Saturday, June 9, 2012

Statement of Interests and Purpose

Statement of Interests and Purpose


I view architecture as phenomena produced by human activities, thinking, intentions and values. Architecture should always be understood in a context that embraces natural, built and human environments. Society and culture are intrinsic in shaping architecture and architects. I adopt an interdisciplinary approach to understand the meaning of architecture in its context. I believe that the role of the architect is to create architecture and environments that satisfies human needs, values and aspirations.


I started my teaching career in 1978 as a teaching assistant in Ain Shams University and in 1987 during my graduate studies at The University of Michigan. I taught as a faculty member at Ain Shams University from 1990 to 1999, United Arab Emirates University from 1993 to 1999, Kuwait University from 1999 to 2001, and Qatar University from 2010 to date. The areas in which I am qualified to teach are: design basics and fundamentals, architectural design studios, architectural graduation project, architectural research methods, social and cultural aspects of architecture, vernacular/indigenous architecture, interior design, art appreciation and architecture in the Middle East, architectural professional practice courses. I participated and taught design basics and fundamentals courses for several years. I believe they provide students with the vital foundation for their future career. I developed several applications for developing students basic architectural skills, some of them are published in Yee’s book “Architectural Drawings” 3rd edition.
In my design studios, I employ an open design process approach and introduce my students to real human and environmental design problems. I believe that the design process should be based on understanding people from a social and cultural perspective. I develop and teach my courses with emphasis on IT based interactive pedagogy employing several online platforms; such as Blackboard and Online Course System. I also encourage the utilization of computer based application to aid the design creative process. I employed several new design studio teaching techniques such as Virtual Design Studio and Paperless Design Studio. I participated in teaching graduate courses that focused on architectural research methods. I taught several training courses offered to the professional community that covered applications of Post Occupancy Evaluation Research, using Internet in the work environment and architectural technical writing skills.


As an academician, I participated in the development of the curriculum in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait University, and Qatar University. I also initiated and developed several new courses including: Human Environmental Factors, Architectural Design Basics, Design Studios, Professional Practice, Graduation Project and others. I initiated the process of accreditation for the Department of Architecture at Kuwait University that was achieved from NAAB. As part of my contribution to the improvement and continuous outcomes assessment of the programs, I developed the “Design Courses and Studios Guidelines
Statement of Interests and Purpose - Dr. Yasser Mahgoub 2
Manual” that provides all required information to students and professors regarding the structure, assessment, themes, textbooks, grading, expectations and detailed descriptions of the design studios and courses. I participated successfully in numerous academic committees ranging from organizing students exhibitions, college space utilization study to scientific and academic/social activities. I highly value academic/social activities because I believe that a healthy teaching environment is as important as the teaching material. I also acted as a students’ advisor for several years. I believe that teaching is a learning process, not only for the student but also for the teacher. Together, they are creating an environment that allows the exploration and appreciation of new ideas and information in order to generate new insights and knowledge. I hold an attitude of continuous learning and sharing of knowledge which I hope to convey to my students and colleagues through my internet site. I aspire to improve the discipline and tradition of architecture by developing its base knowledge and practices.


I aspire to integrate knowledge gained from research in my teaching and practice. My areas of expertise as an academician are architectural design and research. I attempt to integrate design and research through my teaching and professional practice. I consider the integration of research and design an important condition for a meaningful approach to architecture. I gained experience in the field of architectural research through my graduate studies. I developed my capabilities through participating in academic conferences, funded research projects and published research papers. My area of specialization is environment-behavior research with emphasis on the socio-cultural aspects of architecture and Post-Occupancy Evaluation Research. I focus on three interrelated areas of research; socio-cultural sustainability, identity and globalization. I published several papers and studies on Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. I am a member of several international organizations focusing of similar areas of research; such as IASTE, IAPS, ICSSH and EDRA.

Professional Practice

I started my professional career immediately after graduation in several architectural offices. I established my own architectural firm and was commissioned to design several projects ranging in size from small houses to mixed-use facilities. My objective is to enhance my teaching and research activities by relating them to the real world of practice. Since December 2002, I was appointed by Kuwait University Vice President for Planning as a consultant for Kuwait University during the development of a 5-million square meters new university campus. I participated in establishing the Kuwait League of Architects in Kuwait as the first professional body representing Kuwaiti architects. I am a member of a committee established by Kuwait Society of Engineers to develop the engineering and architecture profession in the country. I was responsible for the development of the examination for Professional Architects applying for registration. I hope to become more professionally competent by expanding the breadth of my knowledge and by learning about new theories and technologies being used in architecture through readings and research.