HERSUS proposes enhancing and testing innovative teaching practices in the field of sustainability of the built heritage. The project strives to enhance the competence and motivation of educators and researchers to include curricula elements that will have tangible results, preparing students and educators to become real actors of the environmental change.
The reason for undertaking HERSUS consortium is based on the recognition that the framework of research, practice, and education in the field of architectural and urban design faces numerous challenges and thematic issues. These issues include social transformation, climate change, globalisation, urbanisation, and housing issues. Above mentioned challenges require vital research and continuous improvement of curricular and extracurricular activities in higher education, which in order to have a successful outcome, must be transnationally carried.
The horizons of research and experimentation in the field of architecture and urbanism are expanding rapidly, which determines the understanding, explanation, and prediction of the impact and consequences of these changes on the global scale. The practice and education in the field of architectural and urban design related to the awareness-raising about the sustainability of the built environment and heritage face numerous challenges such as social transformation, climate change, globalisation, urbanisation, and housing issues.
HERSUS target groups (teachers/trainers/tutors, and students) need specific training and teaching activities within the frame of sustainability of the urban and architectural heritage: (1) a new profile of an architect/urban designer, a professional that is trained in the broad architectural domain, who owns technical, technological, socio-humanistic and artistic skills and, therefore equipped to contribute to the socio-environmental challenges, and (2) a new profile of architectural educator capable of assuming responsibility for the improvement of education and training of the future architects to enable them to meet the expectations of 21st-century societies worldwide for sustainable human settlements in every cultural heritage.
The main objective of the project is creating and piloting new innovative courses/groups of courses/extracurricular activities within existing study programs of participating HEI, which can contribute to bridging the gap between sustainability and heritage. HERSUS aims (1) to enhance existing study programs at the MSc level, and (2) to achieve a stable and sustainable education framework complementary to the globally established goals in the field of architectural and urban studies education.
More specifically, the project objectives are (1) to increase employability by targeting labour market needs in designing a sustainable environment, (2) to develop and implement new courses and extracurricular activities in sustainability and heritage at the MSc levels at partner HEIs, (3) to increase capacity building for study, (4) to strengthen the teaching and pedagogical competences of academic staff, (5) to promote greater awareness about the types and methods of innovative and sustainable-directed teaching and learning, (6) to reinforce the network of project partners, and (7) to disseminate results.
HERSUS will bring together 5 Higher Education Institutions from Serbia, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, and Spain which will work together to design and develop the courses and disseminate them through international training courses, workshops, and a jointly built Sharing Platform. The project proposes a number of activities of cooperation between the research sector, private and public sector, targeting both local and regional support towards higher education-practical arena cooperation. Access to the outputs and activities will be open, and therefore useful to students and educators as well as to the broader audience.
Partner countries were surveyed on existing teaching structures and reported attitude on the curriculum form to be developed. In this way, a palette of different topics and teaching forms will be created that will adapt all participating organisations to their existing frameworks. It is expected that the implementation of new, innovative courses, designed following contemporary education trends in the subject area, will achieve the enhancing of existing study programs at the master level of study within HERSUS project.