Brian Szymanik presented his recent work with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on Friday June 21 at the Denver Convention Center. The session, titled "Planning for the Future of Education and Practice," highlighted the process and outcomes of the AIA's preparations for the National Architectural Accrediting Board's (NAAB) 2013 Accreditation Review Conference (ARC).
The development of this work began with a simple fundamental question: What is the future of the profession of architecture, and how should education respond? During the ARC, decisions are made and policies are enacted that determine the metrics through which architecture programs in the United States are gauged and accredited. These metrics have a direct and measurable impact on the skills and abilities of the graduates, interns, and architects who will join, then lead, the profession in the future. The session offered a unique opportunity to learn about the role that the AIA takes in helping to define the future of practice with its partners in this effort.
The ARC offers each of the NAAB's Collateral Organizations (ACSA, AIA, AIAS, and NCARB) the opportunity to present the concerns, ambitions, and visions of their constituencies. Each organization develops positions to speak to the future of both the field of architecture and the landscape of architecture education in the United States. In anticipation of this opportunity, the AIA has spent the past year researching, analyzing, and documenting the positions of its membership and leadership. The culmination of this research is a white paper that details the thoughts, concerns, and suggestions of the Institute. This session will begin with a presentation of the AIA's Strategic Alliances and Initiatives Unit's work across the Institute to situate this project in the overall context of the AIA's operations. Then, share the processes, methods, and findings that informed the research undertaken by the AIA in preparation for this Conference. This presentation reviewed the NAAB's Conditions for Accreditation and Student Performance Criteria before discussing the contents and recommendations of the white paper to be delivered to the NAAB during the ARC. Attendees gained insight into current concerns of practice, emerging issues for the academy, and the potential trajectory of architecture education expected in the coming decade as a result of this work.