I remember sitting in a studio in my first year of University, a bright eyed 17 year old thinking that it was an amazing day, coupled not only with a few aspiring young and eager students, but the day I would change my life forever in the way my thoughts and mind processed ideas. The sheer magnitude of what it meant to be an Architect reigned true in my young and naive mind. I wanted to be the best at what I did – no matter what industry I chose. As much as my education in Architecture was aligned to how current Architectural theory was progressing, it was not entirely aligned with how rapid technology was moving. I understood I needed to engage in digital manipulation of form and narrative on all levels, but was not encouraged or pushed to do so. The way that these theoretical guidelines were developing as a process meant a lot to me, but I also knew then that I needed to build a skill-set within the digital realm for a real world connection – this thinking was rare I’ve come to realise. Most students were happy to naively sketch and create drawings without acknowledgement of developing their software skills and digital ideas. The degree for me and what it represented was not about learning to construct data intelligent buildings – it was about learning to theorise and extrapolate ideas in varying ways to drive complex form. I stand by and value what I gained from my degree in this way. It has ultimately allowed me to become the person I am today, but what I am now led to believe is that Architectural theory and design – and Architectural Practice in the real world are two very distinct and different processes that must come together. They both represent very different directions in career and in approach to building form both virtually and in the real world. I believe it is this disconnection that governs why we have some fundamental issues in Education and its disconnect from the rapid movements in embracing BIM as a process in Architecture. It is not about software, it is not about what our narrative and theoretical process is, it is that if we do include the BIM process or any other form of real world association to the degree we will have a generation of professionals not capable. The hesitation I believe is that there is a school of thought that the BIM process will not allow students to freely think – freely create form, and in turn become beautifully creative designers. I do not believe this is the case. If we did not theorise Kristeva, Nietzsche or Freud would we be better designers? This is debatable.
The reality is that a large portion of students are graduating our Universities with some unrealistic dreams as outlined above but with no connection to the real world. We are bombarded for 5 or so years with the process side of an Architectural degree and less about the realistic nature of how we build. Yes we will all grasp and cling onto varying elements of the degree that we have passion for but I believe we need to allow a more informed and connected approach to real world examples. This is not foreign, not something that only exists in one University over another, it seems to be a universal problem out there. I believe it is something that we need to come to grasps with and ultimately try to change so that we have an informed generation of industry professionals we can bring on board when we are managing our own organisations. What concerns me is that education is too far removed from industry, the way we teach, our education system (albeit only slightly varied across different universities in the world) expels young industry professionals into a world not aligned with one they evolve through whilst studying. I believe it is an Architectural problem predominantly, mainly because that is the world I am closely connected to, but for other industries and careers alike the education and real world connections are still too disjointed.