Ways of Choosing

The Role of School Design Culture in Promoting Particular Design Paradigms in Irish Architectural Education






design paradigms, school culture, values in design, personal design philosophy, design excellence, design process, sustainability in design education


Architectural education must produce graduates which have demonstrated standards of knowledge, skill and competence for practice as an architect, who possess particular professional attributes and who are also aware of their civic responsibilities. As such, graduates are taught to question and direct design conditions from particular design paradigms and stances. In the context of two dichotomous design culture stances — Architectural Design Excellence (ADE) which prioritises aesthetic architectural ideals and space-making, and Sustainable Performance Excellence (SPE) which has technical prowess and the built environment response to social, environmental and economic sustainability as its focus — this paper studies the role of school design culture in Irish Schools of Architecture in providing the focus on what constitutes architectural design excellence, and what shapes the framework in which these ideas sit.

How to Cite

O'Dwyer, S., & Gwilliam, . J. (2020). Ways of Choosing: The Role of School Design Culture in Promoting Particular Design Paradigms in Irish Architectural Education. EAAE Annual Conference Proceedings, 44–65. https://doi.org/10.51588/eaaeacp.53



Author Biographies

Sarah O'Dwyer, Cardiff University

Sarah O’Dwyer (BSc, BArch, MArchSc, MRIAI) is a practicing architect and programme lead of the ‘Environmental Design of Buildings’ DL MSc in the Welsh School of Architecture. O’Dwyer’s research interests include sustainable design process studies and the evaluation of the sustainability of buildings, particularly at early stage design. She has previously investigated these topics through a funded MArchSC and previously published research. She is currently pursuing a PhD exploring this topic, with a particular focus on the transitioning of architectural design education to incorporate sustainable design excellence, on the role of education in the delivery of sustainable design excellence in the built environment.

Julie Gwilliam, Cardiff University

Dr Julie Gwilliam (MA, BArch, MSc, PhD, FHEA) is College Dean for Postgraduate Studies at Cardiff University and Senior lecturer in the Welsh School of Architecture. Her main interests lie in the transition of architectural and associated built environment professional practice towards a sustainable future. As such she is interested in the social production of buildings, collaborative practices, the investigation of professional working practices in the delivery of built environment sustainability. She also has a long term interest in the role of education and continuing professional development in the delivery sustainable development including in the study and teaching of environmental design and sustainability as applied to the built environment.


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