If there's any big takeaway to be had from our first annual education survey, it's that architecture students and professors are facing the same epochal forces of change as the profession itself. Sure, sustainability, BIM, and integrated practice are emerging concerns for many architects. What's news is that these issues are transforming not only professional practice, but the academy—and a new relationship between school and office is emerging in the process.
A long-standing complaint—a cliché, really—about architectural education is that the typical curriculum places insufficient emphasis on the pragmatics of professional practice. Yet the academy seems to be gaining ground on the marketplace. While many green-minded firms, for instance, still struggle to adopt the LEED certification process and get buy-in from clients, the survey results suggest that universities are proving more nimble: 57 percent of firms surveyed say that they get new ideas about sustainability from their straight-out-of-school employees.
What's even more eye-opening, nearly 80 percent of recent graduates who responded to the survey claimed to feel adequately trained for the workplace upon completing their educations. Flying in the face of received wisdom, this statistical confidence supports anecdotal evidence about the phenomenon of “up-mentoring,” in which new hires find themselves more knowledgeable in certain areas than the management. And what would those areas be? Ask the kid who's fixing your computer.
THE TOP TEXTBOOKS