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 decade, 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 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 based on an evidence-based approach to 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 enrich their projects by studying the relation between the geometry, the material system, and the performances of their architectural proposals.

A significant part of the challenges of educating the Environmental Architect consists of the ability to move between disciplines. To facilitate a multidisciplinary learning experience, the BSc AED students are encouraged to participate in interdisciplinary activities, such as the co-production workshop organised with Imperial College. During the two days’ workshop, students work alongside designers from other courses and medics from Imperial College to redesign healthcare spaces for the NHS. Students also take part in lectures and workshops organised by specialists from different fields, such as the lecture delivered by marine biologists involved in the largest coral reef restoration in the world. Similarly, a workshop on biomaterials run by material scientists, allowed student to experiment with new sustainable materialises.