Licensure of architects began around the turn of the 20th century as a means of enforcing
higher professional standards. At the turn of the century, architects could prepare for the
licensing exam by a variety of different educational and training experi ences; a few
schools existed for students with the financial means necessary to pursue a full-time
education. Students lacking this economic freedom could learn by working in architecture
firms, perhaps supplementing office training with evening studies. The traditional system
of apprenticeship decreased as formal education became recognized as an important
characteristic of the profession, and by the end of the 20th century, the educational
requirement for licensure has become nearly universal.
Professional regulation varies from country to country and, within the United States,
from state to state. Elements of preparation for practice presently include education,
internship, demonstration of competence by examination, and continuing education. In
the United States, an accredited professional degree, along with internship and
examination, is the gateway to both the title architect and the practice of architecture in
nearly all states.
There are some important differences in the various approaches to architectural
education around the world. An important issue for the architectural profession at the
beginning of the 21st century is the impact of globalization on preparation for
architectural practice. The countries of the European Community have recently
completed a survey of the national systems of higher architectural education in Europe.
The ability to practice throughout the European Community will require some greater
agreement on educational qualifications for architectural practice. The issue of
reciprocity between the United States and Canada is also under discussion. Within the
United States, the ability to gain reciprocal registration for practice in multiple states is
facilitated by a national system of accreditation for schools of architecture. A
professional body, the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), sets criteria for
education leading to a professional degree. The NAAB recognizes the variety of models
that exist for architectural education. Rather than regulating the type of school or
dictating curricula, the NAAB criteria establish areas and levels of learning for students
of accredited programs. In Canada, the Canadian Architectural Certification Board
(CACB) accredits schools of architecture.
According to data published by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture
in 1994, there are 118 schools offering professional degree programs in architecture in
North America, with 108 of these schools in the United States and ten in Canada. There
are 199 schools in Central and South American countries, 63 architecture schools in
Africa and the Middle East, and 425 schools spread throughout Europe. There are 315
schools in Asia, mainly concentrated in Japan, the People’s Republic of China, South
Encyclopedia of 20th-century architecture 732
Korea, the Philippines, and India. Australia has 19 schools of architecture and New
Zealand has two.
Institutional settings for architectural education vary. Within the university,
architecture may exist as its own school or may be a department of a comprehensive
college. Architecture departments may be organized under the umbrella of the arts, or
may exist within colleges of engineering, as in many Asian universities.
Architecture may also be taught within its own school independent of a university, for
example the Architectural Association School of Architecture in England or the Frank
Lloyd Wright School of Architecture in the United States. Architecture may be taught as
a discipline within an art school or may exist as a department of a technical school, such
as the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule of Zurich (ETHZ) in Switzerland or the
Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in the United States.
The variety of settings for architectural education stems from the historic development
of the profession in Europe ranging from the first guild-based school for architecture in
Prague (established in 1353 for the court architect’s apprentices) to the Royal Academy
of Architecture founded in Paris in 1671, where a rational approach based upon the study
of classical architecture challenged the medieval traditions of the craft guilds. While
formal education for architects was developing in France, the office apprenticeship
remained the traditional English system for educating architects. In the early eighteenth
century, apprenticeship was replaced by the pupilage system in which students paid fees
for office instruction. Another type of architecture school, the Ecole Polytechnique, was
founded in Paris in 1795. The technical school became a model for architectural
education in German cities and in Prague, Vienna, and Zurich.
While the Polytechnic, where architecture was taught in a scientific context, became
the dominant model in the Germanic countries, French architectural education came to be
dominated by the École des Beaux-Arts, which grew out of the French Academy, where
architecture was taught in the context of the arts. There were two parts to the École
education, lectures on history and technical subjects at the school and design studies in
the atelier or studio where a practicing architect served as patron to a group of students
working on design projects.
In the United States, the earliest forms of architectural education were borrowed from
British apprenticeship and French academic systems. The Beaux-Arts Society of
Architects, later the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects (SBAA), was founded in 1894 to
promote education. The SBAA issued programs for atelier students working under the
direction of patrons (practicing architects). The SBAA also provided the mechanism for
exhibition, judging, and publication of student work. In 1904, the SBAA established the
prestigious Paris Prize, modeled on the French Prix de Rome (Rome Prize).
American universities began to offer architectural education in the latter half of the
19th century; the first was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in
Cambridge in 1865. By the turn of the century, architectural education was offered in 13
American universities including Columbia University, New York, Cornell University,
Ithaca, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, George Washington University,
Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. In Canada, the University of Toronto was the first, in
1890, to offer architectural education, followed by McGill University in Montreal.
The Beaux-Arts Institute of Design (BAID) was established in 1916 and incorporated
under the Regents of the State of New York to take over the educational functions of the
Entries A–F 733
SBAA. The programs of the BAID were followed in schools as well as in the
independent studios. Atelier activity peaked around 1929. As the number of students who
worked by day and studied in the ateliers by night waned, the schools came to dominate
architectural education by the middle of the century.
New developments in Europe were transforming architectural education as well. The
state Bauhaus was founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany; its program (developed
primarily by German architect Walter Gropius) applied modern or new materials and
industrial techniques to the problems of design, bringing together all of the arts and
crafts. The avant-gardism of the Bauhaus, its ideology and teachers, came under attack by
the Nazis; the faculty fled for France, the Netherlands, the United States and elsewhere,
eventually bringing Bauhaus modernism to American schools of architecture. In 1936
Gropius became chair of the department of architecture at Harvard University and his
colleague Marcel Breuer joined the faculty. In 1938, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe assumed
the directorship of the Illinois Institute of Technology; Laszlo Moholy-Nagy went to
teach at the Institute of Design in Chicago in 1937 and Josef Albers to Black Mountain
College, North Carolina in 1940. This influx of European architects came to dominate the
Beaux-Arts historicism of the American schools of architecture. The Beaux-Arts ateliers
withered as the university became recognized as the locus for the modern architectural
education. Following World War II, the G.I.Bill helped to make a university education
affordable for many Americans.
The entry of women into architectural education began with Julia Morgan, the first
American woman to attend the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The first American school
to teach architecture to women, The Cambridge School, was begun by Henry Atherton
Frost in 1915 to tutor women denied admission to the male bastion of Harvard
University. Although many American universities became co-educational, relatively few
women studied architecture until the 1970s. Women remain a minority in a number of
schools and women are under-represented on architecture faculties. Moreover,
architecture programs developed in several historically black colleges and universities in
America. Hampton University, then known as Hampton Institute, first offered course
work in architecture in 1889; Tuskegee University, then known as the Tuskegee Normal
and Industrial Institute, began offering Certificates in Architecture in 1893; architecture
degree studies began at Howard University in 1911. Today, there are seven historically
black colleges and universities with accredited architecture programs. People of color
continue to be under-represented among students and faculty in most American schools
of architecture.
A system of educational degrees developed within the university system. In the United
States, these include the pre-pro fes s ional architecture degree (a bachelors degree awarded for an unaccredited education
focused on the study of architecture); and the profes s ional architecture degree (an accredited undergraduate Bachelor
of Architecture [B. Arch.] or an accredited graduate Master of Architecture degree [M.
Arch.]). Degree nomenclature and programs of study vary somewhat around the world. A
third type of degree is a pos t-profes s ional architecture degree, offered to students who already hold a professional degree in
architecture. Post-professional education gives students the opportunity for specialization
and in-depth study in design, history and theory, technology, environment and behavior,
computer visualization, historic preservation, tropical architecture, or other fields of
interest. The post-professional degree may be a Master’s degree, a doctorate, or a Ph.D.
Encyclopedia of 20th-century architecture 734
There are three possible courses of study leading to a professional degree
in architecture. 1) The student may complete a B. Arch program, generally
in five years. 2) The student may obtain a pre-professional undergraduate
degree, then complete a two-year professional M. Arch, program. This
option is generally known as the four-plus-two program. 3) The student
may obtain an undergraduate degree in any field, then complete a
professional M. Arch, program of three to four years duration.
The five-year Bachelor of Architecture degree was introduced at Cornell University in
1922. The four plus two program was introduced in the 1960s along with the possibility
of studying architecture exclusively at the graduate level. The diversity of paths to a
professional degree offers a variety of advantages. General studies help architecture
students develop into well-educated professionals capable of understanding the needs of
clients and the society. The B. Arch, program necessarily limits liberal arts courses
because of the many required professional courses. The four-plus-two program gives
students an additional year of study, freeing more time for liberal studies. The graduate
professional program gives students an opportunity to major in another subject in college,
then concentrate architectural studies into three to four years of graduate education.
Art courses, particularly focusing on drawing, are excellent preparation for
architectural education, which places a premium on visual communication. The ability to
draw expressively is considered to be more important to a beginning architecture student
than the mechanical skills taught in high school drafting courses. High school courses in
mathematics, at least including trigonometry, and in the physical sciences, are important
preparations for technical coursework in architecture. Writing and speaking skills are also
crucial for success in architecture school. A broad academic preparation is important for
the architecture student because the study of architecture draws heavily upon a variety of
disciplines. The basic components of the architecture curriculum are design, history and
theory, technology, practice, and general education. The various programs have
developed their own approaches, emphases, and strengths. Design studio integrates
material learned in the other courses.
The studio design education is an experience common to most architecture schools
and sets architectural education apart from other degree programs in the university.
Studio designates both a physical setting and a course of study. The studio is a second
home to the architecture student, who claims territory with a drafting table and often
personalizes the space with computers, partitions, cabinets, and domestic effects such as
sofas, refrigerators, and stereo equipment. Studio is generally conducted three afternoons
a week. Students are expected to work independently in studio for many additional hours.
Studio education follows the project method developed in France. The instructor
assigns a design project by means of a project statement outlining the parameters of the
project, carefully circumscribed to focus the students’ efforts on a particular set of
learning objectives. The project schedule helps students learn to manage their time to
complete work by the assigned deadline.
During a typical studio afternoon, students work independently, sketching, drafting
with manual equipment or on the computer, and building study models. The instructor
circulates around the studio giving individual criticism, often sketching on tracing paper
to explain ideas and suggest new directions for development of each student’s project. As
Entries A–F 735
the deadline nears, students work around the clock to resolve designs, construct models,
and draft presentation drawings. This intense final effort is called the charrette, named after the
carts that were drawn through the streets of Paris carrying student projects to the École
des Beaux-Arts.
The project culminates in a final review. Students present their projects individually to
a jury of faculty, sometimes augmented by visiting faculty from other schools, practicing
archi tects, and sometimes clients. The jury critiques the project for the benefit of the
assembled students. In the best of circumstances, the review is an important educational
experience, helping to prepare students for presentations to clients and review boards in
professional life.
History and theory are taught in lectures and seminars. A survey of architectural
history is common to architectural programs. Seminars tend to reflect the interests of
faculty, and theory courses may draw upon art history, environmental psychology,
phenomenology, sociology, and other disciplines.
Architectural technology includes structures, environmental controls, construction
materials and methods, and construction documentation. The emphasis on technology and
the extent to which technology is integrated into the design studio varies by program.
A course in professional practice generally occurs in the final year of study. Students
are introduced to the privileges and responsibilities of professionals, the legal and ethical
environment of practice, the myriad issues of managing practices, and project processes.
Architecture schools may offer opportunities to learn by working in architectural
offices. A few schools, such as Kansas State University, offer an internship program in
the fourth year of study. The University of Cincinnati, the Boston Architectural Center,
and Drexel University offer opportunities to pursue six years of concurrent academic and
work credits.
Architecture schools are staffed by full-time faculty who may concurrently practice
architecture and by adjunct faculty who teach part-time and maintain full-time practices.
Full-time architecture faculty generally have at minimum a Master of Architecture
degree, which may be a first professional degree or a post-professional degree. Some
subjects, for example history of architecture, tend to be taught by faculty with Ph.D.
degrees. Full-time faculty are subject to assessment by the same standards as other
university faculty, that is, evaluation based upon teaching, scholarly work, and service.
There is a continuing need for architecture faculty is to press universities to recognize
creative and professional work as credentials for promotion and tenure.
In the United States and Canada, architecture faculty are represented by the
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). ACSA sponsors conferences
at the national and regional levels, providing venues for faculty to present scholarly and
creative work. ACSA publishes a quarterly journal, the Journal of Architectural Education, as well as a monthly news
magazine. European faculty are represented by the European Association of Architectural
Education (EAAE). EAAE holds annual meetings, publishes a journal, Stoa, and a newsletter.
In the United States, mandatory continuing education was pioneered by the American
Institute of Architects (AIA) as a means to distinguish AIA members from other
architects. The AIA requires thirty-six learning units of continuing education per year for
maintenance of membership. Learning units may be earned by attending educational
programs and conferences or by self-reporting a variety of educational experiences in a
broad spectrum of subjects. The state boards soon began to take up the idea of mandatory
Encyclopedia of 20th-century architecture 736
continuing education as a requirement for renewal of licensure. The thrust of continuing
education for the states is keeping abreast of new knowledge in the area of health, safety,
and welfare.

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