Architectural disAssociation - A reflection on the state of the education of architecture at the AA. Open discussion inviting everyone with an opinion of the school - students, tutors and alumni alike to retrospectively reflect on the state of the AA's unit system and speculate the possible future of its education. This discussion will have no panel as it is an open floor discussion.
Architects are famously cynical about the long hours and over-education required for what can be a thankless career. But in a recent study conducted by WalletHub, “2016’s Best & Worst Entry-Level Jobs”, recent grads and seasoned professionals alike may be surprised to find that “architect” is ranked 10th out of 109 evaluated professions. Read on to find out how they calculated their result.
Young designers, fresh out of school, often have incredible potential to contribute to their new firm: with fresh skills and capabilities that may have passed by the company's older members, they are in an excellent position to make their mark. But maximizing this potential may require expensive training courses, and asking your firm for that opportunity can be daunting. In this article originally published on ArchSmarter, Michael Kilkelly recounts a tale from his own early years as an architect to demonstrate that getting your firm to pay for training may be simpler than most young architects imagine.
When I was a young architect, only a few years out of school, I became interested in 3D rendering. This was back in the mid-nineties so the technology was primitive compared to today. 3D Studio Max had just come out and my firm had a copy.
After work, I would play around with the software. I did a few renderings of the project I was working on as a way to learn the software. The project designer saw them and got excited.
Moscow's Strelka Institute and the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism Launch a New Course in Advanced Urban Design
The Moscow-based Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design and the HSE Graduate School of Urbanism have launched a new collaborative international Masters programme entitled Advanced Urban Design. The two-year English language program, specifically designed for Bachelors, researchers and young professionals, intends to guide students through best practices in the area of urban planning. Under the guidance of a collection of tutors from Russia and around the world, the course aims to investigate conditions of growing cities by focusing on unstable socioeconomic contexts.
In the face of global doomsday predictions, sustainability has become one of the most crucial aspects of the 21st century, now playing a huge role in everything from politics to the way you dispose of your trash. Fortunately, most architects understand sustainability implicitly, and have adopted it into their lives and work. Or have they? In this article, originally published on Common Edge as "Why Architects Don't Get It," green building expert Lance Hosey highlights the failures of the architecture community in reaching their stated sustainability goals, and argues for a new conception of architecture in which good design and sustainable design are integrated.
A few years ago, the American Institute of Architects, the self-declared “voice of the architecture profession,” announced that "AIA members will no longer need to complete the sustainable design requirement to fulfill their AIA continuing education." Why? Because “sustainable design practices have become a mainstream design intention.” Hooray! If sustainability is “mainstream” now, and knowledge about it is no longer necessary “to maintain competency” and “to advance and improve the profession”—the purpose of continuing education, according to the AIA—then the profession must have met its environmental goals, and there’s nothing left to improve. Mission accomplished.
The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) has announced the launch of SCI-Arc Mexico, to begin in mid-March 2016. Located in the Barragán Foundation in Mexico City, SCI-Arc Mexico will feature international studios, exhibitions, conferences and symposia, furthering SCI-Arc’s global presence by complementing SCI-Arc Shanghai as well as bolstering further development into South America and Europe.
The 2015 session of MADE—the Multidisciplinary Australian Danish Exchange—has recently been completed and presented to the public. Established in 2013 by the Sydney Opera House, the MADE Program is an extracurricular experience for Australian and Danish students of architecture, engineering, and design.
Teams of five students are exchanged between Australia and Denmark and work in multidisciplinary teams of two architects, two engineers, and one designer for six weeks on a collaborative project aligned with Jørn Utzon’s Design Principles.
There is a dichotomy to the business of educating architects. While the real world profession is a collaborative field, one in which projects of even the largest and most publicly-acclaimed offices are team-led initiatives, the study of architecture is often insular, myopic, and devoid of such partnerships. Certainly there is a benefit to this style of teaching - it builds confidence for one thing - but it is troubling to think that in a socially-oriented and practically-minded field like architecture, there can be such major disconnects between the process of designing and the act of building. As many critics of current architectural education have pointed out, incorporating design-build projects into school curriculums is a pragmatic solution oriented towards correcting such imbalances.
The fact that more schools don't have programs for students to both design and build their projects is especially perplexing when most universities, particularly those located in the United States, are in such a prolonged period of institutional and budgetary expansion. With many schools now governed like corporate entities, it’s surprising that architecture programs and students are not treated like in-house resources. Why aren’t architecture students treated like assets, the same way that student doctors and nurses are brought into university led medical facilities or scientists into campus research labs?
Architecture is a subject that takes decades to master. Just look at the field’s consensus masters - it is not uncommon for an architect to work through his or her fifties before receiving widespread acclaim. So it should come as no surprise that architecture schools simply don’t have the time to teach students all there is to know about architecture. School is the place where future architects are given a foundation of skills, knowledge and design sensibility that they can carry with them into their careers - but what exactly that foundation should contain is still a hot debate within the field.
In an attempt to come closer to pinpointing what an education should give you, we asked a group of people with a wide range of experience as students, professionals and teachers - our readers - "what do you wish you had learned in architecture school?"
Last year Kevin J Singh, an Associate Professor of Architecture in the School of Design at Louisiana Tech University, adapted one of his lectures giving advice to students as they embark upon a new career into an article. That article, titled "21 Rules for a Successful Life in Architecture" and published on ArchDaily in September 2014, was a runaway success, becoming our second most-read post of 2014 and among our most visited articles of all time.
As a result of his article's success, this year Singh has taken his 21 rules as a framework for a new ebook, "Beginning Your Career in Architecture: Candid Advice for Emerging Professionals." The ebook not only elaborates on the 21 rules from the original article, but also offers questions to the reader that lead to actionable goals, giving them the nudge they need to start out on the right track. In the following excerpts from the book, Singh addresses voicing your opinions, finding - or rather creating - the role that suits your skills, and making the world a better place.
In the early days of the architectural profession, teaching and practice were neatly aligned: the elements of the various styles could be taught and put into practice in the field. However in the 20th century, while the business of construction was becoming increasingly technocratic, architectural theory became equally pluralistic and esoteric. Ever since, the dichotomy between architectural education and practice has been a controversial subject. Many in the business say that education fails to prepare students for the real world, while some academics equally contend that architecture schools have given up too much ground to technical considerations, and no longer teach enough important theory.
In the 21st century, that dichotomy is increasingly being bridged by the internet, offering a convenient alternative to universities and practices where architects can teach themselves. With that in mind, we wanted to open a discussion up to our readers: what are the things you wish you learned in school but never had the chance? Was there an element of history and theory that is vital to your understanding of architecture that you only learned after graduation? Or perhaps a technical consideration that you had to learn the hard way?
Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have announced a new, collaborative program: the Master in Design Engineering (MDE) degree. Beginning in Fall 2016, the program, lasting for four terms over two years, will offer students the resources of both GSD and SEAS, combining skills and knowledge across fields to solve multi-scale, complex, open-ended problems.
Martha Thorne has been appointed as dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design in Madrid. Thorne, who is currently IE's vice dean, has had a major impact on the profession by serving as the executive director of the Pritzker Prize for nearly a decade. As BDOnline reports, Thorne will retain her Pritzker role as she furthers "the school's aim to bring the best of innovation and management to architectural disciplines.”
Architecture school. You’ve heard the myths - the legends of all-nighters and innovation, of unmatched workaholism and love for the profession. Perhaps you know what you want – to solve the great urbanization problem, to create the next sustainable wonder-gadget, or maybe just to start your own firm and show the architectural world how it’s done. Maybe you have no idea what you want to do, drawn to architecture by the romance, the larger-than-life scale. Maybe you’re an artist who wants a job when they graduate. A hometown hero, you’re about to be thrown into a classroom of the best, possibly for the first time in your life. You’ll be surrounded by the brightest in engineering, problem solving, writing, drawing and a host of other skills. Anxious and excited, you stand ready at the doors of architectural education, hungry for innovation and ready to share and learn from others. Stepping inside that first day, you prepare yourself for the best - and most difficult times of your life so far.
To prepare you for the strange beast that is architecture school, shed light on what is fact and fiction, and give you some peace of mind, we at ArchDaily have prepared a list of advice for all incoming architecture students. There is no other education in the world quite like an architectural one, and we hope that this list can help prepare you for its unique wonders and challenges. The advice below is meant to ease the transition into school as much as possible – but be warned, nothing can compare to experiencing the real deal. Read them all after the break.
The International Architectural Education Summit (IAES) will take place during September 9-11, 2015. The 4th IAES summit will take place at The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Centre in Singapore. The registration for this upcoming event is now open.
Established in 2009 by UCLA Architecture and Urban Design,Los Angeles, and in 2011 joined by IE School of Architecture and Design, Madrid, the Summit is a biennial conference dedicated to foster a constructive dialogue between leading academics, practitioners, policy makers and industry representatives with ideas to make architectural education more relevant against a backdrop of globalization, changing technology and pressing societal issues. The inaugural Summit was held in Tokyo in 2009 and the second and third editions took place in 2011 and 2013 in Madrid and Berlin. The fourth iteration is collaboratively conceptualized with the Urban Redevelopment Authority Singapore, the National University of Singapore and Singapore University of Technology and Design. It will explore the topic of “Emerging Networks in Architectural Education” from many diverse perspectives, and we are confident will form a bridge between East and West.
Almost two months ago we put a request out to all of our readers who were completing the academic year to send us any built work that they may have completed as part of their studies. Our hope was to display the fantastic diversity of ideas and styles that is emerging from institutions across the globe, and the response that we got was fantastic. With almost 100 submissions, we received projects from countries as far afield as Chile, the United States, Norway and Japan. We also received everything from pragmatic projects such as a chapel for a disadvantaged community in Mexico or a low-budget sidewalk parklet, to wondrously bizarre constructions such as a steel worm that connects spaces through sound and an inhabitable haystack.
With the help of our colleagues at ArchDaily Brasil and all of ArchDaily en Español, we've compiled a selection of 26 of the most interesting, elegant or unusual projects from around the world - join us after the break to see what your international peers have been up to.
Nader Tehrani, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) architecture professor and founding principal of Office dA and NADAAA, has been appointed dean of The Cooper Union's Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture. From 2010 to 2014, Tehrani served as the head of MIT's Department of Architecture, while leading two offices in Boston and New York City. He will now join Cooper this month and focus his efforts on speculative research and interdisciplinary collaboration.
We have been publishing Nikos Salingaros’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. In Chapter 14, the final chapter of the online version of the book, Salingaros concludes by recounting the effect that the teachings included in his book had on students in a class he taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio, during the Fall Semester of 2012. If you missed them, make sure to read the previous installments here.
At the conclusion of this course, the students told me that they had learned a great many things that are crucial to an understanding of architecture, but which are hardly ever taught in other architecture courses. To be precise, students had previously been told about the importance of various factors to the success of a design—site, surrounding architecture, regional adaptation, ornament (or rather excluding it), the relationship among distinct structural scales, proportions, trees and green areas—but were never taught exactly how to manage them. Now, those factors were taken into account by learning why they arise out of our own biology and natural processes.