In the New York Times: “The Innovation Campus: Building Better Ideas”
… the new Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence (at York University in Toronto) by ZAS Architects …
Dean Janusz Kozinski speaks of trying to create “Renaissance engineers,” in the manner of Leonardo da Vinci, and has set the ambitious goal of a student body that is 50 percent female. They have a long way to go. Currently, 17 percent of undergraduates are women.
The radical restructuring of both curriculum and architecture are supposed to contribute to greater parity. Gone is a first year of large lecture courses on basic science. Instead, students work alone or in small groups on a “passion project.”
“If you are working on an efficient filtering system for water in Ethiopia, you will need to know more about mathematics, about partial differential equations,” Dr. Kozinski said. “They would come to us, and then we would gently start introducing mathematics. Learning by doing and learning in social spaces with professors is reflected in the design.”