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is a center for developing experience, knowledge, and research on transformative learning processes in
architectural education at NTNU. Based at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts and in collaboration with the Unit of
Educational Development, NTNU, the study of transformative learning processes in
is closely connected to
the creative working process and the transdisciplinary character of architecture as a professional field. The university
context provides a fertile framework for this transdisciplinary perspective and the experimental pedagogical ambition is
supported by NTNU’s strategic focus on innovative learning.
The aim of
is to conduct in-depth research on the transformative aspect of learning, which influences all
activities in architectural education and is relevant for all forms of higher education.
In the fall of 2013 the faculty prepared an application with the project name
to become a Center of Excellence
in Higher Education (SFU), organized by NOKUT (Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education). Twenty-four
different groups participated and eight were shortlisted, among them
. On basis of this, the further develop-
ment of
is now supported financially the next three years by NTNU and the two involved faculties.
Rethinking architectural education
We live in times of major transitions. Due to climatic change, economic crises, and large-scale environmental crises we
have reached a point where we are forced to seek solutions that are outside the thinking of that which has led to these
problems. Leading voices have called for a major rethink. Whether for good and bad, architecture is a main contributor
in shaping our environment, not only in a physical way, but also in an emotional, structural, and artistic way. Hence, the
situation calls for an urgent need to rethink architectural education and to bring it in line with the real challenges that
confront us. New perspectives, new models, and new methods need to be developed with a corresponding new level of
pedagogical practice. Architecture is a highly interdisciplinary field. It is founded on the need to deal with complexity and
the bigger picture simultaneously. Architecture is a field in which aesthetic, tactile experience is crucial, and creative prac-
tice is both a way of thinking and a way of understanding. Architecture deals with humans more than houses. Becoming
an architect is to develop as a whole human being. The point of departure is therefore that architectural education can no
longer be seen merely as a vehicle for a professional career, but as a developmental process that educates the whole
person. This is a comprehensive process that involves the development of physical awareness, emotional and empathic
responsiveness, mental flexibility, intuition, and artistic sense.