The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) selected the architecture programs at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., and Parsons The New School for Design in New York as 2014 award recipients for their inventive curricula that combine practice and academics. The award is designed to help schools develop new programs that bridge the gap between real-world experience and what is learned in the classroom or studio.

NCARB is awarding $30,000 to Clemson University for its proposal "Graduate Program in Architecture + Health." The program is intended to advance the design of heathcare facilities through the work of architects, academia, and members of the healthcare industry by taking three integrated courses within the curriculum. The primary goal is to expose architecture and health M.Arch. students to the challenges of designing high-quality, cost-effective, and culturally relevant healthcare facilities for medically under-served populations. "This project's social capacity is far-reaching," said Wendy Ornelas, FAIA, associate dean and professor at Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning & Design, and the chair of the 2014 NCARB Award Jury in a press release. "It creates a road map for healthcare but is also a framework that is portable across all project types."

NCARB is also granting $20,232.50 to Parsons The New School for Design, School of Constructed Environments, representing the exact amount that the school requested in its proposed budget. The program’s proposal, "Student-Practitioner Partnerships in Building Performance Evaluation," emphasizes the importance of instruction on performance measurement in education on sustainability. The program uses new tools to enable students to work with practitioners to analyze the energy performance of actual buildings. "Many of the buildings are LEED or net-zero buildings, and this program will provide us with a cadre of information and data on whether or not these buildings are doing what they are supposed to be doing," Ornelas said in the press release.

To be eligible for NCARB’s award, architecture schools must be located in one of the Council’s 54 Member Board jurisdictions and be a program accredited with the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or a candidate for NAAB accreditation. Applicants must submit two letters of commitment confirming the implementation of the proposal if a recipient of the NCARB award: one from the institution and one from a non-faculty architect willing to contribute to the project. Proposals must also include a project summary and a budget.

Since 2001, NCARB has awarded more than $900,000 to 60 schools—more than a third of all NAAB-accredited degree programs.

This year's jury included Wendy Ornelas, FAIA; Michael Archer, Assoc. AIA; Leticia Canon, AIA; John Ehrig, FAIA; Linaea Floden; Emily Forquer; and Stephen Schreiber, FAIA.

Homepage image used via a Creative Commons License with Flickr user Gerhard Jörén / World Bank