The department of architectural engineering (ArchE) targets the increasing demand of architects and provides top-notch architectural education that will contribute to the discipline, industry and society. In addition to the task of preparing students to the challenges of a changing global market, our location in Jerusalem presents its own challenges. With a balance between modernity and tradition, the curriculum will address societal, environmental and geopolitical challenges. Our approach intends to expand the boundaries of architectural design to incorporate the urban realm and to be responsive to cultural, socio-economic and environmental conditions. This approach is inspired from the University of California – Berkeley under “environmental Design” i.e., responsive to all factors in the surrounding environment. Through coursework and design studios, students are trained to look at the built environment as a living social ecology. Our graduates are provided with a holistic approach that enriches their global competitiveness and enables them to contribute in shaping a local sustainable existence in the particularly difficult conditions.
Today the program received around 200 students distributed among the five different years, and are being taught by a team of more than 15 staff members, full and part time, who have various experience in academia and practice. Students have participated in many architectural competitions and won many prices. Many of the studio projects were responsive to real problems following the demand of different cliental and individuals.
The mission of the program is embodied in the creation of a rich educational environment that provides high quality teaching, professional training and design skill: history and theory of architecture and art, building technology and the environment, design computation, basic sciences and engineering as well as humanities: social, cultural, environmental and geopolitical factors that influence urbanization and human habitation. Thus, architectural design is the synthetic practice that links, weaves and gives form to those interdisciplinary contributions. With a pedagogical approach that encourages critical thinking and critical making, students are instructed to explore and disseminate knowledge through research and quality artistic production.
To stimulate the multi-disciplinary nature of architecture and communicate with other scholarly research, our studios frequently host non-architectural faculty from other relevant department of Al Quds University, i.e., fine arts, sociology, environment and archeology. Professional guests from the community and building industry are also welcomed. Service to and partnerships with the building industry, community and society plays an important role of our mission; it leads to mutual learning as well as the advancement and application of professional knowledge and expertise in the local economy. Consequently, department’s mission is to create a teaching practice in which experts and guests from industry and community are frequently invited. Extra-curricular learning and student interaction becomes an important voluntary arena for contribution and debate. Part of our mission is to have a series of extra-curricular public lectures organized around themes of public interest; to be developed in cooperation between students and faculty members. To cultivate and nurture students’ abilities in visual communication, alongside the lecture series, annual exhibitions and an award program is organized. International exposure of our students to regional and global experience is also pursued. The department builds programs of cooperation with leading Arab and international departments of architecture. This augments our ability in providing mutual projects, field trips and internships for our students in other countries and cultures.
With a socially responsive educational program that promotes cutting edge creative architectural design and gives weight to environmental, economic, political and aesthetic concerns, we prepare professional architects with a sense of social responsibility who are useful to their Palestinian society and are regionally and globally competitive. By catering to professional needs and changes in local, international and Arab world markets, our graduates will have the ability and the expertise to :
- Provide a decent quality of life for all human inhabitants;
- Utilize technological interventions, which are sensitive and respect people’s social cultural and aesthetic needs.
- Contribute to an ecologically balanced and sustainable development of the built environment;
- Develop alternative planning for disadvantaged communities and utilizing urban planning in advocacy for social justice.
The mission of our program can be summarized in providing quality teaching and professional training where students creativity is nurtured and cultivated in a socially responsive educational program. While being sensitive to social, cultural, environmental and aesthetic values, it encourages critical thinking and making in the study and practice of architecture. The program provides interdisciplinary interaction, contact with industry and community, extra-curricular learning and international exposure.
Course content and studio procedures are geared to produce a creative graduate who is equipped with all essential skills to practice architecture in all its phases and who is responsive to the urban and environmental context. The teaching objectives in all three learning domains are translated into learning outcomes. Summarized in points from A-K, the following intended learning outcomes are related to the architectural practice and represent the minimum abilities necessary for such a practice. They are not exclusive and the program offers projects and exercises that may produce other learning outcomes. Thus, upon completion of the degree program the students will have:
- An ability to generate, conceptualize and develop design solutions that address socio-cultural, environmental and technological domains of the architectural practice.
- An ability to demonstrate the broad knowledge needed to understand the complex impact of history, culture, environment, technology, economy, politics and globalization on urban development and human habitation.
- An ability to identify the interactive relationship between people and the formation of the built environment, i.e., social space. Therefore, to recognize social diversity displayed in varied cultural values, needs and behavioral patterns.
- An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering as well as to design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data.
- An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
- An ability to utilize and incorporate design computation and computer technology in the various stages of research, design processes and products.
- An ability to comprehend and utilize latest developments in building technology; with an ability to use the relevant technique, according to situation and context.
- An ability to work in collaboration with architects and various other specialists within interdisciplinary teams related to the building industry; with a clear awareness of professional and ethical responsibilities.
- An ability to communicate concepts and design ideas with visual and verbal skills at all stages of design and project delivery; employing both traditional (drawings & models) and computer-based means of representation.
- An ability to critically evaluate building designs, and facility to determine and utilize appropriate architectural research methods, to assess and propose improvements in existing settings of the built environment: data collection and analysis.
The conditions announced by the Admission Department before each new academic year.
Job opportunities for an architecture graduate are multiple due to the flexibility of the nature of the profession, which adapts several sectors. Therefore, architecture graduates can work in several areas, including:
- Engineering offices.
- Contracting companies.
- Civil and governmental organizations such as the Ministry of Housing, Local Government and Planning and others.