Turning Mirrors Into Windows: Aedis University

By Kazia Howie on October 6, 2017

Turning Mirrors Into Windows: Aedis University

Written By: Gulcin Becerik

Education is trying to keep up with our fast-changing world. Innovative teaching methods such as project based learning, storyboard teaching, role playing, classes outside classrooms are replacing the traditional teaching methods. These changes affect the way educational buildings are designed. The planning and organization of school buildings and grounds need to respond to the demands of our time. Aedis Architects is committed to working towards this goal.  The firm’s team is passionate about enhancing the communities through educational design.

I think being an architect in a large firm can be a solitary experience. You may spend your whole day staring at your reflection in a computer screen with little chance to interact with others. I dreamed of being connected to something larger and important. And I didn’t want to do it alone. I can look AT my reflection, or I can look OUT the window at a vibrant world that needs our help, a world of opportunity to learn and grow. The idea of making a positive impact in young people’s lives has always excited me. With this thought in mind, I wanted to be a part of the team at Aedis Architects. A dream came true and my journey started in the firm in late June 2017.

Turning Mirrors Into Windows 2
Aedis team working together developing ideas for presentation

A couple of weeks after joining, I was clear that I made a right choice. Aedis Architects is different from many other architecture firms in terms of the office culture. The firm leaders are aware that continuous learning and exploration are crucial elements to success. And how is this being achieved? The answer is “Aedis University”.

Aedis University consists of weekly seminar series put together by Aedis’s own staff, product representatives or visiting experts. Alternatively as a part of the Aedis University, site tours are arranged to construction sites or to case study buildings. The idea is to create a collaborative learning environment within the firm taking advantage of some of the same innovative learning techniques employed by our clients.

For one set of curricular sessions the selection of the presentation themes were decided after a brainstorming session. After a quick introduction, the staff was asked to write down keywords related to a given subject. There would be no wrong answer, and anything comes that to mind in quick seconds is acceptable. The notes withwith keywords are gathered on the writable walls of firm’s large conference room and sub-categorized under common subjects after a collaborative discussion. Based on individual interest, teams were formed and dates of the presentations were defined. Then, the journey really began!

 

Turning Mirrors Into Windows
Writable wall following the brainstorming meeting for defining presentation themes

For the presentations prepared by the staff members, we are encouraged to use innovative and interactive teaching methods such as peer to peer and project based learning. The office space becomes the “flipped classroom” where we do our homework.

These seminars encourage collaborative team work and social interaction between colleagues. As a designer, it is crucial to have convincing and flowing conversations with others to convey our ideas. Since every team member is given a chance to present, we are able to practice our “storytelling” skills. In summary, we gain knowledge, experience and explore new ideas throughout the process.

 

 

Aedis University turns mirrors into windows. After each seminar, I am reminded that, instead of looking at our own reflections all day, we can expand our outreach and open windows to a world of opportunities.

 

 

 


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