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By : Pedro Serrano Rodríguez, Luis Felipe González Böhme

As is well known, architectural design pedagogy persistently demands to look outside the classroom for real-world problems to deal with, and exemplary solutions to learn from. Studio-based learning alternately takes place between indoor and outdoor environments as well as built and natural environments. Especially the use of outdoor workspaces where students may generate and test their design proposals strengthens the case for a better understanding of human habitability and environmental sustainability. Nonetheless, outdoor activities are traditionally confined to on-site information gathering, whereas design and evaluation processes are carried out indoors simply as a desk-bound activity. In these cases, the empirical evidence to back up the problem modeling and the design decisions made inside the studio classroom is missing. In mainstream architecture education, indoor and outdoor learning experiences are operationally dissociated. The intent to create real outdoor studio classrooms not only opens a new research field in learning space design, but new challenges to the studio-based learning culture. We expose a few exemplary cases from an ongoing series of trials, started in 1999 by the Department of Architecture at the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, to assess the effective integration of outdoor learning environments with our local studio-based learning culture. Keywords : Architecture Education, Outdoor Studio, Experiential Learning, Sustainable Architecture, Extreme Zones Architecture.

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