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ACSA Launches New Research Initiative

August 2, 2013

ACSA is pleased to welcome Lian Chang as its new Director of Research and Information. Chang received her M.Arch at Harvard and her PhD at McGill University. She has written for ArchitectureBoston, Archinect, and AZURE Magazine. August 1st was her first day with ACSA and here she shares with us her plans for the new position.

So much information flows by and through us at every moment--but most of it is either not available or not legible to us. Whether you’re a prospective student considering an education in architecture, an administrator assessing your school’s academic offerings, or a graduate navigating possible career paths, you need to understand the relevant data and the stories they tell.

With this in mind, the ACSA has launched a new position, Director of Research and Information--and I am excited to say that as of yesterday, I am filling this role. My task is to gather, analyze, and communicate information in support of the ACSA’s mission of encouraging dialogue, facilitating teaching and research, and fostering public awareness about architectural education.

In the coming months, I hope to share with you my efforts in renewing the ACSA’s Guide to Architecture Schools and the ACSA Atlas Project, and in generating new case studies and statistical reports. My goal is not just to create more data, but rather, to help you find the information you need. Some of the issues we've been discussing include:

  • diversity in students, faculty/staff, and in practice
  • student applications and enrollment, tuition/financial aid/debt
  • teaching and measurable student outcomes, design scholarship, faculty tenure
  • starting salaries, licensure, alternative career paths
  • societal and environmental impacts of architects and architectural education

These are complex issues, and I will need some time and a great deal of help from you. In the coming months, I’ll be reaching out to member schools to ask for help in gathering the data that we collectively hold. You can also get in touch with me anytime: What are the challenges you’re facing and what information would you like to see? What data, ideas, and strategies do you have to share?

I look forward to working with you.

Lian Chang, M.Arch., Ph.D.
Director of Research + Information
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture or 1-202-785-2324

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