Learning by Making: Architecture Students Design and Construct Timber Structures for Schools

There are various reasons why architecture students should be involved in both the design and construction of small but full-size buildings. The projects described in this paper engage students in the full range of issues in the realization of a well-resolved design vision, from beginning the client relationship through to the completion of a small 10sq.m building on site. The projects benefit all involved, providing not just educational outcomes for the students, but useful facilities for community organizations. The paper describes the Timber Technology course at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland, where students design and construct shelters for schools. The shelters’ timber parts are typically made by digitally controlled machinery. Different modes of learning are involved, including structural theory, design and construction. The paper examines how Multiple Intelligence Theory by Dr Howard Gardner of Harvard University explains the various learning experiences received by the students.

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