Architecture in Maine!


As many might know, I am a Maine expat now practicing as an intern architect in Texas.
As you don't know, I am pleased today.
Apparently as of 2003, the University of Maine at Augusta (?!) has established a BA in Architecture program.
(I put the "?!" in because it's suprising and raises questions to me that the program would be at UMA and not the University of Southern Maine in Portland or the flagship U-Maine campus in Orono).
It's aligned with the Boston Architectural College, and students with the BA in Architecture are granted high standing in the BAC.
Granted it's not an accredited B-Arch, and granted all of the perspective renderings done by students there seem to be done in the same technique, but it's a start. Way to go UMA!
http://www.uma.edu/Architecture/Default.html
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Adam, Since you speak Mainese, What is a creative and and behavioral design approach? What is a creative and conceptual design approach?
I know it's not fair to ask you, but I see a lot of this on web sites. Anyone want to discuss?
TB
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Don wrote:

It's precisely the problem I have with architecture schools. That is, they're concentrating almost exclusively on the art of architecture (design, theory, criticism, etc.) while all but ignoring the business of architecture and the construction of buildings (building codes, constructibility, contract documents, accessibility, etc. etc.)
That said, I'm inclined to cut the UMA program a little slack on it because they offer a "Bachelor of *ART* in Architecture"; not a "Bachelor of Architecture." They are -not- offering a first professional degree; so in my view they can be excused if they concentrate on art and theory rather than the very real requirements necessary to practice architecture. It's schools like SCI-Arch, Rice, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, et-al - schools that provide students with professional degrees but aren't effectively preparing people for the profession - that are much more problematic.
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Don wrote:

I see it this way: to design without acknowledgement of codes, structures, building conventions, etc. is as easy as to design purely based on codes, structure, building conventions, etc. Anyone can draw or model in the computer a floating glass box over a perfectly flat field and say "this is my building - a tongue in cheek comment on the unattainability of the perfect building." Anyone can pick up a building code and draw up thier house - how many people who aren't architects have designed and built their own houses without architects?
Great architecture is made by people who are not just creative, but who know the laws of gravity and of man well enough for proper design to practically be second nature. Allowing students to design in some idealized world with no gravity and no building codes is a disservice to them, in my view. Those students are bound to come out of school with great ideas and then be beaten down when they finally realize just how monumental a task it will be to completely re-draw those great ideas in order to stay up and meet code.
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Don wrote:

Several reasons.
1: Attitude. Universities, and well indoctrinated students within them, think that you can't learn theory or design outside of school. They think the schools need to teach exclusively that as a result. The corollary is that they don't teach codes, accessibility, constructibility, or pricing.
2: Laziness. It's more fun and less tiring to sit around shooting the shit about Heidegger than it is to actually read through the IBC and familiarize onesself with it.

Yes, I was aware that building codes existed. But only because I began to work after my 2nd year of school. It was there; not in school, that I learned about constructibility, how to draw details, the importance of code compliance, etc.
In my entire school, there was only one professor who required an effort to comply with building codes in students projects. Sadly, he's nearly 65 years old, and when he retires I don't see anyone else stepping up to the plate.
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Don wrote:

Frank Lloyd Wright didn't attend the University of Chicago School of Architecture. He worked for Louis Sullivan and came up through the ranks, before leaving and (as great architects do) taking projects with him.
That said, while I'm not sure architecture schools should be done away with altogether, I am certain that they need a complete overhaul. I've said it before.
1: Schools of architecture should reach out, and work with engineering schools; allowing architecture students to collaborate with engineering students on projects - the same way architects collaborate with engineers on real projects.
2:Students should be taught theory and design, but once they've got a design they should push that project through mock DD and documentation phases. This should be repeated twice, or three or four times before graduation - in marked contrast to the eight or tenfold repetition of theoretical design.
3:Architecture professors MUST be registered architects. You would never let a person without a drivers license teach drivers ed, after all. Why should architecture be any different?

I would agree.

True.
Finally, I'd remake the ARE. It would become a standardized exit exam for architecture schools. All professional degree architecture students are required to take it in order to get their diploma. They then do their internships, and upon completion of the internship, they are registered.
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