Enhancing Creativity and Independent Learning of Architectural Technology Students through the use of a Real Life Design Competition Module

Heather Bibbings, Piotr Bieluga, Carl Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


Upon request of the Architectural Technology Students, we developed a module that used a real-life competition design project at its core. Developed with sustainability and environmental awareness in mind, the students were required to evaluate the site, materials and energy of their designs and, competing as groups, adapt them to maximize the functionality of the brief.

This module enabled students to gain insight into collaborative processes, both with each other as well as others in the design team very early in their professional education. The brief set enabled students to increase their knowledge and research skills and through Kolb’s cycle of action and reflection, encouraged them to find help not only within the department but also outside of the course, promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and a broader understanding of the real-life design process.

The two finalists then had the experience of an actual client and design team presentation, followed by the judging panel questioning them about their work before deciding on the winner. This paper gives both staff and student viewpoints of the project and process as well as outcomes of the experiment and introduces a new model of using a real-life project competition to enhance the learning of Architectural Technology students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-387
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


  • Activity-led learning
  • Collaboration
  • Architectural Technology
  • Design
  • Innovation

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