triangle is a new component to the architecture profession and to professional architectural education where environmental forces and controls were long taught by one instructor to a group of 80+ students separate from design studio instruction2.

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