106th ACSA Annual Meeting Proceedings, The Ethical Imperative

University-Community Partnerships: Managing Expectations and Leadership

Annual Meeting Proceedings

Author(s): Alexis Gregory

Architecture programs have worked with community partners for some time, and the benefits to the students and university have been proven by various studies. However, the community partner does not always benefit, which creates a lack of trust, and lack of interest on the part of the community partners to working with universities. This relates to the typical “Ivory Tower” problem that universities face generally, and the lack of a reciprocal relationship with a community partner just exacerbates the issue. This paper posits that both universities, specifically architecture programs, and community partners need to start their relationships with managed expectations of what the collaboration will create, how long it will take to reach project goals, and how the leadership structure will evolve over time. This will help to instill a relationship of trust that can create egalitarian partnerships to dispel the image of the “Ivory Tower.” Once trust is achieved both architecture students and architecture educators can lead community partners into leadership positions of their own to take charge of the public interest design projects that are created together.


Volume Editors
Amir Ameri & Rebecca O'Neal Dagg