Opportunity. Challenge. Innovation. These words form the backbone of RMIT University (Melbourne Institute of Technology University) in Australia. Too often, architecture schools become enamored of the aesthetics in the field to the detriment of all else. Not so at RMIT. Here, the approach is an ideal combination of meaningful research with design solutions. The architecture program achieves this by teaching design skills based in their practical application and framed by social idealism and cross-disciplinary training.
When people think architecture school they think of training that teaches them how to make things: build spaces or develop sites for, primarily, human use. Over the years, this concept has expanded to encompass social activism. In the States, for example, there are programs like Architecture for Humanity, Project Row Houses, and Make It Right that address issues of poverty, displacement, and housing. Human Rights, however, extends beyond creating spaces for the economically disadvantages or impoverished. In fact, the term Human Rights often conjures up people’s rights within the context of conflict. Most people, however, do not think of architecture as encompassing the lack or destruction of structures.
Read about the Forensic Architecture program at the U. of London after the break
Early in August, we introduced Sherin Wing’s latest exciting series she’s writing for ArchDaily: The AD Architecture School Guide. In case you missed it, you can check Sherin’s review of the University of Utah here. And don’t forget to follow her on Twitter if you want to provide any feedback.
At the University of Kentucky College of Design or UK/CoD, the School of Architecture has taken the goals of engagement, service, and education as an opportunity to transform not just the physical landscape but the economy and social structure of the Commonwealth as well. It is, frankly, an exciting program. And as exemplified by the The River Cities Project, practical skills are combined with pedagogy to enrich and improve the lives of all people: students, faculty and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. If that seems like a tall order, read on because this is definitely a program that succeeds.
It’s pretty easy to check out what the top architecture schools are, parsed by country. Just try Google and you’ll find a list of Top 10 Architecture schools in___. There is, most obviously, our own ArchDaily list of the Best Architecture Schools in the US. Another search yielded this site which ranked the Top 10 schools based on a vote and parsed by continent. In other words, it’s pretty easy to find school rankings.
What’s less easy is to actually 1) get accepted to one of these schools, and 2) figuring out a way to afford them. Besides which, it may not be appealing to attend one of those really famous schools because after all, they can be very large, intimidating, and even factory-like, depending upon how big the classes are. What many people are seeking is a balance between the quality of the faculty, class size, location of the school, and cost.
If this sounds like someone you know (or maybe it’s you), we’re here to help. In fact, if you’re attending a school that you think is great and deserves some acknowledgement, tweet me @xiaying.
In the meantime, there are a lot of schools that are running some very innovative architecture programs all over the world. And we will be looking at some of them to help people make what can be a pivotal life decision. In fact, what school you attend often shapes who you are to no small degree—at least at first.
(Read our first featured School after the break)