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Student survey 2015: Is your architectural education worth it?

[STUDENTS] Contribute to the debate and take part in the AJ’s comprehensive survey of architectural education

We want to hear students’ views on their courses, how they rate their university and life after education.

Is architectural education too long? Should the part one, part two and part three system be scrapped? Does architectural education provide students with the skills needed for practice?

 

Readers' comments (10)

  • It is not the education system which is at fault, the length and difficulty of the degree is in my opinion the correct path to become a qualified architect. The disappointing fact when leaving university is the industry its self, plagued with long working hours for a low salary which doesn't include overtime, as a student who has been at university for the past 5 years you expect to earn a salary which reflects your efforts and sacrifice, but you end up excepting a extremely low salary because no one is paying the true worth.
    Low salaried are the problem not the education.

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  • @Michael - No-one is paying because fees are too low. Fees are too low because architects are not trained in ways to leverage better value. Architects lack training because of the education system.
    If architects want to earn more money, they need to understand business far far better. That is the responsibility of the institutions that get paid very well and are disconnected from the realities of practice.
    Plus students need a serious reality check on the actual rewards of being an architect BEFORE they borrow the equivalent of a small house mortgage from their own future...

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  • PERHAPS THERE ARE SIMPLY TOO MANY ARCHITECTS ALL READY ?

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  • I have throughly enjoyed my education. I believe that the challenges set for me have taught me skills that will allow me to function well in practice despite my inexperience. I believe my course has been worth the sacrifice and cost.

    I'm more worried about the profession I'm going into. This is because the role of the architect is being further diminished and the profession continues to be undervalued. I hope I will find that the low pay, long hours and high levels of stress will be worth it for the projects I will be working on.

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  • The two aspects of architecture as vocation and as studied subject do not go hand in hand, there are too many 'architectures' existing in practice that are all taught inadequately by a single model of knowledge delivery in our schools, in my opinion differing sectors of architecture should be offered to be taught- and within each more influence from practicing professionals overseen by the governing institutions, enabling the schools to keep upto date with the realities of practice. The subject of architecture in schools is also open to rapid influence from studio culture or various design theories that bare no realism or practical qualities to the realities of the profession.

    I am enjoying my education immensely, but schools must realize that practice emphasizes the subject (educated taste in the design of buildings) as a business and a profession, not an art course. Design is absolutely essential, but the blurred area where this has to be applied with relevance into the professional realm is not taught in schools at present, and if it is it isn't stressed enough.

    Pretty pictures and overly conceptual design project scenarios may get the grades in school, but they do not matter in practice. This dichotomy of values between the two result in students entering a profession in which they haven't actually had the fully relevant education for. There lies the problem.... Art or Profession, the age old question within architecture effecting the education of young architects and inevitably the profession!

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  • @Andrew - Great posting. Just one small observation re: the Art vs Profession bit. In my view both of those descriptors are secondary to the most important one - 'Business'. Since the vast majority of architects are private sector service providers, they need to ensure they have a viable business model. And that needs far more focus by Architecture tutors in universities can generally stomach. I have seen this up close and personal after lecturing at a number of schools, and SCHOSA.

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  • Dear anonymousstudent - hoping that the work will compensate for lack of remuneration is mixing apples and sausages.
    We have all worked flat out as newly minted, 'bright eyed and bushy tailed' architects. But its a different matter wneh things like 'life', 'mortgages' and 'kids' inevitable occur in some combination.
    Hoping for work to alleviate economics is entirely missing the point - unless you are privately wealthy and don't need a salary - in which case it is a hobby.

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  • Hi Paul- thank you. The issue of business is my point, I am halfway through my masters and have had no tutorship on how to take the core values of our education (design / taste etc) and apply it to business and the realities of practice... I would love to experience this kind of education simultaneous to the typical lessons on design, detailing, materiality etc etc.

    The most successful people I have worked under during my young career are driven business people, the opposite end of the spectrum from the likes of CJ Lim and co, I find their approach utterly pointless!

    James Beardall

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  • Hi Paul- thank you. The issue of business is my point, I am halfway through my masters and have had no tutorship on how to take the core values of our education (design / taste etc) and apply it to business and the realities of practice... I would love to experience this kind of education simultaneous to the typical lessons on design, detailing, materiality etc etc.

    The most successful people I have worked under during my young career are driven business people, the opposite end of the spectrum from the likes of CJ Lim and co, I find their approach utterly pointless!

    James Beardall

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  • Hi James - please check out my postings on LInkedIn:
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/championing-architect-single-most-important-issue-riba-paul-iddon?trk=pulse_spock-articles

    This should explain things further on my particular approach,

    Happy to connect
    Regards

    Paul Iddon

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