Learning through building: Approaches to craft training in thin-tile vaulting


Tacit learning
Timbrel vaults
Traditional construction
Knowledge transfer

How to Cite

Al Asali, M. W., & Ramage, M. (2020). Learning through building: Approaches to craft training in thin-tile vaulting. Journal of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism, (1), 485–497. https://doi.org/10.51303/jtbau.vi1.373


Short-term training is becoming the dominant model of knowledge transfer in construction crafts. In the case of thin-tile vaulting, the historical master-apprentice training model is being partly replaced with experimental and project-specific training programs, some of which introduce the techniques to new regions and cultures. Challenges of time, site conditions, and the adaptation of the technique to local construction become intrinsic to the learning process. To address these challenges, this article will examine two thin-tile vault training programs in Rwanda and Spain. An ethnographic study will draw on social learning theories to explore how training is connected to the social and economic context of each project. Lessons from these workshops will form a training strategy model for traditional construction crafts. Finally, the study will project these lessons onto the pedagogy of architecture and design.


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Copyright (c) 2020 M. Wesam Al Asali, Michael Ramage


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