To reflect the era in which we live, architecture progresses with the times. Innovations in technology have allowed for proficient design and encourages us to develop efficiency in our lives.
Those practising within the profession are no exception to this. It is imperative that today’s emerging architects adapt to such changes at a rapid pace to operate within a highly interconnected world.
To achieve this, great emphasis must be placed on a disruptive change with regards to the need to teach architecture differently. Emerging architects should not only hold a theoretical perspective of the field but a technical one as well. To succeed, they must understand the professional responsibilities of an architect and the relations that come with it.
Put simply, the social and participatory aspect of a practising architect is missing in graduates, thus, they are unsuspecting of the reality of the many stumbling blocks and challenges that await their arrival in the professional arena.
Surely educators will also admit that curriculums have not kept up with major changes in practice, especially when education plays a major role in the future successes of students. With any change comes a degree of uncertainty, however, a learning approach to change must be considered.
Is it possible to have an alternate education delivery within this field, taking into consideration today’s needs and today’s technology?
There is no doubt that there is a general avoidance of hiring an architect for several reasons and new graduates are very much aware of this and thus, they attempt to adapt their image to keep up with modern-day society.
The continuous advancement of digital technologies act as a driving force behind the loss of the stereotypical image of an architect in a traditional sense, and replaced with a more modern image of a young professional operating as a ‘creative consultant’ within a ‘design house’.
The use of this description of a professional with a degree in architecture is becoming increasingly popular amongst emerging architects. This can be attributed to the idea that by relinquishing the term ‘architect’, it is easier to reach a diverse audience and this may be the new approach to improve client engagement. This is further emphasised by professionals branching into areas other than focusing solely on design, and thus, a hands-on approach gives them the additional skill of being able to work in a multidisciplinary manner.
This may sound progressive, but the truth is new graduates struggle in practice in today’s world.
This is because architecture taught in an educational setting is far behind in both theory and practice. It is for this reason; many graduates explore alternative realms of design and career paths that will be financially rewarding.
Granted, it is not the responsibility of architecture schools to train the next generation of architects. This comes during practice at entry-level, where graduates undergo extensive training and experience, however, architecture education must realise the difficulties that lie ahead for an emerging architect and this must be acknowledged and incorporated into the curriculum to better prepare them to ensure that they are aware that education only scratches the surface and that there is a long journey ahead.
Should the nature of architecture education change, so too will the fees involved – and this is already a major concern for students. A recent study showed that the cost of studying architecture has doubled in the last 10 years and could be in excess of £90k. On top of this, students will be expected to incur additional costs as part of their course.
Worryingly, after years of studying and practice experience, there is still no guarantee of a job. Should an opportunity arise to begin their careers, the salary of an emerging architect will not match anywhere near the finances incurred during their education.
This begs the question of whether or not prospective students will still be interested in pursuing an education in architecture given the rising costs involved – and this resorts to the traditional assumption of architects being rich and those pursuing an architecture degree coming from an affluent background.
Ultimately, we should prepare ourselves adequately to ensure that there will not be a limited supply of architects in the near future.
Architecture education requires an alternative delivery model and ArchiPal can do just that – by radically transforming the way the profession is taught and experienced out with a traditional education setting.
Picture an interconnected, rich, diverse community where practising experts and academicians from a wealth of disciplines within architecture are available for your educational needs – when you want and how you want.
This offers a distinct approach to learning, where knowledge is acquired online through virtual lessons on chosen specific subjects, provided by mentors and tutors with a wealth of experience within the field.
With no institutional fees, students pay for the academic’s time as discussed between both parties prior to the activity. A stark contrast to that of a traditional education setting where the roles of the academic and student are predefined, inflexible, and impersonal.
The buck doesn’t stop here – within this community are local experts willing to offer real live project experience for a hands-on approach to learning, as well as the option of self and active learning through linking with the public to offer non-technical advice – an integrated learning experience, profitable in both terms of education as well as financially via a small rate of pay for their participation in live projects etc.
New eras usher in new ways of design and just as technological tools or technological advancements play a vital role in the ability to develop good designs, ArchiPal also changes the way experts work in a competitive environment.
The industry values design which speaks with quality, intuitively and speed. With real-time working the boundary between virtual and reality will slowly become indistinct and as such, technology use in architecture will facilitate improvements in terms of design, skills and ultimately experience to advance careers.
ArchiPal offers a new territory for emerging architects to embark on their careers and their journey is navigated through the platform, providing them with the ability to get into the market and access new opportunities.
As a rather distributed network rather than a centralised system in education, ArchiPal offers a resilient and diverse system – something which is important in a current and post-pandemic world.
Through personalised mentorship or tutorship, minus the ever-increasing tuition fees, creative outputs of architecture students can be assessed, and feedback offered to improve or enhance portfolios or assignments.
It is important to note, however, despite having the framework for alternative education, ArchiPal has the utmost respect for educational institutional settings and those who teach within them, yet, it simply offers the option of an ALTERNATE and ADDITIONAL education that fills a large void – a void that is currently experienced by students of architecture.
Ultimately, architectural education needs to change to reflect the reality of professional practice and to redefine the role of an emerging architect is crucial to adapting to the future challenges the profession will face.
Think of ArchiPal as an alternate education system of experts that provide and create a teaching, training and educational environment for students to thrive, excel and evolve.