As Associate Teaching Professors of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University, Rami El Samahy and I hold joint appointments, teaching at the Carnegie Mellon University main campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the US every fall semester, and at the branch campus in Doha, Qatar every spring semester. In Doha, we offer elective courses in architecture to non-majors, including students studying Business, Information Systems, and Computer Science. These students have the option to earn a minor in Architecture. One of the required courses for the minor in Architecture is a course titled Architecture for non-majors. In this course, students gain knowledge about the breadth of architectural practice through various forms of study, and assimilate these skills as they develop their own approach. In the first weeks, students learn how to measure, draw, and build models. Throughout the semester, students learn to sketch and design. They gain an understanding of local vernacular passive techniques and are encouraged to reinterpret these concepts in order to create responsible and sustainable contemporary architecture.Sustainability at the urban scale is the focus on an elective course titled Mapping Urbanism. This interdisciplinary seminar functions as an introductory workshop to urban design, information design, urban history, and theory. The aim of the course is two-fold: first, to develop an appreciation for the built environment and diverse history and cultures; and second, to educate students about the complex issues of urbanism through mapping. While the structure of the course is similar each year, the focus is always changing. Past courses have focused on examinations of international city typologies, regional sustainable mega-projects, and local public spaces.In addition to teaching architecture electives to non-majors, we’ve also led semester-long study abroad programs, whereby undergraduate architecture students from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh studied abroad in Doha. In 2010, fourth-year undergraduate Bachelor of Architecture students, who are required to take an architectural design studio that focuses on systems integration, redesigned the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) headquarters. The project was intended to reflect the needs, mission and organizational structure of the QGBC by showcasing a variety of sustainable strategies. Student projects included ideas such as opening the central atrium to create an exterior courtyard, redirecting the entrance; and have incorporated solar photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and evaporative cooling pools.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

  • Received: 22 April 2015
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error