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Architectural Education: The Latest Architecture and News

The World's Top Universities for Studying Architecture in 2019

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has revealed it's ranking of the world’s top universities for the study of Architecture / Built Environment for 2019, based upon academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.

On this edition, the Bartlett School of Architecture at UCL (University College London) has been named the best university for studying architecture, taking MIT's place, which has topped the rankings for the past four years .

Keep reading and check out the complete ranking.

Harvard GSD Relaunches Free Online Architecture Course

The Harvard Graduate School of Design has relaunched its free online course entitled “The Architectural Imagination.” Directed by the school’s Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory, K. Michael Hays, the course seeks to teach students “how to understand architecture as both cultural expression and technical achievement.”

The free 10-week program runs until July 2019 and is carried out through the online edX platform, a Harvard/MIT system that specializes in high-quality massive open online courses. During the course, students will engage with the social and historical contexts behind major works of architecture, basic principles to produce drawings and models, and the pertinent content for academic study or a professional career as an architect.

Opinion: A Plea for Architectural History

Courtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik PD. ImageAn elevation of the entire Acropolis as seen from the west; while the Parthenon dominates the scene, it is nonetheless only part of a greater composition. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik (Public Domain)
Courtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik PD. ImageAn elevation of the entire Acropolis as seen from the west; while the Parthenon dominates the scene, it is nonetheless only part of a greater composition. ImageCourtesy of Wikimedia user Quibik (Public Domain)

This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Opinion: We Can't Go on Teaching the Same History of Architecture as Before."

Architectural students of my generation—the last of the baby boomers, starting college in Europe or in the Americas in the late 1970s—had many good reasons to cherish architectural history. Everyone seemed to agree at the time that the Modernist project was conspicuously failing. Late Modernist monsters were then wreaking havoc on cities and lands around the world, and the most immediate, knee-jerk reaction against what many then saw as an ongoing catastrophe was to try and bring back all that 20th-century high Modernism had kicked out of design culture: history, for a start. I drew my first Doric capital, circa 1979, in a design studio, not in a history class (and my tutor immediately ordered me to scrape it, which I did).

Inaugural Woods Bagot Prize Awarded to SCI-Arc Grads

Three SCI-Arc graduates became the recipients of the first Woods Bagot Prize, an award that recognizes the top design portfolios and academic achievements from students in the undergraduate and graduate programs on September 9. The prize-winners were awarded USD $20,000 along with an offer for a position at any of the international firm’s 15 studios. From a pool of over 50 applicants, the prize-winners Mikiko Takasago from Japan, M.Arch 1, José Carlos García from Mexico, M.Arch 2, and undergraduate Luciano Meghini from Italy, B.Arch, were selected.

Office Ou Designs First Urban Public School in Central Prague in Nearly 100 Years

Courtesy of Office Ou
Courtesy of Office Ou

Office Ou, a Toronto-based landscape design firm, in collaboration with INOSTUDIO Architects, has designed a new public school for the historic Smíchov district of Prague. The initial competition, organized by the Centre for Central European Architecture, chose the Office Ou & INOSTUDIO design out of 66 anonymous submissions. This school would be the first new public school built in Prague's urban center in close to 100 years.

Courtesy of Office Ou Courtesy of Office Ou Courtesy of Office Ou Courtesy of Office Ou + 15

Trailblazer Apprenticeships Could Bring Overdue Relief for Architecture Students

Earlier this month, a “Trailblazer Group” comprising 20 leading architecture firms led by Foster + Partners announced the creation of the UK’s first Architecture Apprenticeship Standards. Supported by the RIBA, ARB (Architects Registration Board) and over a dozen UK universities, the group has structured a program which tackles the financial feasibility of an architectural education through paid apprenticeships, and addresses the disparity experienced by students transitioning between education and practice.

While doing little to alter the notorious seven-year length of the UK's accreditation process, the apprenticeship is a welcome and proactive step in reforming an education system which, on the ground, breeds an atmosphere of financial insecurity, mental health issues, and a disenchantment among students with the value of their £45,000 investment in architecture degrees.

Foster + Partners' London office, Riverside. Image © Marc Goodwin Foster + Partners will lead the Trailblazers Apprenticeships program. Image via Norman Foster Foundation Hawkins/Brown, who designed the new campus for UCL's Bartlett School, will take part in the program. Courtesy of The Bartlett School of Architecture <a href=''>In 2014, the UK Architecture Student Network met to discuss the future of architectural education</a> Image © Vinesh Pomal / Zlatina Spasova + 6

Jan Boelen and Deniz Ova, Curators of the 2018 Istanbul Design Biennial, Discuss the Future of Design Education

“Today, design has become a form of inquiry, power, and agency,” say Jan Boelen and Deniz Ova, curator and director of the 2018 Istanbul Design Biennial. “It has become vaster than the world itself, permeating all layers of everyday life.” Their curatorial statement for the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, which opens later this year themed with the title “A School of Schools,” seeks to explore how design education, and education in general, can evolve and adapt in a new age of artificial intelligence.

The team is determined that the Biennial should not read as a two-year scheduled event, but should “reinvent itself and become a productive, process-orientated platform for education and design to research, experiment, and learn in.” The team is undoubtedly well equipped for the challenge.

The Top 200 Universities in the World for Architecture 2018

Global higher education analysis firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has revealed its rankings of the world’s top universities for the study of Architecture / Built Environment for 2018. The eight edition of the survey compared 2,122 institutions across the globe offering courses in architecture or the built environment, narrowing down the list based on criteria including academic and employer reputation.

For the fourth straight year, MIT has topped the rankings, once again coming out ahead of the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Read on for the full rankings.

Boarding House for an Agricultural School / Technical University of Berlin / CODE Chair Construction + Design - Ralf Pasel

© CODE + Johannes Belz © CODE + Johannes Belz © CODE + Johannes Belz © CODE + Johannes Belz + 50

Quillacollo, Bolivia

Architectural Education: Is It Actually Preparing Our Students for the Future?

The issue of how we educate our architects of the future is a divisive one. With the capabilities of our technology advancing rapidly, new mediums of Virtual Reality, robotics, and artificial intelligence are all changing the architectural profession at a fundamental level. This creates the question of whether architectural pedagogy is keeping up with the times and educating students to be ready for both professional practice and an uncertain future.

In his opinion piece for Common Edge, ‘Architectural Education is Changing: Let’s Hope the Profession Can Keep Up’, Phil Bernstein articulates his belief that architectural education today is indeed teaching students the necessary skills, but rather than focusing on simply teaching them to become competent workers, it is teaching them skills to design for the future.

Harvard's Popular Free Online Architecture Course Returns for 2018

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s popular free online course, The Architectural Imagination, has returned for 2018, again offering anyone across the globe the opportunity to study the fundamentals of architecture from one of the world’s foremost design schools at absolutely no cost.

Led by professors Erika Naginski, Antoine Picon, and K. Michael Hays, alongside PhD student Lisa Haber-Thomson, the 10-week course will cover topics ranging from learning to “read” buildings as cultural expression to technical drawing and modeling exercises.

GSAPP Columbia is Launching the First-Ever Ph.D. in Historic Preservation Program

Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) has launched the United States’ first-ever Ph. D in Historic Preservation. GSAPP is ranked within the top 10 architecture graduate schools in the US in the latest figures for 2017. It’s leadership in learning and experimental practice is about to be further enhanced by the introduction of the course.

Next Cities Institute: Designing Global Urban Futures

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The University of Virginia’s School of Architecture Dean Ila Berman recently announced her intention to launch the NEXT CITIES INSTITUTE, an interdisciplinary design and research platform focused on the rapidly changing dynamics of global urban futures.

How Denmark's $1.2 Billion Cutback Forces Architecture Schools to Rethink Their Priorities

© Ariana Zilliacus
© Ariana Zilliacus

18 June 2015: Denmark has a new right wing government. A couple of months later, despite student protests in front of city hall, the new government declares a decision to cut 8.7 billion Danish kroner (over $1.2 billion US) from education in Denmark, effectively cutting nearly 30 million kroner (around $4 million US) from the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation (KADK).

The result? 31 employees have been laid off this month; the student body is to be reduced by 30% over the coming years; 4 masters courses in architecture are being discontinued within the next 4 years; and 6 bachelor programs, 7 special programs and one entire institute in the Design School are being terminated. Teaching is being refocused towards technology and the professional sphere, but will this really improve the prospects of fresh architecture graduates, as they claim? Is it more important to challenge, or to adapt?

© Ariana Zilliacus © Ariana Zilliacus © <a href=''>Flickr user danmarksdesignskole</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> © <a href=''>Flickr user danmarksdesignskole</a> licensed under <a href=''>CC BY 2.0</a> + 7

Call for Applications: Postgraduate Master in Curatorship of Architecture and Design

The role of the Curator requires a comprehensive and multifaceted training that allows them to move in different contexts and platforms. The contemporary Curator investigates and identifies relevant issues and their relationships to, then, launch through exhibitions a narrative capable of catching the audience’s interest. A Curator’s work, therefore, encourages reflection and promotes new ways of perceiving and understanding architecture and design. The Master in Curatorship of Architecture and Design at IUAV (Venice, Italy) aims to train professionals capable of developing curatorial projects with a solid foundation in theory and critical thinking, coupled with a strong knowledge of strategies in exhibition making.

The Best Architecture Schools in the U.S. 2017

With schools around the country starting back up again, it’s time for the latest edition of DesignIntelligence’s yearly rankings of the Top Architecture Schools in the US for both undergraduate and graduate programs. This year, CEOs, managing partners, and human-resource directors from more than 2,000 firms were asked to list the 10 programs from each category they felt best prepared students for success in the profession of architecture.

This information, along with detailed accounts on the best programs that teach skills in design, computer applications, sustainability and construction methods & materials, factored into the creation of the 2017 rankings. In addition, over 2,785 students were polled on the quality of their program and their plans for post-graduation. The two top schools, Cornell for undergraduates and Harvard for graduates, were once again named the best programs to attend, according to the study.

Read on to see the list of the top 10 undergraduate and graduate programs in the US.

Kean University to Acquire Michael Graves Residence After Rejection by Princeton

The residence belonging to famed Postmodernist architect Michael Graves will be sold to Kean University, home to the new Michael Graves College for architecture and design, after receiving approval from its board of trustees. Following Graves’s death last year, the architect’s will stipulated that the residence, his studio, another property were to be donated to Princeton University, Graves’s neighbor and longtime employer. But Princeton University felt the buildings would be better served in another capacity and rejected the gift, allowing Kean to step in.