Whether taught entirely by an art
teacher, or in collaboration with class-
room teachers who focus on learning
in language arts and social studies,
architecture offers rich opportuni-
ties for interdisciplinary learning.
When art students study relationships
between architecture and environ-
ment, all sorts of social and scientific
considerations arise to enrich decision
making in art and design.
Students can make connections
with local and international issues,
discuss human-caused climate
change, or question options for select-
ing building materials for energy
efficiency, local availability, or psy-
chological well-being. Through study-
ing architecture and environment,
your students will encounter some
big, engaging, and worthy ideas!
Mary Erickson is professor of art at Ari-
zona State University in Tempe, Arizona.
Michael Delahunt teaches art at Copper
Canyon Elementary School in Phoenix,
Arizona. He is the author of ArtLex Art
Dictionary and a doctoral student at Ari-
zona State University.
make construction-paper landscapes, This culminating design artwork
begin to design a house, and draft
requires more time, involves more
Students analyze, describe, and dem-
proposals intended to persuade their
media, and requires an additional
onstrate how factors of time and place
clients to accept their designs.
dimension. Most importantly, we
(such as climate, resources, ideas, and
technology) influence visual charac-
to reach for a new, We challenge students
teristics that give meaning and value
In the last les-
more thoughtful to reach for a new, more
to a work of art.
son, students learn
how to construct a
relationship between thoughtful relationship
relief model of their
environment by between architecture
making a design that store.
within the landscape
harmonizes with its
collage they made in lesson three.
site, with its materials, its climate,
They adhere small pieces of corru-
and its budget, as well as with the cli-
Go to schoolartsonline.com
gated cardboard behind architectural ent’s needs and interests. In the final
for a list of interdisciplinary
components to produce pictures in
lesson, students also revise their writ-
objectives for this lesson.