Pedagogical Traditions in Architecture: The Canonical, the Resistant, and the Decolonized

Ashraf M. Salama*, Lindy Osborne Burton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article addresses continuity and disruption in traditions of architectural education both by questioning how these traditions evolved, were sustained, and reached a rupture condition with the COVID-19 pandemic and by interrogating the implications of some current developments in architectural pedagogy. Its thrust is thus to investigate the traditions of thinking and acting, knowledge content and delivery, and learning that currently enable the design and production of built environments. Adopting a series of chronological inquiries, the article first examines what it defines as the canonical tradition; demonstrates its authority and influence; and analyzes aspects of present critiques of and resistance to it — and their ensuing repercussions. Speaking to conditions in both the global South and North through a series of examples, it then establishes the case for resistance by demonstrating the presence of resistant traditions as pedagogical alternatives to this historical colonial framework.
Following this, it sketches five scenes that involve various levels of engagement with evolving content areas and approaches that are disrupting the canonical approach: traditional and everyday contexts, new and revived histories, the vernacular, Indigenous knowledge systems, and health and well-being. To conclude, the article further elucidates present conditions of continuity, disruption and rupture, and it seeks to envision how sustained engagement with innovative content areas and approaches may advance possibilities for decolonized traditions of architectural pedagogy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-71
Number of pages25
JournalTraditional Dwellings and Settlements Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2023

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