History … never repeat yourself! Breaking the ‘history of architecture’ pedagogy in university education


  • Ayman M Ismail




This paper asks the following question: can university architecture students benefit from a change, more engaging and fun approach to learning history of architecture through drama? It presents the findings of a 5-year old pioneering project to spear-head a mood-change in teaching History of Architecture for university architecture students in Egypt. The approach, to be called “Collaborative Character Dramatization or CCD”; puts the student at the steering wheel of the course through a number of exciting activities that involve integrating drama and multimedia production of many types into their learning cycle. Rather than just memorizing a style or a school, student self-learn about the architect, institutions, society and events that shaped the architect’s style in an exciting and creative media production of their choice. Pre-and-post-drama surveys, word-clouds and personal observation of the students showed amazing results: a group of very inspired and learned students, whose course objectives fulfillment rates were very high, and with impacts on their own awareness and personality exceeding the course boundaries. The findings were consistent and progressing throughout the years, producing a new breed of motivated, confident and creative students.