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Gem Barton: 'Universities are not in the business of producing faster horses'


I think Professor Barton is right in saying the the aim of architectural education is not to train staff for practices. Considering the diversity of architectural practice world-wide and the different forms and shapes it currently takes and it could take, I am not even sure such a programme would be feasible. However, this isn't to say that the education should not aim to provide the students with the right set of skills to enter into to market and make valuable contributions. As someone who is both a practitioner and a tutor, I think that architectural education does not equip the students with some of the fundamental skills that they need to operate and innovate in the 'real world'. I don't think those skills are necessarily about detailing and building regulations but rather the ability to deal with, analyse and understand information. Architectural practice as I know it, is a collaborative practice which sits at the intersection of many different disciplines. An ability to understand and analyse data, whether in form of statistics, legal documentation, financial figures,technical specification, qualitative or quantitative surveys or historical information and an understanding of the methodologies for dealing with these types of information is perhaps a fundamental skill that architecture graduates lack. In my opinion, architectural education places to great a focus on a dialogue which is internal to the discipline rather than helping the students understand the context of the discipline and the practice of architecture and giving them the tools to be able to learn and operate effectively once dealing with the world on non-architects. Pouya Zamanpour Director of London Atelier Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes

Posted date

5 February, 2015

Posted time

5:34 pm