Page T2.1 . 07 February 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
  • Image and Intention with LightWave and Piranesi
  • Digital Design Grows in Education
  • An Architectural Perspectivist Goes Digital

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    Digital Design Grows in Education

    by B.J. Novitski

    Does the computer education received by today's architecture students provide them with the skills sought by employers?

    Architects and educators have long disagreed about which skills should be taught in architecture schools and which, if any, are best taught later, during apprenticeships.

    Many professors emphasize design and theory, believing that the more practical skills are better taught in a professional context. Many fear that offering more skills-oriented training would turn the professional institutions into vocational schools.

    Meanwhile, practitioners frequently complain that recent graduates come to them unprepared for real work. This disagreement continues in the age of the computer. Schools increasingly focus technology on design applications, and firms grumble when young graduates can't do computer drafting.

    Yet some interns are entering firms with a computer-aided design (CAD) skills that far outstrip those of their employers. Technology has been adopted in some architecture schools in ways so radical that the curriculum is being transformed.

    Leading the Transition

    Schools such as the New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Oregon have integrated computers in design studios for over a decade. Many others have now followed suit, including Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.



    ArchWeek Photo

    While a graduate student at the University of Oregon, Francis Dardis used an unusual combination of digital techniques to produce evocative imagery, which further stimulated his design imagination.
    Image: Francis Dardis

    ArchWeek Photo

    Ross Leventhal designed a library for a small Oregon town while a student at the University of Oregon. The modeling and rendering enabled him to visualize and develop the design further than most short-term student projects.
    Image: Ross Leventhal


    Click on thumbnail images
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