This paper discusses a pilot study in which undergraduate architecture and civil engineering students worked collaboratively to complete an interdisciplinary project. The goal of this pilot study was to provide a trial run of an interdisciplinary project which may improve the students’ teamwork effectiveness and interdisciplinary competence. Eight architecture students and four civil engineering students completed the project in groups of three (2 architecture students: 1 engineering student). Each group was tasked with designing and analyzing a reinforced concrete Tessellated Structural-Architectural (TeSA) shear wall. TeSA systems are load-bearing structural systems which are comprised of tiles arranged in aesthetically-pleasing patterns. This concept is highly interdisciplinary in nature, lending itself well to a topic for an interdisciplinary project for students. This paper will discuss the logistical challenges of organizing the project across departments, as well as the strategies used to facilitate a collaborative project during the COVID-19 pandemic. The experiences of the instructors facilitating the project and the student participants will also be discussed.
Grace is a PhD candidate in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University. She received her M.S. in Civil Engineering from Clemson University in 2019. Her dissertation project focuses on the behavior of tessellated structures, as well as investigating interdisciplinary collaboration between architects and structural engineers.
Dr. Ross is the Cottingham Associate Professor in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University. He received his PhD from the University of Florida. His research interests vary from adaptable building design to low-cost housing systems for developing communities.
Dr. Kleiss is an Associate Professor of Architecture at Clemson University. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His primary interest is in the use of computers to aid designers throughout the architectural design process. He also focuses on morphology, biomorphic and bio-mimetic design, parametric design, shape grammars, and origami.
Dr. Okumus is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at University at Buffalo. She received her PhD degree from University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research focuses on infrastructure resiliency and longevity as applied to reinforced and prestressed concrete structures.
Dr. Khorasani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the University at Buffalo. She obtained her PhD degree from Princeton University. Her research interests include performance-based design, resilient communities, and risk assessment.