Amos Rapoport on Design Knowledge: Enabling a Theory for a Trans-critical Pedagogy in Architectural Education

Ashraf M. Salama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter introduces a trans-critical pedagogy, a theory that advocates knowledge integration in architectural design education. It encourages students and educators to critically examine traditional assumptions about knowledge and take into consideration social and environmental issues and how they can be resolved. It mandates a comprehensive understanding of the role of knowledge in creating meaningful environments. ‘Trans-critical’ pedagogy is an inclusive theory of design education that, in part, reacts to what Amos Rapoport called for, and builds on the wide spectrum of alternative pedagogies evolved over recent years. While the theory does not fully agree with Rapoport’s call for reducing the dominance of the studio, it maintains that the design studio is a site for critical inquiry and for knowledge acquisition, assimilation, and production. The chapter encompasses two key sections; the first outlines the need and justification for developing a theory; and the second examines the components and apparatus of ‘trans-critical’ pedagogy, highlighting the notion of transdisciplinary, aspects relevant to human capacity and cognitive development, and approaches to knowledge acquisition, assimilation, and production. A concluding outlook provides scenarios and strategies to implement trans-critical pedagogy as a theory for knowledge integration in contemporary architectural education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheorizing Built Form and Culture
Subtitle of host publicationThe Legacy of Amos Rapoport
Editors Kapila D. Silva, Nisha A. Fernando
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781003372110
ISBN (Print)9781032437347
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2024

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Architecture

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