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November 27, 2011

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Grant Chapman

One thing worth pointing out is the need for professionals with understandings of susatianable building systems and how these are going to take us into the future. Hopefully by the end of your career you'll have more toshow for your contribution than a bunch of dwg's, rvt's, etc...

Peter Zyskowski

I agree with all of your thoughts. The industry is changing, blending the different pieces of design, construction, and FM. Architecture isn't, can't be, maybe shouldn't be, a pure delineated pursuit anymore. It's about building as a team and partnering. Is BIM (or new technology) accelerating this? Possibly. That, and the obvious economic crisis has shown inefficiencies in the industry, the processes we follow, and how we partner.

As for the question of, "Has my education prepared me for what I might face out there?" Yes. The one major thing that an architectural education does is train a person in critical thinking and problem solving from multiple angles, in multiple ways. I won't say this is only found in architecture, but it is the foundation of what a designer does. This thinking has helped me, whether in architecture or not. Your students should go proudly forth, not necessarily as architects, but as problem solvers and thinkers who will have an impact on any job function, wherever they may land. They have a mental toolbox that will allow them to grow in ways they haven't even though about yet.

Mybimhero.blogspot.com

I completely agree with you Phil. As someone who turned to architecture as a second career, I know first hand the difficulties of starting off in the architecture field in this economic climate. I fully agree that a recent graduate with digital technical skills will begin to be more appealing than an architect with 5 to 10 years of experience and only know CAD. I do think that firms are beginning to understand that themselves. The ones that will be successful however, are the ones that are able to embrace new thinking and process workflows. The most important part of that thought process is also the desire to strive for excellence through constant improvement and change. That's not something that comes easy to many people, particularly architects which I haven't yet figured out why. I think that "newbies", such as myself look at the design and construction process with a more holistic approach and will spread that throughout the industry. It will take time, but I believe that this new mindset along with the use of BIM tools will erode away the traditional view of an architects role. If a student cannot find a good forward thinking architecture firm, then there are many other participants in the construction process that are willing to pay quite well for a problem solver with good technical skills. I wish everyone out there looking for work all the best!!

Chad

I graduated 6 years ago this month and while I learned a lot in school I don't know if I can say that it really prepared me for life in a firm. I graduated from a school that prided itself on being a "Design & Theory" school which is great as a prospective student with dreams of glory but I didn't have a clue how a building is actually built or detailed. All the problem solving and theory in the world doesn't teach practical knowledge. The one thing I think all schools should mandate, regardless of teaching philosophy is a solid and practical knowledge of construction. Time spent working with Habitat or similar organizations or even a studio that sticks students on the jobsite for a semester would go a long ways towards making better architects.

I know I've learned as much by going to job sites or working with Habitat as I have sitting infront of a computer. Much like practice is ahead of academia, contractors are even farther ahead of practice. It would behoove us all to become much more involved with contractors on a nuts and bolts level so our end product is closer to what will actually be produced.

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The most important part of that thought process is also the desire to strive for excellence through constant improvement and change. That's not something that comes easy to many people, particularly architects which I haven't yet figured out why. I think that "newbies", such as myself look at the design and construction process with a more holistic approach and will spread that throughout the industry. It will take time, but I believe that this new mindset along with the use of BIM tools will erode away the traditional view of an architects role.

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