Architecture as an Academic Discipline

Document Type : علمی - پژوهشی


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University


Academic architectural education is relatively new to the long history of architectural education, which is based on certain assumptions and requirements affecting the educational process as a whole. One such assumption is the notion of ‘architecture as an academic discipline’. Nevertheless, in addition to its common meanings as ‘a branch of instruction or learning’, discipline has other connotations, as well. These connotations include: a regimen that develops or improves a skill; punishment or an instrument of punishment; behavior in accord with rules of conduct and control; and a system of rules and regulations. As such, discipline becomes a multi-layered interpretational instrument that implicitly imposes its requirements on architecture. Although this imposition opens new horizons of interpretation, it limits certain aspects of architectural education that were an integral part of its historic constitution. As a result, certain aspects of architecture are segregated in form of specialties; architecture is frequently treated as a pure science; the professional aspect of architecture is habitually neglected in academic education; the boundaries of architectural practice is constantly subject to specialized speculation; and as an academic discipline, architecture constantly changes direction in pursuit of ‘state-of-the-art’ knowledge.

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