Links to communities
The TU Dublin School of Architecture, Building and Environment engages with community based learning and research and through this builds links with communities. We aim to provide each student cohort – undergraduate and postgraduate - with an opportunity to engage with a community or industry.
Our students engage with real-life projects and develop their skills through interaction with local community groups, voluntary organisations and other not-for-profit bodies, for mutual benefit. This will normally be in a project or seminar environment, including meaningful and reciprocal knowledge exchange between students and the civic engagement partner. Staff identify suitable projects which involve collaborations with underserved community partners. These ‘real life’ projects are very effective in developing professional transferable skills for students, enhancing an understanding of their specialist skills and of the communities they are being applied in. Students receive course credits for their work as these projects are embedded into their studies.
Community partners are also enabled to become part of the teaching process through the collaboration, contributing to the education of students, and increasing the relevance of their studies. The processes and outcomes of the collaborative projects are designed to further the community's goals. These projects give all participants the opportunity to engage in critical thinking, and ultimately aim to energise participants to work for social change.
Projects have included a cross-disciplinary focus with students from all disciplines working together to conceive, design, engineer and detail. The range of projects have varied from small scale Montessori schools to studies for inner city large scale housing.
These real-life scenarios instill a professional ethos in the students and allow their ideas to be broadcast to a wider audience. The students’ work forms part of a wider dialogue of how architecture can shape buildings, cities and society.