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Studio One: A New Teaching Model for Exploring Bio-Inspired Design and Fabrication

The increasing specialization in architecture has clearly left its marks not only on the general
profession but also on architectural education. Many universities around the world react to this
development by offering primarily conventional and overly discipline-specific courses that often lack
bold new concepts. To remedy this situation, the authors propose an alternative teaching model called Studio One, which seeks to facilitate new dynamic links between architecture and other disciplines based on the interplay between fundamental research, design exploration, and practical application. At the core of this class is the study of biological structures and the development of bio-inspired construction principles for architectural design. After a brief introduction to the general objectives of Studio One, the authors will specify the methods and 21st century skills that students learned during this class. Relying on four student capstone projects as examples, the paper will then go into more detail on how natural structures can inspire a new design process, in which students abstract basic biomimetic principles and transfer them into the construction of architectural prototypes and pavilions. Finally, the authors conclude by discussing the particular successes and challenges facing this teaching model and identify the key improvements that may give this program an even bigger impact in the future.

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