Evolving sustainable design approaches in architectural practice and education

Ashraf M Salama

Research output: Contribution to conferenceKeynote

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This paper responds to three missing dimensions that continue to exemplify sustainable design in professional practice and education: a) the absence of socio-behavioral aspects from sustainability discourse, b) the reliance on top-down policies and guidance documents, and c) the lack of attention given to contextual aspects. The paper offers two major approaches, which can be utilized as initiatives for professional actions or as advances in contemporary thinking about sustainability as it relates to education in architecture and urbanism. The first approach offers a critique on the notion of guidelines and adopts bottom up design strategies that enable the inclusion of social and cultural issues relevant to the users of the environment. The second approach adopts the premise that architecture should contribute to the larger matrix of sustainable urbanism, and argues that this must start with the education of future architects based on a holistic understanding of how the built environment is produced. The two approaches are interwoven into a concluding discussion that aims at advancing the future discourse about sustainable built environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
EventInternational Conference On Sustainable Tropical Environmental Design 2013 (SusTED'13) - Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
Duration: 18 Dec 201319 Dec 2013


ConferenceInternational Conference On Sustainable Tropical Environmental Design 2013 (SusTED'13)


  • sustainable design
  • guidance documents
  • socio-behavioral aspects
  • community involvement
  • sustainable urban qualities


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