Message from the Chair

Basil Kamel-ARCH Chair

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Architecture: a place where you can explore your talents, master your creativity, and contribute to humane aspects in the built environment.  Architecture integrates multiple disciplines ranging between the arts, sciences, engineering, business, and humanities.  It allows students to cruise through a journey that builds talent, character, and allows them a mastery of multiple skills to face real-world challenges.  

The Architectural Engineering program is the fastest growing program at AUC.  It is one of the most demanded programs in the School and the University.  Admission to the program is very competitive, and only 30 to 40 percent of the applicants declare architectural engineering as a major.  The department also offers a minor in Architectural Design and a minor in Design of Interior Spaces (given in coordination with the Arts department). In 2020, the department launched an interdisciplinary Master of Science in Architecture program bridging between Architecture and: Business and Real Estate; Humanities and Social Sciences; Heritage and Cultural studies; Sustainable design; Parametric Design and Tectonics.

The Department of Architecture at AUC is uniquely positioned in “Egypt’s Global University."  It capitalizes on the areas of strength at AUC.  These include a liberal arts approach that characterizes AUC education, a strong interdisciplinary collaboration between schools and departments, a library endowed with state‐of‐the‐art collection of architecture related resources, and the invaluable original collections of Creswell, Hassan Fathy and Ramses Wissa Wassef.  The department is ranked in the 151-200 top architecture programs in the QS international ranking.

The department has the highest number of “honor” students in the school, due to the high caliber of students admitted and the excellent quality of their work.  Joining Architecture at AUC is a life‐changing experience that shapes students’ future careers.  Graduates of the program are entitled for professional registration to practice “architecture” in Egypt given by the Egyptian Syndicate of Engineers.  They can also enroll in the Egyptian section of the International Union of Architects (the Society of Egyptian Architects).  Graduates of architecture at AUC work in some of the most prominent architectural firms in Egypt and abroad.  Several graduates continue their studies in many prestigious universities in the U.S. and UK. Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCL and the AA are but a few.

The Department of Architecture, in its commitment to providing its students with a well‐rounded academic experience, routinely organizes activities and events.  The objectives of these activities are to expose the students to a wide range of knowledge, as well as to inform them of the realities and practicalities of architecture in a local and global environment.  Such events include conferences, guest lectures, exhibits, workshops, seminars, and field trips.  In April 2019, Sir Norman Foster (the renowned architect) was the guest speaker in the 6th forum for Lafarge-Holcim Foundation for sustainable construction housed by the department at AUC.

The design studio is at the core of the architectural academic process in the Department of Architecture at AUC. The Department’s philosophy is to utilize the studio as the primary mode for exploration and learning.  Students are encouraged to apply the content and skills learned in other courses into the design process in studio. Pedagogically, we focus on the process rather than the product, where the product is viewed as a cumulative reflection of that process.

Facilities of the department include modern ICT laboratories, design studios, a building sciences laboratory with an environmental chamber, a robotic arm, laser cutting and 3D printing facilities.

Brief History of the Department:

The major of architectural engineering at AUC was initiated in 2007, and the first group of students graduated in 2010.  The program was approved by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Universities in 2011 and was validated by the International Union of Architects (UNESCO‐International Union of Architects (UIA) validation) in 2013.  During this period, the program was hosted in the Construction and Architectural Engineering Department.  In January 2015, an independent Department of Architecture was inaugurated.  

In 2018 the department received the renewal of equivalency by Egyptian Supreme Council of Universities and in 2019, the program received a non-conditional 5 years validation renewal by the International Union of Architects (UNESCO‐International Union of Architects (UIA) validation). Further, in 2019, the Department launched its Minor in Design of Interior Spaces jointly with the department of Arts. In 2020, the Department launched its Master of Science in Architecture as a new interdisciplinary program for its graduating students.

 

Basil Kamel, Chair
Department of Architecture
School of Sciences and Engineering
The American University in Cairo