Architecture As Situated Practice: Temple University is located in Philadelphia, one of America’s great cities, long globally acknowledged and connected. It and architectural practice within it are currently being transformed by forces of global restructuring in ways comparable with that of other mid-sized post industrial cities around the world. Pedagogy and research are framed by this urban and professional condition. It is used as a primary laboratory for deep critical engagement, architectural investigation and operative transformation in environmentally responsible ways.
Architecture As Material Practice: Central to work in the department is the recognition of architecture as a material practice, in which acts of design and acts of making extend into one another. These include drawing, model building, fabrication and building. This locates the department’s laboratories – studios, woodshop, digital and fabrication labs and a materials library – and the relationship between thinking and making, at the heart of the department’s ethos and pedagogy.
The department promotes Investigations into architecture’s material and technical properties as a basis for environmentally sustainable design and research. These include conventional materials and technologies as well as investigations into emerging materials and new computational and fabrication technologies.
Architecture As Social Practice: The department espouses a position that architecture is a social practice. It investigates the complex socio-economic, cultural and political dynamics of the contemporary, post-industrial city and explores these as opportunities for design. These include forces of, for example,. migration, crime, fear, religion, climate change etc. phenomena which have shaped the modern metropolis since its beginning but have taken on additional urgency under the impact of globalization, as well as more traditional forces of commercial capital and politics.
Architecture As Design Based Practice: Fundamental to architecture is design, a speculative practice that operates on the real to know and transform it. The design studio, from foundation level where students learn basic design and representational skills to advanced level comprehensive and urban studios provide a critical environment for architectural speculation. These are supported by the study of theoretical, historical, technical and professional phenomena relevant to design practice in the metropolis of tomorrow.
Architecture As Collaborative Practice: The department operates from the position that architecture is a collaborative practice. Collaborations with other centers of excellence in the University Teaching and research are encouraged. Pedagogy and research are connected to real conditions through partnerships or collaborations with other urban agents ex: planners, developers, political activists, researchers, fabricators, artists and other professionals. In this way, architectural education ensures its relevance to the transforming world of practice. Applied research and consultancy is encouraged.