With the news earlier this year that The Cooper Union in New York will, for the first time in 155 years, begin charging tuition fees to students in 2014, the existing students at its Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture are taking steps to ensure that it stays true to the meritocratic principles on which it was founded. To achieve this, they have launched the One Year Fund, an attempt to crowdsource $600,000 in order to cover the tuition fees of the incoming students in 2014.
Read more about the One Year Fund, and how it fits into the students’ larger aims, after the break.
In Design Intelligence‘s annual rankings of US Architecture Schools, released earlier this month, there is certainly a lot to talk about. Of course, plenty will be said about what is shown immediately by the statistics, and rightly so – but just as interesting is what is revealed between the lines of this report, about the schools themselves and the culture they exist within. By taking the opinions of professional architects, teachers and students, the Design Intelligence report exposes a complex network which, when examined closely enough, reveals what some might see as a worrying trend within architectural education.
Each year when Design Intelligence publishes “America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools,” we try to look beyond the rankings. At the end of the day, the report is a snapshot of the state of architecture today and, as such, is a minefield of useful information, particularly for current (or soon-to-be) architecture students. Check out the short infographic after the break to see how the profession’s outlook has grown far more optimistic for architecture grads; what firms look for in recent grads (it may surprise you); and the unequal relationship of high-ranking sustainability programs vs. the prevalence of LEED certification.
Graduating architecture students are welcomed to the professional world with few job opportunities, lots of competition, and, for many, shockingly high student debt. Barring winning the lottery, there’s nothing for it but to work the decades it takes to pay them off. But what if there was another way? Shervan Sebastian, of AIArchitect, explores a new possibility for student debt relief designed specifically for architects in “Proposal Combines Student Debt Relief with Community Design Support,” reprinted here. Read on to see how you could one day pay off your student debt and help your community at the same time.
Public service loan assistance programs have for decades been a driving force in attracting talent to some of America’s neediest and underserved regions and sectors of the economy. Programs as varied as AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps as well as the medical, legal, and dental professions have all employed these incentives to provide communities with talented, civically engaged professionals, while offering one of the most coveted forms of support for financially burdened graduates: student loan assistance.
What might a national design service corps look like for the architecture profession? The AIA is proposing legislation that offers architecture school graduates loan re-payment assistance opportunities similar to those offered to graduates of other professions who contribute their services to their communities. The National Design Services Act (NDSA) provides student loan assistance for architects who work at community design centers by securing grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reduce loan balances of participating students.
With its current total population over 1.2 billion people, India is the second most populous nation in the world. What’s more, current demographics show that, rather than being concentrated, India’s population is spread throughout its states. In demographic and statistical terms, then, India is ideally situated to provide architecture students with new insights into Ekistics, or the science of human settlements.
Founded in 2001 in response to the ongoing shifts in the urban landscape, the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics at Jamia Millia Islamia, a Central University, grounds students in the ways that nature interacts with human needs/ethics in order to produce professionals instrumental in advancing a better built environment.
In the 1970s roughly 20 percent of all US college courses were taught by adjuncts. In recent years, especially since the global financial meltdown, the number of adjunct professors has exploded to the point where they might be considered a floating population of migrant laborers. According to a report from the National Education Association (NEA), currently more than half of all US college courses are taught by adjuncts, or what Sarah Kendzior calls “Academia’s Indentured Servants.”
The 2013 American Association of University Professors annual report paints an even bleaker picture, finding that 76 percent of the academic workforce is made up of adjunct, part-time faculty, teaching graduate students, and non-tenure track, full-time professors.
We have entered an era in higher education where many alarming forces are converging.
AD Architecture School Guide: Institute on Aging and Environment, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning
According to the UN, the elderly population not only exceeds the population of children in developed nations, but will increase more rapidly than any other demographic over the next 50 years — in fact, it could even triple.
Although most countries deal with the elderly population through institutionalized care, whether public, as in Canada or in Great Britain, or private, as in the U.S., the quality of care is widely divergent. It’s therefore fitting – and necessary – that the physical environment’s effect on elderly care is becoming a more prominent issue for research.
One institute that is leading the way in this research is the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning’s Institute on Aging and Environment.
The move is part of a new EU directive, due to be ratified next month, which seeks to establish more uniformity across Europe by aligning the time it takes to qualify and by making mutual recognition of title easier between countries – a move which would make architects more free to move between countries.
Read more about the aims of the RIBA and Arb after the break…
Architecture’s Vicious Equation: High-Cost Education and Low-Paying Jobs. Could PAVE Offer Another Way?
Every year thousands of young hopefuls attend architecture school, entering with the expectation that, after their years of struggle and long hours in studio, they’ll come out the other end as legitimate architects doing legitimate architecture.
How quickly they must abandon that unreasonable idea.
From CAD monkeys to baristas, most architecture grads are not doing what they thought they would when they submitted their first tuition checks. And, to add insult to injury, those tuition checks only multiplied, leaving our grads in thousands of dollars of debt.
Surely there must be another way. PAVE, a kind of Kickstarter that connects individuals to investors, offers—if not a solution—then a very intriguing alternative.
The Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design opened its doors three years ago. 110 students, 30 teachers and over 200 international experts took part in developing a radically new intellectual and physical space in Moscow. This collective effort resulted in a unique research, educational and public center, looking at the complex problems of a Russian city. Strelka Institute studied urban environment and the nature of its transformation, as well as changed the world around us.
Within three years of its existence, Strelka’s educational programme developed several broad themes. In their projects students researched “Public Space”, “Design”, “Preservation”, “Thinning”, “Urban Culture”, “Hinterland”, “Megacity”, “Information”, “Education”. Student projects and research, while remaining inherently student work, made a significant impact on the evolution of public discussion in Moscow, helped introduce the notion of public space into the Russian context and focus public attention on the theme of urban development.
In 2013-14 Strelka will select the theme of its research & design studios differently. We are radically shifting perspective and in the framework of intensive three month research studios are focusing on very concrete, real and seemingly familiar matters.
Applications for this program are open until July 26th. Read more about the program:
While other architecture students spend their summers strolling the streets, seeing the sights, and contently sketching, you could be getting your hands dirty, turning your designs into reality, and making a difference in a community that needs you.
Every summer, Global Architecture Brigades (GAB) activates student volunteers to work with a community in Honduras, helping them alleviate needs in health and education. The program isn’t a lesson in a charity; it’s a hands-on experience of the community-entrenched work of a designer of the 21st century.
Read more about Global Architecture Brigade’s work in Honduras, and how you can get involved, after the break…
Across the globe, architecture programs are cutting resources and raising fees in an effort to stay afloat. Meanwhile, architecture students feel powerless to demand more – to demand quality, to protest fees, to suggest how curricula could better serve them for the future (a poignant concern in this troubled economy, where even a competitive degree doesn’t guarantee post-grad employment any more).
In this Catch-22 of a situation, what can students do? Well, as any good architect-in-training, they can use their craft to form a solution.
Which is exactly what, on the 9th of April, 20 architecture undergrads from the University of Sydney did.
More on the University of Sydney students’ architectural protest, after the break…
Phil Bernstein is a Vice President at Autodesk and teaches at Yale (see our interview with him here). Last week, we published his “5 Pearls of Wisdoms for Architecture Grads,” originally written in 2011. This week, Phil is back to talk to Architecture students again, but this time with some updated advice for the grads of 2013.
It’s been a year since my “Winter Commencement” discussion, and just a few days since I gave my annual talk to our graduating students about the state of the construction economy and what that means for their spring job hunt. And since ArchDaily decided to repost that blog recently, it seemed timely to reflect a bit on how things have changed since December of 2011, and what those changes might mean for job prospects going forward.
And what a difference a year makes, at least for this year’s graduating class. The elections are over, most of the economic malaise, while not lifted here in the U.S, is certainly lighter, and designing, building and, most importantly, hiring seems to be on the rise again. In fact, for the first time since 2009, I suggested to our students that prospects for their employment are the brightest of the young decade.
Here’s my reasoning…
Find out why Grads in 2013 are facing far rosier circumstances, after the break…
Phil Bernstein is a Vice President at Autodesk and teaches at Yale (see our interview with him here). This post, originally published in 2011 on his blog as “Winter Commencement,” offers timeless advice for architecture students about to enter the job market.
As December now rolls around it’s the eve of my last lecture in my professional practice class at Yale. Although I’ve been teaching for almost twenty-five years, I still can’t believe how quickly the semester accelerates into Thanksgiving, and suddenly it’s all over but the shouting (or, in our case, final projects and juries). About the same time as the term slammed to a closed I received a note from a student at Prarie View A&M, asking many of the existential questions that must be facing architecture students nearing their degrees. Seemed like a good time to speculate a bit about that future, and what this year’s graduates might be facing as they confront the job market in the spring, with enough time between now and then to contemplate their options and plot their strategies, so here goes:
Read on to find out Phil Bernstein’s 5 tips for future grads, after the break…
Yesterday’s article “Forget the Rankings, the Best US Architecture Schools Are…” argued that students should judge architecture schools for their strength in areas that are relevant to the profession today (not for their rankings). Today, we bring you an Editorial from Architecture Professor at the University of Melbourne, Stanislav Roudavski, who takes that argument one step further – suggesting that architecture students should look for education opportunities that embrace the architectural world of the future.
Those who look to the future understand architecture as a dynamic system of relationships. These relationships blur the distinctions between digital and physical, natural and artificial, simulated and observable in the wild. Such an interpretation calls for broader collaborations and a commitment to explorations outside established “comfort zones.” But the life outside disciplinary comforts can be harsh. With old certainties left behind and new potentials not yet discovered, one can feel overwhelmed by the richness and complexity of available information and practices. In the contemporary condition of constant and accelerating change, what should an architect know and be able to do? From where should this knowledge be acquired and updated, from whom and in which way?
Innovation (and the learning of the new, needed for innovation to occur) can be encouraged through various strategies. [...] Innovation can also be augmented outside existing professional territories via other types of critical, open-ended learning that is deliberately oriented towards uncertain futures. In striving to address unknown demands, such learning is necessarily speculative and risky. What strategies can be adopted to benefit from such risk-taking?
More on the future of Architectural Education, after the break…