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!
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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