Architectural Education, Problems and Current Issues, Studying Building, Architecture Article
Architectural Education: Problems and Current Issues
Architecture Design, Building Type Discussion – article by Anna Penhill
25 Feb 2019
Architectural education: problems and current issues
Those who have once decided to earn an Architecture degree will tell you that this course is one of the most intensive. With no doubt, there are lots of advantages to becoming an expert in the field. Nevertheless, there are also many problems in the architectural education system that need to be solved. Experts have considered some present issues facing this sphere of education so that all students planning on becoming architects know exactly what problems they will probably have to cope with.
Mental Health Issues
There was a survey conducted among architect students. One of four claimed that he or she faces mental health issues, the other twenty-six percent of respondents admitted that they would like to obtain medical care in the nearest future. It is proved that most of their mental health issues are related to sleep depth and stress.
In fact, the culture of overwork greatly prevails in the student community. The stress that learners experience regularly is caused by long and intense courses, high tuition fees, the fear of debt, the need to balance between study and work, poor job prospects, and internship that is linked to long working hours, high competition, and workplace discrimination.
Criticism has taken its roots deeply in architecture culture. And it is common for architect students to be critiqued regularly, and these critiques are usually followed by nerve storms. Of course, all learners should be prepared for their future practice which may involve a quick-tempered chief or a fanciful client. However, when students are in the middle of their learning process, it is quite demotivating and discouraging for them to undergo constant criticism, which also adds to their fragile mental health.
Lack of Reality
This is probably one of the most urgent issues raised in the sphere that should be eliminated as soon as possible. Many educators claim that it is not their responsibility to train fresh grads that are ready to join the workforce with ease. They argue that their main purpose is to cultivate creative personalities, visionaries, and groundbreakers. But do they ponder on whether or not this can help their students to succeed professionally?
It seems that they don’t care about their students’ life upon their graduation, and this is a huge problem. All the burden of training fresh grads falls on the shoulders of professionals. And the latter ones are forced to end up dealing with a monumental task of combining their work and mentoring.
In fact, educators fail to teach students about the realities of their future profession. And this lack of realism creates idealistic expectations about their occupation in students. Because of this, many fresh grads find themselves in the wrong occupation and thus are forced to look for something different. More realistic work created within the school settings would change the situation; students should create real projects with real budgets, clients, and regulatory authorities.
Cultivating creative thinkers is more about art rather than architecture. Even though the latter one is considered as a part of the art, it is more about science coming with a number of limitations. In truth, students should be taught to create meaningful and beautiful structures taking into account all the limitations of the real world.
Lack of Knowledge
This is another issue to consider. In practice, upon graduation, fresh grads don’t have enough knowledge about construction materials. Since most employers like asking questions about physical and material aspects of a building when interviewing, this is what every student should know inside out.
What is the actual size of a typical concrete masonry unit? What flashing membranes are used for? All graduates will hear similar questions from their potential employer sooner or later. Construction knowledge is that minimum without which it is almost impossible to start a career in the field.
Architecture as Business
Here is another soft spot in architectural education; it doesn’t involve any business instructions. Architect students take classes neither in business nor in marketing or management. A rule of thumb states that the only professional practice class is not enough. To succeed professionally in this fast-changing world, it is crucial for all students to gain fundamental business knowledge so that they can operate their companies on their own effectively.
Those who want to build a career in the field should be able to utilize common business practices in accordance with their personal needs, and this is what students cannot be taught during classes in building science, architectural criticism, and structural steel design.
Need for More Collaboration
As soon as technology has entered the educational sphere, it becomes much easier to collaborate across different educational institutions and departments of a single university. However, architect students still don’t use this opportunity to the fullest. For them, it is extremely crucial to establish contacts with other professionals though.
Unfortunately, architect students are pre-programmed to consider engineers, master builders, and others as their main opponents from the beginning of their study. However, such a tendency doesn’t benefit their profession at all. Therefore, for aspiring professionals, it is important to interact with those from different departments to be able to work with others in the future productively.
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