Education we were never given much of a chance

Education

There is a discrepancy between architecture education, and the
architect in practice. A
general criticism with architecture schools is the little amount of time spent
discussing about the architectural practice and what the architects actually
do. In architecture schools in the UK, the ratio of design and understanding
practice is about 80:20. When you get into practice the ratio switches to 20:80
and sometimes as little as 10:90 (Hyde, Rob) . So why aren’t we learning more
about practice and the what architects will work?

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“For if towns and cities are shaped by buildings and buildings are
designed by architects, then their education (which in the UK is now
compulsory, university-based and lasts seven long years) must be a major
contributing factor to the built environment” (Crinson and Lubbock, pg1)

The most common way to get an architectural qualification in the
UK is the 3 part architectural qualification. Parts 1 consisting of a three
year bachelors degree and a minimum of a year out in architectural practice,
followed by a two years masters degree followed by at least another year out in
industry. Once completed, you are able to partake the part 3 examination which
sees the participant answer a series of questions relating to industry.

One of the major problems with the architectural education process
is the time spent at university, where students are subjected to a series of
design projects related but are not exposed on what the industry is really
like.

Education in the changing Architectural
profession

The architectural profession has always had their systems of
education and qualification changed as architects have “adjusted their
professional identity in an effort to strengthen it or to protect their
position. This the history of architectural education is in large part the
history of the profession” (Crinson and Lubbock, pg 2)

During my experience, we were
never given much of a chance to experience the industry before setting off to
do our part 1 year out apart from a couple of weeks which really didn’t teach
you much. So when it came to my own experience in my year out between part 1
and M.Arch there were many times I came across situations or were given tasks
which I have never come across or didn’t fully understand some of the
terminology. I was lucky (or unlucky) enough to be in two large practices
during my year out, working on large projects. It was impossible to cover all
aspects of how a practice works, especially from stages 0-7 due to the scale of
the project and where the project stage is at. It wasn’t until I went into my
masters where I had learnt fully how an architect and a practice should
function and the risks and jobs associated with it. I had only learnt about practice (along with most
schools of architecture) during the M.Arch part of the course. To me, this
seems like quite a long time before you fully understand how a practice should
work.

Donald Schon describes the
studio “as a “Practicum” whereas
the studio acts as a ‘virtual world’ in which students learn by doing, in a manner such that it
becomes free of the pressures, distractions and restrictions found in the real
world. However learning in this way isolates the student from engaging with clients and handling the ‘real-life’ issues they will
face in practice Pilling,
Simon, Changing Architectural Education: Towards a New Professionalism (Taylor & Francis, London, 2000), p. 7 “