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STEM – or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – is in and Architecture is out.
Has anyone else noticed this?
Or run into this when funding a project?
I have changed many of my strategies accordingly.
Has anyone else?
On the positive side, rigorous displays of knowledge such as being able to work with the psychrometric chart and/or a bioclimatic chart rather than writing parodies of comp lit stuff are being encouraged. Obfuscation is out and building science is in. But the issues of design remain in either case and need grappling with.
What do you think?
what are you talking about architecture is out? in terms of what? I designed a STEM school thats under construction in London and almost finished. Architecture meets STEM?
In terms of college and university interest. STEM has generated HUGE interest and financial backing here in the USA. There's program funding for STEM whereas some Architecture programs are going to close.
What does the school look like?
What?! Which architecture programs are going to close?!
John Maeda, President at RISD, has been trying to address this recently, and gave a pretty interesting talk at MIT that I listened to on the webs. Also I think that the Media Lab is possibly an example of TONS of money flowing into a program that at least has its roots in architecture, even if it is less so today..
what is this i don't even
The importance of architecture is certainly questionable. Mental engagement is in, passive observation (architecture+traditional art) is out.
For most people, their basic cable service > the beautiful lobby at their office.
You can put a kid in a white room with fluorescent lights, but give him access to a PSP video game and he doesn't care.
I feel really confused here...
In other news, pressure cookers are in, and rubber boots are out.
i like turtles
but we need people who understand science, engineering, technology and math. Im currently in Germany where there is a shortage of engineers. The country is welcoming educated immigrants with open arms. We dont need so many architects. Programs should close down. Not because we dont need architects, we just dont need so many. Out of my graduating class of about 40 students for undergrad, maybe 10 of us are working in the architecture field. theres no need to educate so many.
There are probably two to three times too many architecture schools, so if a bunch of them closed down it would be no great loss.
You're right, James. That's where the government funding in the USA is being steered. Women are being encouraged to take up STEM and become engineers, etc.. We have all sorts of money for presentations and seminars in STEM.
STEM inniciative doesn't cover a whole bunch of fields. Accounting, medicine (and nursing), law, architecture, business. None of these are being phased out. Christ.
Law should be phased out. I'd use a guillotine.
I'll ignore the non sequiturs.
The new reality in higher ed funding is here. I am wondering aloud on how others are taking advantage of it.
Is anyone finding a strategy that is successful?
Actually the American Bar Association itself issued a warning telling people not to go to law school. Here: http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/aba-telling-college-students-dont-go-to-law-school/http://www.cnbc.com/id/40863598
Let me repeat! ABA warned about the lawyer surplus!!!! O_0
What is AIA saying about the architect surplus?
william - i don't think too many people are following your intent; hence the non sequiturs.
if you're asking about how funding works in higher ed.... it's not exactly a big secret that architecture doesn't pull in the research bling that most of the STEM disciplines do. as noted, neither do any of the liberal arts core courses, nor humanities or social sciences (those freaking leeches! squash them all like little parasites!)
so, yeah, schools are looking to all departments to help generate more research revenue. and most schools in the u.s. are (compared to a decade ago). but we're not the core STEM group, to most provosts at least.
what were we talking about again?
I 2nd "The Co-op Guy". Maeda has been talking about the shift to STEM, and the fact that the Arts are being left behind, and how that will hurt everyone down the road. He gave a very similar keynote at the Texas Society of Architects convention last fall. He is proposing STEAM instead of STEM. Check it out.
Thank you Gregory for divining what this thread was about! I too was confused.
OK, so interestingly the popular latest trend in elementary schools is International Baccalaureate programs, Inquiry programs, and project-based learning. These all emphasize creative thinking and broad acceptance of differences and cross-collaboration while de-emphasizing rote learning. Could our kids be getting creative skills early on, when they are better anyway, then molding that creative thinking as they get to college into even better solutions to STEM-type problems? I think that could happen.
In terms of college and university interest. STEM has generated HUGE interest and financial backing here in the USA. There's program funding for STEM programs and events whereas some Architecture programs are going to close.
-I hoped that this clarified things.
I didn't know about Maeda, that's helpful!
I'll check him out.
My division also has technology in it and every department meeting features grant after grant that involves STEM. There's been an explosion of dollars headed to colleges and universities for STEM events and programs. If you can make your Architecture endeavor fit under the STEM umbrella, there's opportunity. My boss has encouraged me to find a spot under the STEM tent. Otherwise, the Arch money is scarce and is getting harder to find. I am interested in what other departments are doing to get a piece of the action.
Architects should be better at STEM anyways, from a purely technical standpoint.
That doesn't mean that they shouldn't also be really great at art. They should think of these systems and methods as they would, say, another material or something.
It's really easy to get caught up in the technical minutia while losing sight of the larger picture; if you can only describe your project in terms of meeting a target region in the psychometric chart (for example), you are probably doing it wrong.
There appears to be a whole lot of confusion on what STEM is. My take: It's a term coined by U.S. Immigration and Customs for skilled foreigners working high tech. There is an apparent shortage of high skilled techies in the US and there has been a political backlash with "we need Murica to innovate and lead the world hur hur!". And thus programs that are considered as part of STEM are getting all kinds of funding in hopes of producing more higly skilled workers that are 100% US beef.
What architecture has to do with this is beyond me. We don't innovate in a classic sense, but we do imprement technologies developed by others.
perhaps William you can sell yourself as a test driver and get some of the funding you desperately crave.
Thanks, Rusty, it's unfortunately the reality of funding higher ed. I chair two departments at a college and money is what keeps things going. I am looking to find out what my peers are doing. I gave a talk on P, Q and R series and the golden ratio. That talk got funded because of its relationship to Fibonacci numbers rather than to its use by Corbu in his elevations and sections. That's the difference in a nutshell.
Where STEM type of research happens in our field is in the Manufacturing side of things. Lots of new products are introduced into the construction industry every year. Some are quite innovative. I would look into material testing side of things for funding. How interesting to architecture students ASTM type tests would be is a completely different matter.
they should do what other professional schools do.. like medschool and lawschool (in Canada)... very tight control of SUPPLY, so it matches DEMAND...
there are wayyy too many architects, and not that many good designers...
I fully support a more STEM approach to architecture where logic trumps emotional discourse. In the changing face of the profession i think that is the future.
Christ is being phased out, Rusty.
Architecture is considered a STEM major, having seen the wiki or some similar list.
This is actually right up my ally - coming from an undergrad STEM background (biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, applied math major), I actually got interested in architecture because quantitative techniques and front-line STEM fields are barely implemented in the design process, where they could be making a whole world of difference. A lot of applied math and cs techniques used in behavioral biology, for instance, is already applied to studying urban systems and traffic flow - so why not architectural design? Data science and statistics too are becoming huge resources that the architectural field isn't taking advantage of at all, in gaining a more concrete (no pun intended) understanding of how humans interact with their built environment, and not just relying on intuition or speculation.
So yeah, in no way does architecture and STEM have to be mutually exclusive. Maybe it's the artist's or designer's ego that's getting in the way, or maybe it's the dearth of fundamental education in critical thinking that is generally fostered in STEM fields, but I think it's time to move past the hyper-subjective postmodern movement and look towards a more 'objective' assessment of how effective buildings can be.
Take this with a grain of salt though - using more quantitative methods will make the design process much more transparent, in seeing precisely which assumptions were made, but is in no way deterministic. The architect still plays a significant role in interpreting that data, and formulating the best solution. Hopefully, it'll just force us to be a little more honest about how we're creating our buildings, and add some functional (not just symbolic) significance to them.