ArchitectUS (Architecturally Useful Scholarly) is an innovative two-year project which seeks to develop exciting internationally recognised Open Educational Resources (known as OERs) for teaching and learning in architecture and the built environment – based on Creative Commons licenses using ExpLOR - the University's new teaching and learning repository.
For the first time perhaps on the ‘free’ web, this ambitious collaborative project will feature some of the best examples of innovative and original contemporary architectural designs from the UK and overseas. Substantial original and detailed design and construction plans, elevations and drawings are currently being sourced under bilateral agreements with a wide range of commercial architectural practices based in the UK and some overseas.
The Head of the School of Architecture, Kevin Singh; and the Friends of Birmingham School of Architecture, are driving this initiative along with the Architectus project team.
The OER will also host a digital archive from the Birmingham & Five Counties Architectural Association Trust, based at RIBA West Midlands offices. This will include the digitisation of over 800 paper based archives – both student work dating back to the 1930s and designs some of the most famous and infamous examples of contemporary West Midlands architecture. The OER web site and apps will be enhanced with tools and guides for teaching and learning purposes. Content will also be arranged using the RIBA Plan of Work schema.
Following a highly competitive bidding process, the University was awarded substantial funding from JISC, the UK’s expert on digital technology for education and research, for the project.
Partners include School of Architecture, University of the West of England, Birmingham & Five Counties Architectural Association Trust, Council of Heads of Built Environment Departments (CHOBE), Tekla Corporation and many leading and new UK and international architectural practices.