The timeless way of educating architects: a new master in "Building Beauty" in Naples, Italy

Maggie Moore-Alexander, Enzo Zecchi, Peter Russell, Maria Vidoli, Antonio Caperna, Ombretta Romice, Sergio Porta

Research output: Contribution to conferenceProceedingpeer-review

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Christopher Alexander showed us that beauty can be investigated in nature, in things that are made and built, and in our collective and individual selves, in a way that leads us to understand and enhance wholeness. All of this he pursued on the basis of objective physical evidence. Also, Alexander showed that the unfolding geometry of beauty can be sought with practical means that demonstrate its connections with all of life.
A new Master program in “Building Beauty: Experience of Ecologic Design and Construction Process” is now assembling at the University Suor Orsola Benincasa in Naples, Italy, with the mission of pursuing beauty through a new model of architectural education inspired by Alexander, with colleagues of the Center for Environmental Structure (CES), the organization Alexander established for his professional and educational work.
In this paper we introduce the context of “radical” traditions of architectural education and culture from the 1960s and the current debate in the United Kingdom and the US; we then present the program’s general vision, that merges a truly holistic practice of building with nature and the community, with a research/evidence based approach to knowledge; finally we focus on pedagogic principles aimed to align with, and support, such vision; the proposed pedagogy covers both teaching and assessment, by introducing a constructionist approach implemented through an original Project-Based Learning model updated with latest fundamentals of Agile Project Management.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2016
Event2016 International PUARL Conference: The Regenerative City - University of San Francisco Campus, California, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 28 Oct 201630 Oct 2016


Conference2016 International PUARL Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


  • architectural education
  • Christopher Alexander
  • agile project-based learning
  • higher education
  • building process
  • radicalism
  • generating beauty
  • pedagogical models


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