The learning Journey of an Architectural Student: Pedagogical delivery of learning and use of BIM

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Building Information Modelling (BIM) has made a considerable impact by changing the way in which we access building design information and interrogate the construction process and buildability of the building before any physical building has begun. This ability to abstract and simulate the ‘real’ in the virtual is now being seen in the Schools of Architecture in the UK. As with the dawn of CAD, where there was considerable concern over the pedagogic benefits of a ‘new’ way of navigating the design process, BIM is the new caller at the door of architectural pedagogy. However, this time the move is more of a paradigm shift requiring new ways of representing our design intent. Does this mean that architectural education requires new methodologies in teaching? The drawn information, via BIM enabled students, is more than mere representation, it signifies actual design intent that corresponds seamlessly with structure, buildability and design in use. The idea of showing drawn sections of your proposed scheme and making models to describe the intent of the design has, via BIM, the ability to be ‘all encompassing’. The making, thinking, doing, drawing is now abstracted from a virtual model. This paper describes the current research being undertaken within the Architectural and Architectural Technology Department of Northumbria University. Current studies into the impact of BIM in the learning journey commenced in 2012. The study focuses around the need for representation in the outputs of the students and how these abstractions form the stepping-stones of the learning journey. As a direct comparison, studies also focus on students who have used BIM to abstract and simulate their building project. A transition to BIM in the professional world requires a paradigm shift in terms of the design process and especially time spent in different project phases (Holness, 2006) [1]. Adaptation of the technology in design modules and programs within schools will also need to move in terms of reshaping their curricula and projects in order to create graduates skilled in application of this type of approach to architectural and technological design. There is a learning curve to be navigated within schools, by those teaching and those learning to ensure that they understand the conventions of BIM and command the functionality of the approach in order to enhance their design learning journey.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages247
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
EventCumulus Dublin 2013 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 1 Nov 2014 → …


ConferenceCumulus Dublin 2013
Period1/11/14 → …
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'The learning Journey of an Architectural Student: Pedagogical delivery of learning and use of BIM'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this