Every year in March, the QS World University Rankings reveal the top universities to study each profession, covering 51 different subjects. Grading schools based on academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact, the annual QS- Quacquarelli Symonds has unveiled that for the second year in a row, in the 2021 Architecture/ Built Environment division, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is still in the first position.
Architectural Education: The Latest Architecture and News
The following text was drafted in response to the first prompt in AN’s “Post-Pandemic Potentials” series. Two previous responses, by Mario Carpo and Phil Bernstein, reflected on the mostly seamless transition of architectural education from physical to virtual settings. Read more about the series here.
Michel Foucault’s famous account of the plague described the partitioning of the medieval city, the confinement of its citizens, and the accounting for and distribution of resources. Those foundational actions, according to his thesis, led to the disciplining of people and institutional bodies in space and time. Similarly, the field of medicine, consolidated by the Flexner Report of 1910 (and followed soon after by the founding of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, or ACSA, in 1912), was further formalized in the aftermath of the 1918 influenza outbreak that exposed the need for greater surveillance and diagnostics required in epidemiology.
Architectural Education is still largely living in the mid-20th century, where the studio model is both wonderful, limited and alive and well. Students are offered two stark pedagogies: either getting a fine arts education or applying a glorified trade school regimen towards being a technocrat. Artificial Intelligence (AI) might just eliminate architecture as a career for those who are not versed in the things that only humans can do: synthesize, channel, invent, craft. Beyond imitation. By its new nature, architecture could be becoming inhuman.
Like most functions in recent months, this year’s Digital FUTURES, which is held annually since 2011 at Tongji University in Shanghai, had to move online due to the pandemic. The organizers took this as an opportunity to give the event a global dimension, turning the festival into what they rightfully call the most significant worldwide event for architectural education ever staged, with a 24/7 display of workshops, lectures and panel discussions involving some of the most prominent architects and educators. Here is an overview of the festival, together with a selection of lectures from Digital FUTURES World.
There is a slide I like to show at the beginning of the architecture courses I teach that provides an overview of the last hundred years or so in design and technology. In the left column, a car from the beginning of the 20th Century (a Ford Model T) is poised over a contemporary car (a Tesla). The middle column contains a similar juxtaposition, showing a WWI-era biplane and a modern-day stealth fighter (an F-117A). In the right column, Walter Gropius’s 1926 Bauhaus Dessau building is seen next to an up-to-date urban mixed-use building. The punch line, of course, is that the two buildings—separated by roughly 100 years—look basically the same, whereas the cars and planes separated by the same timespan seem worlds apart. What is the reason for this?
The Midnight Charette is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by architectural designers David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features a variety of creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions. A wide array of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes provide useful tips for designers, while others are project reviews, interviews, or explorations of everyday life and design. The Midnight Charette is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.
This week hosts David and Marina are joined by Marc Neveu—Chair of Architecture, The Design School, Arizona State University and Executive Editor of the Journal of Architectural Education; Renée Cheng—Dean of the College of Built Environments, University of Washington; and Kiel Moe—Gerald Sheff Chair in Architecture, School of Architecture, McGill University to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted teachers and students, the future of education (changing studio, reviews, and lectures), and more. Enjoy!
Courtesy of the coronavirus, universities are closed around the world, and classrooms are now entertained over video conferencing. This is not overly dramatic as this temporary arrangement will eclipse after cases are contained, and classes will resume soon after. However, the impacts on the university ecosystem and on the urban fabric will require immediate renovations in higher education that will shape the architectural syllabus for years to come.
The annual QS- Quacquarelli Symonds ranking for top universities has been unveiled. Based on academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact, the ranking highlights every year the best universities for each profession. In the 2020 Architecture/ Built Environment division, the list reveals that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is back on top.
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.
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.
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).
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, 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.
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.
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.