Oct '09 - Apr '10
In my design studio this semester we have been having an ongoing discussion about the past, present and future of design education. This has in turn spilled over into my other [theory] classes and has developed into the concentration of what little free time I have.
There is an opinion out there that poses architectural education to be some kind of open door humanitarian effort with the aim of bringing everyone to their level and creating an environment where everyone is an architect and no one is at the same time. They hold up ideas of collaboration as a means to achieve something higher, and to a certain extent I believe they may be on to something, but involvement of other professions into architecture can be dangerous to the field itself. The mentality/thought process of non-design professions are usually in no way similar and are often opposite to those in architecture. The debate of collaboration could go on for eternity, but my point here is actually a question for design education at large: Why can’t architects/designers be educated in the other professions? Architects often claim to have some sort of legitimate knowledge of other professions like engineering, Sociology, and Liberal Arts. Why not validate these claims through a more extensive education process that ultimately not only creates architects who design buildings, but professionals who have a grasp on the entire world around them. I have prepared an image that conveys the position of architecture education relative to a university/institute campus:
There is another branch of this discussion that involves the interconnectivity of the architectural education network. With tools like the internet becoming extensions of our own mind and body, information is being passed back and forth between students and faculty of multiple architecture schools of varying missions. The result is a generation of students who will not only have an education from the institution from which they graduate but and indirect education from other schools through peers and media. I made a comment to a friend of mine today about this idea that went like this: “The future of design education may not, for much longer, continue to happen in isolated schools of architecture, but rather in satellites of one nation/world wide design program.” This invoked an image of a new world order and thoughts of big brother, but I feel that this statement is not very far from the truth, and instead just misinterpreted. Using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the other one, as well as media broadcasting sites like YouTube and others, Everything down to the classroom experience can be transmitted across the globe. It is no longer necessary [and probably hasn't been for years] to attend a school to receive and education from it, if an education is the acquisition of knowledge and not just a piece of paper that you are handed at the end of a stage.