Sustainable Development Goals and the future of architectural education – cultivating SDGs-centred architectural pedagogies

Lindy Osborne Burton, Ashraf M. Salama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Following the positive call for a special issue on Architectural Pedagogies and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the purpose of this overview article is to contextualise reflections on nine selected articles, within recent efforts made by professional organisations, which aspire to blend sustainable development into the collective psyche of both academics and future professionals.

This article adopts four lines of inquiry by capturing key insights on the place of sustainable design knowledge in architectural education validation and accreditation at both national and global scales; presenting analytical narratives on the recent global efforts that embrace excellence in architectural pedagogy through addressing SDGs; elucidating the two knowledge spaces, centred on pedagogy and sustainability, which are strengthened and supported by Archnet-IJAR, and offering reflections on the nine articles published in this special issue that aims at integration of the two knowledge spaces.

Contextualisation and reflective narratives offer insights into current efforts and demonstrate a clear commitment of professional organisations to embed values relevant to SDGs. Efforts of the Education Commission of the International Union of Architects and the UNESCO-UIA Validation Council of Architectural Education appear to have advanced significantly over recent years with a clear prospect for a sustainable future. The nine articles published in this special issue respond clearly to the goal of Quality Education (SDG4), but not all of them have addressed the goals related to Good Health and Well-being (SDG3) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11), and their place in architectural pedagogy. However, they take a step further to address aspects of climate change, globalisation, sustainable architecture and urbanism, social sustainability, global north/global south dialectics and decolonisation.

Practical implications
The findings offer opportunities to recognise efforts by professional organisations, map key pedagogical experiments into these efforts, while providing lessons learned from best practices aiming to effectively integrate SDGs into architectural pedagogy.

No serious effort has been made to articulate the integration of SDGs into architectural education at the level of research or design studio pedagogical practice. Addressing architectural pedagogies and sustainable development is predicated on the fact that there is very little written or known on integrating SDGs into architectural education and design pedagogy. Understanding, appreciating, and sharing various efforts and approaches to incorporate SDGs into architectural pedagogy is a key step towards a sustainable future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-442
Number of pages22
JournalArchnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research
Issue number3
Early online date6 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2023

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