Interdisciplinary educational modules: Using smart colored windows in responsive façade systems

Document Type


Publication Date



Engineering Technology

Publication Title

Technology Interface International Journal


Collaborations between different disciplines provides unique opportunities for integrating ideas and methods, in- fusing skills, sharing tools, utilizing teamwork, improving cognitive abilities, and thinking critically to develop and form new knowledge and products. The process of design- ing, prototyping, and evaluating the performance of a con- temporary building with smart-colored windows can assist students in architecture programs to be more involved in interdisciplinary projects that are inspired by use of knowledge from other fields. In this paper, the authors pre- sent interdisciplinary activities that can be used in senior design projects, independent studies, and graduate theses by both undergraduate and graduate students in architecture and interior design programs. The proposed hands-on activi- ties include design and implementation of smart color coat- ing for glass windows, determination of optical properties, and characteristics of the colored windows by using an ul- traviolet-visible spectroscopy method and performance evaluation of the designed colored windows by using Rhino software along with its Grasshopper and DIVA plug-in modules. In the proposed activities, students gain practical interdisciplinary experience by utilizing the data obtained from design and implementation in the laboratory environ- ment for testing and evaluating the design in a simulation environment. These activities also improve students’ profes- sionalism and team-work skills that are crucial attributes in contemporary working environments.


A. Eydgahi is a faculty member in EMU's School of Engineering.

*F. Zareanshahraki is an EMU student.