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Int J Technol Des Educ (2013) 23:987–1004

DOI 10.1007/s10798-013-9238-8

Learning outcomes in affective domain

within contemporary architectural curricula

Marko Savic • Mohamad Kashef

Published online: 2 March 2013

 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Abstract Contemporary architectural education has shifted from the traditional focus on
providing students with specific knowledge and skill sets or ‘inputs’ to outcome based,
student-centred educational approach. Within the outcome based model, students’ per-
formance is assessed against measureable objectives that relate acquired knowledge and
skills to performance expectations in higher level courses or real world architectural
practice. Bloom’s taxonomy has been widely accepted as a useful tool for defining learning
outcomes. It references three domains that impinge on the learning process including the
‘cognitive,’ ‘affective’ and ‘psychomotor.’ In practice, most of the attention is paid to the
cognitive domain. Considering the interdisciplinary and multivalent character of archi-
tecture (as discipline), curriculum design cannot be founded primarily on cognitive-based
outcomes. This paper argues that affective domain, especially in the field of building
learners’ personalized value systems, is essential to designing outcome based architectural
programs. Interactive studio-based education provides a platform to integrate cognitive and
behavioural skills that are necessary for professional practice.

Keywords Architectural education  Design studio  Affective domain 

Learning outcomes  Integrity


During the last few decades, student-centred, outcome-based education has become the
dominant paradigm in university education (Spady 1994; Allan 1997). Both European and
American higher education programs have shifted from learning system matrices,
knowledge descriptors and programme educational objectives, to the modular and/or
M. Savic (&)  M. Kashef
ALHOSN University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
M. Kashef

988 M. Savic, M. Kashef

course learning outcomes. The US Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has
launched a new approach to the accreditation of Higher Education institutions (NCHEMS
2000). It promotes course learning outcomes as the most critical aspect of educational
The most notable change of the Higher Education system in Europe came from the
Bologna declaration postulates. The new system (ECTS) implemented qualitative verifi-
cation of student workload needed for completion of a study programme. Study pro-
grammes are no longer teacher-centred but students-oriented. ‘‘The teacher-oriented
approach is generally time independent, based on the assumption that the proper object of
study is what the individual professor thinks the student should learn in his or her course’’
(Wagenaar 2002, p.232). On the other hand, the student-oriented approach focuses on what
the student is able to do on successful completion of the course or module) (UCE Bir-
mingham 2012). The prime criterion is the ability of graduates to apply and synthesize
learnt knowledge and skills in real world practice.
Extensive theoretical foundation has been developed to support outcome-based
approach during the second part of twentieth century (Allan 1997). Spady (1994, abstract),
the founder of the Outcome-based paradigm, stated that ‘‘Outcome-Based Education
means clearly focusing and organizing everything in an educational system around what is
essential for all students to be able to do successfully at the end of their learning experi-
ences’’. He relied on Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy (1913–1999) that incorporated cogni-
tive, affective and psychomotor domains. Because of their simplicity, preciseness and
measurability, Bloom’s taxonomy in cognitive domain (Bloom et al. 1956) is implemented
as the most common tool for defining learning outcomes.
Within teacher-oriented paradigm, teaching effectiveness is generally measured by the
student’s knowledge. Epistemology of learning is primarily based on theoretical grounds of
observation, studying and acquiring ‘knowledge’. On the other hand, the student-centred,
outcome-based approach advances an operational question about the methods of acquiring
knowledge. It is mainly a question of pedagogy and approach to teaching/learning rather
than a test of knowledge (Winterton et al. 2005). The answer to the question lies in
educational psychology, which examines learning through understanding human motiva-
tion, group learning dynamics, cognition, moral reasoning, value systems and relationship
to knowledge (Elliot et al. 2000). The crucial question for educational psychologists is how
much of the knowledge students acquire in school is applied to tasks outside formal
educational settings, and how successful the application is? Education should help students
organize their thoughts and draw parallels between knowledge acquired across different
courses in different subjects or different levels of the same subject. Educational psy-
chologists (Bandura 2006) point to the centrality of what they term ‘cognitive change and
development;’ it happens when students are allowed to reflect, examine alternative solu-
tions to problems and connect concepts and symbols to initial understanding of problems.
The latter process creates a learning continuum that transcends the traditional framework
of human cognition as a repository of knowledge to an analogical cognitive development
that employs problem solving as a framework for increasing knowledge. Bandura (2006)
refers to effective learners as active agents who ‘construct knowledge,’ which entails
setting goals, analyzing tasks, planning strategies and monitoring self-learning and
Intrinsic human ability (high IQ) may enhance or hinder the process of learning.
However, education psychologists maintain that motivation plays even a greater role in
mobilizing human capacity to process ideas and generate the effort required to construct
knowledge. When students are demotivated or less confident about their ability to tackle

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subjects such as Math or physics, they experience a sense of embarrassment or inadequacy;

they suffer test anxiety, poor concentration and consequently decrease their effort in
acquiring knowledge. ‘Effort’ is perceived as controllable and a function of motivation and
desire to perform (Elliot 1999; Weiner 2000).
Architectural school curricula belong to technological scientific disciplines, humanities
and social sciences as well as applied arts. Architecture reflects the culture of its origin, but
it also creates it because of its material longevity. For that reason, architectural education
cannot be dissociated from the cultural milieu in which it is being realised (Spanbroek
2010). Assumed social responsibility as well as sensibility to client/user needs necessitates
the development of students’ attitudinal and behavioural competencies. Hence, this paper
stresses the importance of the application of behavioural affective domain in the process of
defining learning outcomes for architecture study programmes.

Knowledge, skills and competences

Knowledge, skills and competences are key constructs of the outcome-based educational
approach. Winterton et al. (2005) define knowledge as the interaction between intelligence
(capacity to learn) and situation (opportunity to learn). Two types of knowledge have been
identified: general life knowledge or knowledge that is presumed and special knowledge
related to a certain group of phenomena. Knowledge can also be classified in relation to its
function. In this case, knowledge can be ‘declarative’ (knowing what) and ‘procedural’
(knowing how) (Winterton et al. 2005). The latter division can be expanded to include
factual knowledge, conceptual knowledge and meta-cognitive knowledge (Anderson and
Krathwohl 2001). The term meta-cognitive knowledge includes capability to monitor
learning progress, as well as making a change in approach and strategy if learning is not
successful. This term in fact refers to knowledge on how to gain knowledge or how to
Skills are directly related to the ‘know how,’ and they can be divided as mental and
physical (motor). Under the rubric of mental skills, certain cognitive operations are
included, such as ‘problem solving’ or ‘decision making’ (Winterton et al. 2005), which
makes it more cumbersome to distinguish knowledge from skills. This explains the diffi-
culty of separating the procedures for acquiring skills from concepts related to cognitive
domain or to knowledge gaining and processing. In fact, ‘problem based learning’ or
problem solving, is the foundation for design studios in a number of architecture schools
(Roberts 2004). Skills can be developed by training and/or practice. Gaining certain skills
begins with cognitive phase of understanding the requirements, followed by associative
phase that is more directly related to reconsideration of concrete tasks, and ends with
autonomous phase, which presumes ‘automatic’ realization (Winterton et al. 2005).
The Prague Communiqué (2001) extended two varying definitions for competence. One
definition is that ‘‘competence is a compilation of skills, attitudes and underlying cognitive
elements, offering one the opportunity of performing tasks that are substantial to a function
or a role’’ (Liberloo 2003, p.81). The other characterizes competence as a ‘‘highly valued
qualification that accounts for the effective use of one’s knowledge and skills in a specific,
usually complex context’’ (Westera 2001, p.79). OECD (2005) groups key competences in
three groups: ability to act autonomously, use tools interactively and interact in hetero-
geneous groups.
In the context of education process, the notion of competence involves acquired abilities
that are expected from students after completion of a module or curriculum. Competences

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are proofs of achievement—realisation of learning outcome. In contrast to learning out-

comes that are initially academic constructs, competences should be derived from the
needs and requisites of the profession. From a professional perspective, competences are
categorized as: generic competencies, subject specific competencies and practical or
experimental knowledge related to a certain field (Wagenaar 2002). Generic competences
include those abilities that are not directly related to a field or profession. Some of those are
characterised by elements of culture or communication, while others have indirect influ-
ence on the development of specific competences (motivation, ability to learn, etc.). The
European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) introduced a
typology for knowledge/skills/competences (KSC) to be used as the foundation for the
European Credit Transfer system (ECVET).
Figure 1 is adapted from Winterton et al. (2005) and Bloom’s taxonomy (cognitive
domain—knowledge, psychomotor domain—skills, affective domain—attitudes and
behaviour). It depicts knowledge and skills in a positive feedback loop with competences
evolving as a result of the knowledge/skill interactive dynamic. The model places con-
ceptual knowledge and operational skills on opposite ends of a continuum. This empha-
sizes the idea that the teacher-centred education paradigm rooted in imparting knowledge
unto students may not achieve the desired outcomes. The interactive dialectic between
cognitive and affective domains allows students to acquire, construct and adapt knowledge
to varying milieus, akin to the idea of cognitive change and development.
The European Qualification Framework (EPC 2008, p.C111/4) offered a summative
understating of knowledge, skills and competences as follows:
1. Knowledge means the outcome of the assimilation of information through learning.
Knowledge is the body of facts, principles, theories and practices that is related to a
field of work or study. In the context of this framework, knowledge is described as
theoretical and/or factual.

Fig. 1 Knowledge and skills and competence interaction (adapted from Winterton et al. 2005)

Learning outcomes in affective domain 991

2. Skills means the ability to apply knowledge and use know-how to complete tasks and
solve problems. In the context of this framework, skills are described as cognitive
(involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking) or practical (involving
manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments).
3. Competence means the proven ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social
and/or methodological abilities, in work or study situations and in professional and
personal development. In the context of the EQF, competence is described in terms of
responsibility and autonomy.
It would be important here to mention another term used in contemporary educational
theories, capability, and clearly distinguish it from the term competence. In 1979, Royal
Society of Arts (RSA) in UK published the Education for Capability Manifesto, chal-
lenging the responsibility of the Higher Education institutions (HEA 2012). In years to
follow, RSA launched the national project called Higher Education for Capability (HEC),
tending to encourage higher education institutions to focus on enhancing personal capa-
bilities among the students. Capabilities were defined as ‘‘…an integration of knowledge,
skills and personal qualities used effectively and appropriately in response to varied,
familiar and unfamiliar circumstances’’ (Stephenson 1994, p.3). This understanding was
prevalent in some of the governmental documents of the time (National Training and
Education Targets, National Vocational Qualifications) (Stephenson 1994). Cairns (1996,
p.80) defines the concept of capability as ‘‘capacity to handle the unknown’’, Stephenson
(1992, p.2) associates capability with behaviour stating that… ‘‘Capable people (…) have
the confidence to apply their knowledge and skills within varied and changing situations
and to continue to develop their specialist knowledge and skills long after they have left
formal education…’’. As elaborated above, capability could be placed somewhere between
meta and social competence.
However, in the more recent literature, specifically in the works of some contemporary
philosophers such as Sen and Nussbaum (Robeyns 2005, p.104–105), capability has been
mostly elaborated as a key to well-being. Besides the other factors, they are focusing on
several affective phenomena including senses, imagination and emotions. In line with their
definitions, the Capability Approach strategy has been recently applied to improve edu-
cational systems in low-income countries (Tao 2010). According to Unterhalter et al.
(2007), as educational process impacts values of the learners, adequately implemented and
acquired affective domain-focused educational goals could influence their opportunities for
the future life.
As demonstrated above, there is a great deal of overlap and interconnections between
knowledge, skills and competence. Understating these terms and the interconnections
between them is crucial to define learning outcomes in educational curricula. This is even
more so for architecture as a discipline aimed at educating students to become profes-
sionals with not only a reservoir of knowledge but also important skills and competences
that allow them to deal with problems never encountered in their formal education. The
complexity in architecture education is that it deals with buildings and built environments
that have been widely manifested in students’ lives; architecture penetrates peoples’ lives
and becomes part of their common vocabulary, opinions and general knowledge.
Throughout the formal architectural education (special knowledge), this knowledge is
challenged and critically analyzed. Architecture (as discipline and practice) requires
technical and artistic intervention in the given context. Hoffmann et al. (2010, p.639–640)
have distinguished five steps in the learning process for engineers that apply to architecture
as well. These include:

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• Get to know facts (gaining factual knowledge)

• Learn about context (gaining conceptual knowledge)
• Train procedures for automatic reactions (gaining procedural skills and habits through
• Find rules behind procedures (gaining canonical knowledge based on analytical
capabilities), and
• Find strategies for acting (developing strategic knowledge/competence based on
creative thinking).
Furthermore, architectural education relies heavily on the studio format which brings
students together and creates, on the whole, very useful dynamics that energise students to
compete and perform to reach specific goals for their design projects. Arguing about
process of splitting humanities and design in architectural education, Coleman (2010,
p.209) insists that students should develop ‘‘critical and imaginative thinking about the
issues that confront us as citizens and us as human beings’’. Architectural studio projects
also involve a substantive discussion of social values, moral issues and the impact of
design on facilitating or hindering the building function. McAllister (2010, p.84) claims
that ‘‘…specifically, the design process is an area where a student’s own values and
personal interests can become design generators’’. Students vary in their motivation and
ability to synthesize such issues and produce workable design scenarios that are also
perceived as creative and fulfilling the initial objectives of the project. Hence, educational
psychology constructs, the affective domain and especially the idea of ‘cognitive change’
play a crucial role in architectural education.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes should be defined in terms of what students are expected to demon-
strate and achieve upon completion of a course module or education program. They rely on
knowledge, skills and competences. Spady (1994, p.2) maintains that ‘‘they are not values,
beliefs, attitudes or psychological states of mind. Instead, outcomes are what learners can
actually do with what they know and have learned’’. However, development of personal
value systems, especially in architecture and similar disciplines, should not be excluded
from the list of the learning expectations.
Learning outcomes take a central position in contemporary curriculum design. It could
be defined as an amalgam of teaching strategies, procedures and criteria for assessment. A
typical form of learning outcome for a module should be ‘‘…on successful completion of
the module, you will be able to…’’ (Moon 2006, p.3). Further definition of achievements
can be expressed using verbs such as: to examine, to synthesize, to appreciate, to analyse,
to integrate, to estimate, to create, to develop, etc. Details of course syllabus should be at
the end and detailed in a way that allow students to link expectations with teaching content.
It is important to determine the hierarchical structure of learning outcomes, from curric-
ulum (final qualification) and study cycle, to modules and courses that form them.
Spady (1994) defines three critical domains of outcomes: literacy, content and perfor-
mance. Literacy is ‘a must’ condition and content comprises mostly factual knowledge.
Performance, as the widest domain, relies on all elements of ‘superstructure’ in cognitive
and affective domains. Development of performance from the simple to the complex level
stresses the need of clear and proper structure of the study program learning outcomes.
Contemporary study programmes are organised in degrees, levels or cycles (e.g. Bachelor,

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Master, PhD). The EHEA definition of level is ‘‘a series of sequential steps (a develop-
mental continuum) expresses in terms of a range or generic outcomes, against which
typical qualifications can be positioned’’ (Moon 2006, p.4–5). For each of these levels, it is
possible to define general requirements regarding learning outcomes. These requirements
are also called descriptors of a level or cycle of studies, and are important parts of national
or international qualification frameworks. A more precise definition states that ‘‘Level
descriptors are generic outcome statements of what a learner is expected to know,
understand and be able to do at the end of a level of learning—like generic learning
outcomes’’ (Gosling and Moon 2001, p.41).
Course learning outcomes should be adequately synchronized with (or derived from)
level descriptors. Similar approach should be used in curriculum design for the particular
study level, considering expected achievements for specific areas of study and academic
periods. Proper learning outcome mapping provides vertical hierarchy (continuity in
development) between courses in the same area of knowledge, as well as horizontal
balance (in term of level of complexity) between the courses run in the same academic
period. Every study program has its core or spine structure, which determines professional
focus and its character. In this part of the curriculum, learning outcomes structure should
be absolutely clear and understandable.

Taxonomies in teaching/learning process

Educational institutions today rely on variations of Bloom’s taxonomies for laying out
teaching strategies and learning outcomes. The concept of ‘taxonomy’ was originally used
as a title of the science discipline that deals with searching, describing, classifying and
giving titles to organisms (‘alpha taxonomy’). Today, this concept is being used for various
kinds of classifications within hierarchical systems. Moseley et al. (2005) lists the various
taxonomies and theoretical frameworks that explain and define the structure of the edu-
cation processes (e.g. Bloom, Feuerstein, Gagne, Ausubel and Robinson, Williams, Han-
nah and Michaelis, Stahl and Murphy, Biggs and Collis, Quellmalz, Presseisen, Merrill,
Anderson and Krathwohl, Gouge and Yates). However, the most quoted taxonomies in the
field of educational (pedagogical) psychology are those published by Benjamin Bloom
with several colleagues in 1956. The following discussion provides an overview of
Bloom’s intellectual domains (cognitive, affective and psychomotor).

Cognitive domain

In his research, Bloom has placed utmost attention on cognitive domain, within which he
proposed taxonomy with six hierarchical structural categories of educational objectives
(from less to more complex) (Bloom et al. 1956):
• Knowledge
• Comprehension
• Application
• Analysis
• Synthesis
• Evaluation
The last 40 years of research have confirmed the hierarchical structure of Bloom’s tax-
onomy, with certain revisions (Huitt 2011a). The basic dilemma is about inter-hierarchical

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relation of synthesis (making, creating) and evaluation (assessing). While Anderson and
Krathwohl (2001) think that evaluation is on the lower hierarchical level, Huitt (2011a)
considers them at the same level. Anderson and Krathwohl have improved the taxonomy by
combining cognitive process and knowledge dimensions. The goal of the latter approach is to
simplify the processes of defining and improving expected learning outcomes. Every pro-
posed goal—outcome, according to Anderson et al., is clearly defined if it can be positioned
within the given matrix. In this sense, the matrix can be used as a control instrument in the
process. It is important to note that, during the learning process, several levels from this
taxonomy can coexist, albeit on different levels of knowledge complexity.

Affective domain

Affective domain represents emotional (subjective) aspect of behaviour in learning.

Concepts examined include emotions, interpersonal relationships and understanding, atti-
tudes and acknowledgment of values. Bloom and associates have underlined five main
categories within the affective domain (Krathwohl et al. 1973):
• Receiving phenomena
• Responding to phenomena
• Valuing
• Organizing
• Internalizing/personalizing value system
Affective domain refers to a category of behavioural and operational learning, which
has a significant influence on developing and acquiring of large number of generic and a
certain number of specific competences for architectural study programmes. Of particular
significance to affective domain analysis is motivation theories that examine students’
motivation during the learning process. They investigate the influence of students’ personal
goals and attitudes about failure or success on meeting educational requirements (Huitt
2011b). These theories recognise two kinds of motivation:
• Intrinsic (internal) motivation, occurs when a person is internally motivated to do
something, because it will provide pleasure, or because person thinks it is important or
morally significant; and
• Extrinsic (external) motivation that represents imposition to do something or behave in
a certain manner under the influence of external factors (e.g. money, grades etc.) (Huitt

Psychomotor domain

Psychomotor domain taxonomy has not been published as a handbook by Bloom himself,
but was the topic of various analysis and improvements by other educational psychologists.
According to Simpson (1972), categories under this domain could be specified as:
• Perception
• Set
• Guided Response
• Mechanism
• Complex Overt Response
• Adaptation

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• Origination
Learning outcomes emphasize creativity that is based upon highly developed skills.
Before the explosive development of informational technologies over the last three dec-
ades, the bulk of professional activities of architects were based on free hand and technical
drawings, which can be categorized within psychomotor domain. Application of modern
CAAD technologies placed the psychomotor domain in the margins of contemporary
architectural education.

Interaction between domains

In revising Bloom’s Cognitive domain taxonomy, Anderson and Krathwohl (2001) have
not just changed the order between ‘synthesis’ and ‘evaluation’, but stressed the impor-
tance of the ability to create a new coherent or functional whole. By modifying the idea of
‘synthesising’ to ‘creating’, they have introduced a new dimension in cognitive domain,
which primarily depends on critical (in evaluating) and creative thinking skills. The def-
inition of critical thinking as ‘‘reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding
what to believe or do’’ (Ennis 1985) introduces ‘reflection’ or personal values (as affective
category) in evaluation category of cognitive domain. On the other hand, if ‘‘creativity
takes place in conjunction with intense desire and preparations’’ (Marzano et al. 1988,
p.24), affective dimension plays a critical role in education process. Moseley et al. (2005)
provides more credence to affective domain in his classification of psychological aspects of
• Stage of development
• Structural features of cognition
• Nature and strength of dispositions
• Internalization of learning
• Orchestration and control of thinking
• Degree of learner autonomy
• Level of consciousness.
Following Bloom and his protégés, Fink (2003, 2004) presents a taxonomy that is not
hierarchical, but rather relational and interactive. According to him ‘‘…each kind of
learning is related to the other kinds of learning and that achieving any one kind of learning
simultaneously enhances the possibility of achieving the other kinds of learning as well’’.
Fink (2004, p.9) introduces 6 categories:
• Foundational Knowledge
• Application
• Integration
• Human Dimension
• Caring, and
• Learning how to learn.

Education and practice vis-à-vis clients and construction industry

During the first half of the twentieth century, architectural education had a tremendous
influence on practice as opposed to the current influence of practice on the development of

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architectural education curricula (Scalabre 2005). Several reports published around the mid
1990s in Great Britain focused on the construction industry, that was in crisis, and noted
the changes needed in architectural practice and education to respond to critical economic
and environmental concerns (Nicol and Pilling 2000).
The first important document was ‘‘Latham’s Report’’ (1994), which came as a result of
the collaboration between government and the construction industry, with an ‘‘immense
participation of clients.’’ The report expressed concerns about the construction industry
fragmentation; competitive relations and deadline shortening that accompanied the lowest
price approach. Both clients and industry agreed that a change of approach is needed and
emphasized that best quality should supersede lowest price (Nicol and Pilling 2000).
Another report was later requested by the government with an objective to examine the
influence and outreach of construction industry in Great Britain (Egan 1998). The report
investigated the reasons for lack of efficiency (both from clients and industry perspective)
and proposed solutions for the improvement of quality and efficacy. The report reiterated
the findings of the British Property Federation from 1997. Clients were unsatisfied mainly
because of the lack of coordination between consulting teams. Egan’s report concluded that
there is a need for a change of style, culture and procedures in the construction industry and
identified five driving factors that are necessary for the change:
• Committed leadership;
• Focus on the client—investor;
• Integrated processes and teams;
• Work plans driven by quality; and
• Dedication to the people (Nicol and Pilling 2000, p.2).
This report clearly recognised that the achievement of above criteria is highly inter-
linked with the education process. It insisted on strengthening the efforts to reform
architectural education in order to acquire not only professional (majorly cognitive), but
also more generic (majorly affective) competences.
The problematic that architectural schools are facing today is that clients, government,
construction industry and other stakeholders are asking for higher quality while the
practice of architecture is becoming more complex, more competitive and relatively
underpaid (Scalabre 2005). These specific circumstances underline the need for changes in
the architectural education especially as it relates to practice. In addition, there is an
ongoing debate within the architecture profession regarding the status and position of the
profession in society. In the period between 1992 and 1995, RIBA (Royal Institute of
British Architects) considered a number of documents with an objective of establishing
new strategy for professional development (Scalabre 2005). Lawson and Pilling (1996)
examined the relations between services provided by architects and client expectations.
They highlighted the disconnect and incessant miscommunication between architects and
clients. Architects were generally oblivious to the state of confusion created by the spe-
cialized language they use in their communication with clients. The latter study under-
scored the erroneous approach of education and practice in personalizing the values in the
architectural profession.
In the mid 1990s, the International Union of Architects, in cooperation with UNESCO,
has started the Work programme related to education. Initial document of this programme
is UIA/UNESCO Charter for Architectural education (UIA-UNESCO 1996/2005). This
important document encompassed three parts. The first one, ‘‘General considerations—
facts’’ underlines general and social (public) need for adequate architectural and urban
research and interventions. Synchronizing higher education programs in architecture

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topped the agenda in order to achieve mutual recognition of qualifications, cooperation and
professional mobility. The Charter proposed a vision of the future and listed mandates to
be engrained in architectural education (UIA-UNESCO 1996/2005, p.2):
• A decent quality of life for all the inhabitants of human settlements;
• A technological application which respects the social, cultural and aesthetic needs of
people and is aware of the appropriate use of materials in architecture and their initial
and future maintenance costs;
• An ecologically balanced and sustainable development of the built and natural
environment including the rational utilisation of available resources;
• An architecture which is valued as the property and responsibility of everyone.
In several of those guidelines, acknowledgment of attitude and ethical values was
clearly stressed (‘…respect the social, cultural and aesthetic needs of people’, ‘ecologically
balanced and sustainable development of the built and natural environment’, or ‘archi-
tecture which is valued as the property and responsibility of everyone’). The second part of
the Charter, ‘‘Objectives of architectural education’’ accentuated the interdisciplinary
character of architecture that involves ‘‘…the humanities, the social and the physical
sciences, technology, environmental sciences, the creative arts and the liberal arts’’ (UIA-
UNESCO 1996/2005, p.3). It called for coordinating and harmonizing architectural edu-
cation in universities, polytechnic schools and academies. General qualifications and
knowledge that need to be provided through educational process have been defined through
11 points taken from the European Economic Community directive 85/384/EEC on mutual
recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications:
1. An ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical
2. An adequate knowledge of the history and theories of architecture and the related
arts, technologies and human sciences;
3. A knowledge of the fine arts as an influence on the quality of architectural design;
4. An adequate knowledge of urban design, planning and the skills involved in the
planning process;
5. An understanding of the relationship between people and buildings, and between
buildings and their environment, and of the need to relate buildings and the spaces
between them to human needs and scale;
6. An understanding of the profession of architecture and the role of the architect in
society, in particular in preparing briefs that take account of social factors;
7. An understanding of the methods of investigation and preparation of the brief for a
design project;
8. An understanding of the structural design, constructional and engineering problems
associated with building design;
9. An adequate knowledge of physical problems and technologies and of the function of
buildings so as to provide them with internal conditions of comfort and protection
against the climate;
10. The necessary design skills to meet building users’ requirements within the
constraints imposed by cost factors and building regulations;
11. An adequate knowledge of the industries, organizations, regulations and procedures
involved in translating design concepts into buildings and integrating plans into
overall planning. (EC 1985, p.17–18)

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Issues related to attitudinal, affective domain figure clearly in points No. 5 and 6.
Successful professionals should develop the competences that allow them to deal with
social, cultural and other environmental factors. RIBA is currently reconsidering the
relationship of architecture (as a profession) and higher education as the foundation for
long-term educational strategy: ‘‘Our mission is to ensure that newly qualified architects
are not only prepared for the immediate responsibilities of practice; they are also capable
of adapting to change, encompassing new ideas and able to lead the development of our
future environment’’ (Milliner 2003). ACE (the Architects’ Council of Europe), an orga-
nisation that gathers representatives of professional architectural associations of Europe,
insists in its documents from 2003 on the following 6 generic competences that each
architect must have:
• Creativity especially in his design ability at different scale, his control of form and
• Capacity for synthesis in formalisation of social, cultural and political needs and
• Knowledge of cultural, theoretical and technical history of architecture and urban
• Mediation and arbitrage between the different actors;
• Capacity to lead and coordinate a team of specialists into a complex process of design
and building;
• Knowledge of codes of conduct and expression of ethic attitude and behaviour
(Scalabre 2005, p.79).
A number of concepts listed above belong to the realm of behavioural and generic
competences (mediation and arbitration, leadership, coordination, ethical attitudes…). This
clearly demonstrates the significance that professional associations attribute to attitudes
and behaviour, and not only to ‘knowledge and skills.’ During the early 2000’s, EAAE
(European Association for Architectural Education) and ENHSA (European Network of
Heads of Schools of Architecture) launched the research on competences in the field of
architecture that are considered as relevant and necessary for the profession by academic
and professional institutions. The methodology of this project was based on the Tuning
project (Gonzalez and Wagenaar 2004) aimed at enhancing mutual recognition of archi-
tectural educational programmes in Europe. The initial result of the first research phase is a
list of three groups of competences: general (generic), professional and research compe-
tences (Spiridonidis 2006).
The research has further developed into two directions. Polling of the sample consisting
of 240 teachers from academic institutions across Europe, led to grading of competences
according to their importance for each level (cycle) of studies. Further analysis had an
objective to examine the level of importance for the listed competences in academic and
professional environment, and then to compare two aspects and establish the level of
compatibility between the goals of architectural education and requests and expectations
from the profession.
EAAE research within EHNSA network also referred to the requests coming from
practice. More than 600 professional architects (owners and employees) from architectural
bureaus across Europe took part in this research with the goal of examining competences
favoured in practice. For the polling, a joint list of general, professional and research
competences has been made; the respondents in this research were invited to focus on the
essential needs, not typology of competences. Ten most valuated competences by pro-
fessional institutions (from all three categories) are listed below (Spiridonidis 2006):

Learning outcomes in affective domain 999

• Capacity to develop analytical and critical thinking and understanding;

• Personal and social skills in expression and communication, by speaking, writing and
• Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team;
• Ability to work both with a high degree of autonomy and collaboration;
• Ability to create architectural designs that satisfy both aesthetic and technical requests;
• Capacity to apply knowledge in practice;
• Necessary design skills to meet building users’ requirements within the constraints
imposed by cost factors and regulations;
• Ability to evaluate evidence and draw appropriate conclusions;
• ‘Learning to learn’ ability;
• Ability to develop trans-disciplinary understanding.
All ten selected competences carry a behavioural (attitudinal) component. As an applied
discipline, architecture can’t function from the cognitive perspective alone. Architecture
requires working in teams, ability to educate oneself, understanding users’ functional and
social requirements and responding to them within budget and contextual constraints,
ability to cross disciplinary boundaries and learning how to function effectively with
professionals from different backgrounds and concerns, etc.

Integrity/integration of education process

While broadly used to denote ethical and moral values, the concept of ‘integrity’ in
education reflects the role of university in embedding cultural values, professional ethics
and overall harmony within diverse study modules in the educational process and the real
world expectations. In other terms, matching and coordinating learning outcomes of
courses in a given program and the potentiality of success and gainful employment in the
industry. Integrity is a ‘‘product of culture,’’ and it cannot be garnered by ‘‘mere confor-
mity to external rules and procedures nor from an instrumental reason that is divorced from
both the object of reason and from the person making use of reason’’ (Nillsen 2005, p.8).
Thus, achieving integrity in educational programs requires the fusion of pedagogical and
cultural values.
‘Quality culture’ has become an established construct that is often discussed in asso-
ciation with integrity in education. The concept of quality culture in higher education is
complex and has been intensely debated (EUA Case Studies 2007). Engaging this debate is
outside the scope of this paper, which primarily focuses on cognitive and affective
dimensions of architectural education. Generally, the literature avoids defining the quality
concept per se but delineates its dimensions, objectives and outcomes. The British Stan-
dard Institution refers to quality in terms of features and characteristics of products that
satisfy or exceed end user expectations (BSI 1991). Terms such as efficiency, consistency,
exchange value, customer satisfaction, excellence, creativity and transformation have been
cited in connection with quality in education (Harvey and Green 1993; Harman 1998; EUA
2007). The concept is often contextualized and contingent on the stakeholders involved;
the meaning of quality moves on a continuum with meeting expectations and serviceability
on one end and exceeding expectations, distinctiveness and creativity on the other end. The
stakeholders in education include students, teachers, administrative staff, employers,
funding agencies, technology providers and the community at large.

1000 M. Savic, M. Kashef

The European University Association project titled ‘Quality Culture in European

Universities—A Bottom-up Approach’ (EUA 2006) considers the question of quality
culture in higher education as an integrative element for all participants in the process. Its
primary observation is that through communication, participation and trust, quality culture
in education needs to be developed on individual and collective levels. This approach is
focused on the permanent development of generic competences necessary, not only to
students, but also to teachers. Both students and teachers are stakeholders in the learning
and teaching process and need to be motivated towards creating success in the education
process and the academic community. Newer EUA project, titled ‘Creativity in Higher
Education’ (EUA 2007) presented at London conference in 2007 treated creativity as a
general quality of higher education and a prerequisite for achieving integrity and fulfilling
its affective dimensions.
Teaching and learning are constructs related to the same process, albeit from different
sides. Teaching is a method to influence learning, while learning is, partially, a result of
teaching. By changing from the teacher-oriented to the student-oriented system, those
concepts shift their position, but remain firmly interlinked. Fink (2004) insists on inte-
grated course design, emphasizing interrelations between situational factors, learning
goals, feedback and assessment procedures and teaching and learning activities. Respon-
sibility of the teacher is to keep all of interrelations mentioned unbroken in order to reach
desired learning outcomes. Due to its pronounced multidisciplinary character, architectural
education needs to employ this philosophy holistically, on every level from module to
module, course to course, year to year and the entire program leading to the award of the
degree. New technologies such as Building Information Modelling is propelling archi-
tecture education into combining vertical and horizontal methodologies and incorporating
parallel and interdisciplinary approaches to program design and development (Foque 2010;
Egan 1998). Bologna process has promoted the modularization of curricula with two main
goals: to optimize students’ workloads and provide flexible, personalized students’
learning paths. While the first goal stresses the integrational aspect (Meyer et al. 2003), the
second focuses on operationalzing program learning outcomes with more emphasis on
student-centred education (Reichert and Tauch 2005). In architecture curricula, ‘studio’
could be treated as the core module per semester, integrating adequate theoretical
knowledge from other courses to solve particular design tasks (Parnell 2003; Salama 2005;
Younes 2005; Simonson and Maushak 2001). The studio format has also influenced related
disciplines such as civil engineering and produced positive results (Salikils et al. 2009).

Conclusion: specificities of the architectural education

Each profession stipulates specialized and generic competences. Specialized competences

are essential for technical tasks related to any profession. However, generic competences
complement specialized ones and represent an important block for complex professional
undertakings that commonly require interdisciplinary understanding (especially in Archi-
tecture) and critical thinking as well as general skills that bridge the cognitive and affective
domains. Contrary to the cognitive character of specialized competences, generic com-
petences often have affective and behavioural aspects. The artistic character of architecture
promotes creative, lateral thinking and author-driven side of the profession. The question
of originality, ethics, theoretical framework, history and tradition are opening a specific
dimension in architectural education. Design-based education is promoted by a large
number of architecture schools as the model for future development of curricula. Because

Learning outcomes in affective domain 1001

architectural design problems are often complex, contradictory and fragmentary, it is

necessary to encourage the development of the learners’ attitudes and value systems to
assure adequate, contextual approach in problem solving and during the overall design
Design studio is traditionally accepted as the didactic model for architecture education. It
had grown out of the medieval artisans’ workshops and royal renaissance academies, where
knowledge and skills have been transferred for centuries by the ‘master-apprentice’ method.
During the 19th and early 20th century, the workshops of Ecole des Beaux-arts added
different dimensions to architectural training. Later, the Bauhaus introduced other courses
that gradually set the standards of contemporary architectural education. Since then, project-
based studio courses have represented the core of most architectural study programs
worldwide (Salama and Wilkinson 2007). The idea of ‘learning by doing’ has been engrained
in architectural education. This has created an experiential mode of learning that functions
not only as a repository of knowledge but also as an incubator of a wide range of skills and
competences, both specialized and generic (cognitive and affective). Design studios in many
architectural programs today encompass approximately half of the student workload. Within
the studio culture, knowledge and intellectual skills are acquired in a similar way, and, in a
manner of speaking, are inseparable. It is not possible to make a clear-cut division between
them; as the level of knowledge applicability increases, it is becoming closer to skills
(referring to cognitive operations in design problem solving).
Architectural education is unique due to extensive engagement of practitioners as course
instructors. Professional associations systematically involve registered architects to
brainstorm and formulate agendas for harmonizing architectural practice and education.
Influences are inevitable, cooperation is necessary, but a balanced approach is required to
allow education and practice to inform each other without compromising the autonomy and
integrity of educational programs. The current approach in architecture studios involves
realistic or simulated participants to enrich the students’ learning and design experience.
This encompasses teamwork, design briefs, client/user interface and consensus building
grounded in empathy, good listening and collaboration. The concept of participatory
architecture in design studios empowers students and boosts their confidence to make
decisions and communicate ideas clearly and effectively. However, real world design
problems are complex and involve social, economic and regulatory aspects that make them
hard to promote before reaching higher level studios.
Learning outcomes and competences figure prominently in architecture program cur-
ricula and course syllabi as the fundamental method to examine and monitor quality of
education. While learning outcomes represent a measure of educational curriculum quality,
competences are treated as the applied component or ‘product’—a measure of putting
acquired knowledge and skills to test outside formal educational process and whether they
match employers’ expectations. Learning outcomes for studio courses should be com-
prehensive and broad, but decidedly measurable. There should be a focus on realistic
situational scenarios, accurate information, eliciting purposeful emotional involvement,
and providing post-instruction discussion. Special attention should be dedicated to
development of student abilities in research and critical thinking. In order to achieve this
goal, it is necessary for instructors/studio managers to know the whole curriculum and to
have an affirmative attitude toward the envisaged learning outcomes. No matter if treated
as a set of separate tasks or overall design problem, studio assignments should comprise
and integrate technical, artistic and contextual (including physical, historical, cultural and
socio-economic) expectations that are properly balanced throughout the assessment

1002 M. Savic, M. Kashef

While difficult to formalize, it is useful to distinguish between cognitive learning that

refers to conceptual understanding and behavioural (affective domain) learning, which
refers to ability to integrate, synthesize and develop tactical responses for complex
problems. This study argues that education (architectural education in particular) needs to
develop an integrated model that explains the transformation of individual cognitive
learning into coordinated, organized and context-driven performance, where ‘conceptual’
and ‘operational’ dimensions can be examined and fused together to improve students’
learning outcomes, skills and competences. Placing the design studio at the core of
architecture curricula necessitates the development of deep, functional links with related
theoretical courses/modules. Knowledge acquired in the study of history, building systems,
environmental control, materials and methods, etc. must be integrated into design studio
projects. Teaching methods can influence the development of generic competences, which
primarily depend on instructors’ abilities and motivation to adjust teaching strategies to
achieve these objectives. By examining the balance between cognitive and affective
dimensions and demonstrating the need for developing integrated learning outcomes, this
paper paves the way for future research aimed at operationalzing and modelling the
dynamics of acquiring knowledge, developing skills and nurturing competences of
architecture students.


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