Achieving Sustainable Urbanism through Architectural Education

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Sustainable urbanism is strongly related to the ability of modern educational systems to train autonomous learners who can contribute positively to their built environment. This study investigates using a spatial installation project on the ability of fourth-year architecture students to understand and recall complex philosophical ideas related to architecture and urbanism. The study is based on two experiments of term projects assigned to students in the academic years 2017–18 and 2018–19. The first experiment was followed by a survey and the second was followed by interviews and focus groups. The results showed that the students’ involvement in the hands-on project increased their curiosity and enhanced their ability to understand complex philosophical ideas related to architecture and urbanism. Having to work in groups to achieve the objectives of the course via designing and constructing a space helped also in developing the student’s soft skills and their ability to cognise the technical requirements of the design. The findings suggest incorporating active learning pedagogies in the theoretical courses of architecture programs.