Course Leader

Stefania Boccaletti

Course Info

BSc Architecture and Environmental Design

Climate Change is one of today’s most pressing issues and, in the past few decades, global policies and research institutions have acknowledged the urgency of addressing it through higher education.

The BSc AED offers students a combined architecture and environmental design education at undergraduate level to form a new generation of architects who are both environmentally aware and able to quantify the environmental impact of their design.

The BSc AED engages climate change and design practice with an emphasis on physical ecologies of building, numeracy and computation, as well as the wider principles of social sustainability. Over three years, BSc AED students are equipped with knowledge and skills in predicting and assessing building performance from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives, learning both the poetic and scientific aspects of the design process.

In the first year, BSc AED students share the design studios with the BArch programme to acquire basic architectural design knowledge, observational and drawing skills through design projects and study trips. An evidence-informed design approach is introduced to students through lectures, hands-on workshops, group seminars, and individual study sessions.

In second year, through four design briefs, second year BSc AED students explore the urban dimension by investigating social, economic, and building related environmental and energy issues. The four briefs are written in collaboration with Technical Studies to ensure that students acquire an understanding of digital environmental simulations at different scales and learn to develop environmental design strategies as the basis of evidence-based design.

The third year is structured around the Final Thesis Project; a research by design studio investigating innovative forms of performative architecture, negotiating social and environmental dynamics. Three separate modules allow students to investigate specific aspects of their Final Thesis Project, and allows them to learn cause-effect relations between the geometry, the material system and the performances of their architectural proposals.

In April 2021 the course received an unconditional validation by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); students who have successfully completed the course will be awarded a RIBA (Part 1) qualification required for Professional Registration. The validation came with a number of commendations that praised: the creativity and resilience of staff, particularly in the context of restrictions during the pandemic; the implementation of cross-disciplinary working and the complementary nature of the course ethos and identity within the school; the attitude and proactive approach of the students evident in their work.