by Fritz Steiner, University of Texas at Austin
During the 2012 ACSA Administrators Conference, panelists were asked to imagine the future of practice, addressing the changing profiles of architecture clients, firms, and students, and the intersections between research, practice, and place. Below are the top issues that emerged from these conversations.
Aesthetics and Performance. Evidence-based design, digital technology, and ecological/energy/social concerns are evolving a new design-based aesthetic.
Reflective Practice. The art of design is advanced through reflective practice which needs to be valued within the academy.
Collaboration. Architecture is enhanced through working with both near disciplines, including landscape architecture, engineering, planning, and interior, graphic, industrial, urban, and digital design as well as others like biology, sociology, the health sciences, and law.
Travel. Architecture education is expanded through travel that exposes students to different places and cultures (but we should be aware of the ecological footprint of such travel).
Pedagogy and Place. Buildings are constructed on specific sites; architecture education is enriched through place-based knowledge.
Research. Whereas the architecture discipline is augmented by sciences and the humanities, at its core, architecture is an art, which requires various forms of practice.
Compelling Work. We need to be inspiration to inform our teaching and scholarship.
Diversity. Diversity is good in all its forms: race, ethnicity, and gender, as well as the geographical and institutional variety of architecture schools. The healthiest ecosystems are the most diverse.
Complexity. The built environment is a complex biophysical and sociocultural system which demands understanding to construct wholes from parts.
Communication. The sharing of best practices for teaching, scholarship, and administration will strengthen architecture schools.