IDEXlab: Integrative Design Experience Laboratory

A professionally diverse group of faculty from Appalachian State University’s Building Science program have developed an integrative design curriculum through a National Science Foundation TUES Grant titled “IDEXlab: Integrative Design Experience Laboratory.”  

The grant provided funding for the faculty to create a pilot curriculum that integrates two of the Building Science program’s undergraduate concentrations – Architectural Technology/Design and Construction Management – through project-based student learning.  Beginning in the fall semester of 2014, a cohort of students will participate in the pilot curriculum for two semesters, with the pilot running parallel to the traditional curriculum.  The results of the assessment comparing the two curriculum tracks will be used to determine not only future directions in the program, but for integrative design curricula as well.

IDEXlab intends to redefine traditional pedagogical approaches to the study of the built environment in higher education.  Instead of individual lecture-based courses with exams, papers, and individual projects on a singular subject, the pilot curriculum will consist of design/build/analysis studios that incorporate learning objectives from several courses into a collaborative project environment.  The diverse work groups within the office-like studios will be composed of students participating in the role of their concentration, while faculty serve as both educators and facilitators much like an office principal.

Projects within the two-semester experience will range from  short design charrettes to full-scale building projects.  Students selected for the pilot curriculum will be expected to  participate during both semesters and must remain in the  IDEXlab course sections at all times.