The Discipline of Architecture

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Since then, MIT has awarded the Master's degree in Real Estate Development to almost graduates of the program, ten percent of whom also received joint degrees from associated departments at MIT. The one-year program was the first of its kind and has served as a model for graduate degree programs at other universities both in the U.

Disciplines Architecture & Design | Creative Capital

At MIT, the phrase Media Arts and Sciences signifies the study, invention and creative use of enabling technologies for understanding and expression by people and machines. The field is rooted in modern communication, computer and human sciences, and the academic program is intimately linked with research programs within the Media Laboratory. Computers and computation are the most prominent common denominators of this multi-disciplinary merger of previously separate domains.

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For underlying the explosive advances of the various technologies involved, they are discovering and cultivating a new set of shared intellectual and practical concerns that are becoming the foundations of a new academic discipline. In its simplest form, the field of Media Arts and Sciences can be thought of as exploring the technical, cognitive and aesthetic bases of satisfying human interaction as mediated by technology. You have not yet specified your phone number, add it so that companies interested in your profile can contact you more easily.

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Have you forgotten your password? Whether you enter the field through an undergraduate professional degree or through a liberal arts or science degree followed by graduate study, architectural education requires a lot of academic credits.

For many students, this also translates into a high debt burden. Many of those credits consist of design studios that meet for three to four hours per credit—rather than the typical one-hour-per-credit standard—while also demanding another three or four times as many hours in evening and weekend work. This curricular burden multiplies with each course or studio.

The discipline of Architecture

Architecture school culture expects intensive effort disproportionate to the credit achieved. Studio is one of the glories of architectural education, increasingly emulated in other fields from engineering to business.

Subject of Business Architecture

But who can afford to dedicate this much time to schoolwork? Probably not a parent, a caregiver, a student-athlete, a first-generation college student working a job to offset costs, or a person with a disability that magnifies the endurance test of long studio nights and charrettes. This dynamic carries forward into practice.

The habit of undercompensated overwork, instilled in studio, primes students for exploitation in the workplace along lines described by the Architecture Lobby. Studies by the American Institute of Architects Equity by Design committee suggest that the heavy time demands placed on many junior and midlevel associates push women out or take them off the top promotion track, because those years coincide with the period when many are starting families.

Faculty should extend this work deeper into the format and culture of architectural education, reviewing our assumptions about learning so that we attract and foster a broader range of talent. In doing so, we can accelerate progress toward building the discipline we deserve. Working in close contact with interaction and experience designers has shown me the value of human-centered design as a way to see interactions from varied user perspectives, and to redesign processes to promote success.

By mobilizing this approach in architectural education, we hope to understand how our current students and those missing cohorts perceive and experience both our degree programs and the larger profession. Identifying the factors that turn people away will help us test ways to bring a wider range of people into the intellectual and professional world we cherish.

One tool for building the discipline we deserve is pursuing academic innovation by piloting new approaches to teaching and learning, with the goal of improving the value proposition of architectural education. In many fields, institutions are combining online platforms with new business models to offer learning in a wider range of formats beyond the standard multiyear, full-time residency model.

Some schools offer courses in self-paced online modes or create microcredentials that allow learners to gain competency. This lets them try out a new field through part-time study, which is compatible with work and other obligations.

This spring we launched an Equity Innovation initiative aimed at the human-centered redesign of architecture school.

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