Regional and Urban Design Committee

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The Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC) aims to improve the quality of the regional and urban environment by promoting excellence in design, planning, and public policy in the built environment. This will be achieved through its member and public education, in concert with allied community and professional groups. Join us!

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How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

  • 1.  How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 11-24-2019 22:44
    Edited by Steven Wilson 11-25-2019 09:53
    As we start to think about the next RUDC symposium (coming up in February!), I keep thinking about our last symposium where we discussed some of the current gaps in education, and would like to continue the discussion:

    How can we better prepare our architecture and urban design graduates for the challenges facing cities today and tomorrow?

    Whether you're an architect, an educator, or simply interested in the future of cities, I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

    Sincerely,

    ------------------------------
    Steven Wilson AIA
    Cities + Urban Design Practice Area Leader, North Central Region
    Gensler - Chicago
    Chicago IL
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  • 2.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 12-03-2019 11:42
    Thanks for posting this question!  I'd say a few things:

    - Make sure graduates are working across multiple disciplines (slightly endemic to the profession).  Urban Designers need to understand a range of issues and a range of vocabularies
    - Understand relationship between UD and climate issues
    - Understand relationship between UD and equity issues
    - Understand how emerging tech (new mobility, autonomous vehicles, e-commence) are going to be impacting cities

    Looking forward to the symposium!

    -Nico


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    Nicolas Larco AIA
    Assistant Professor
    University of Oregon
    Portland OR
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  • 3.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 12-04-2019 19:15

    I would say that there are three big questions facing Architects working at scale and Urban Designers going forward:
    What is our relationship to Water?
    Water as a precious resource to be managed and protected, and as a threat to be mitigated and adapted for.
    What is the role of the Street?
    There is increasing competition for this limited space and while autonomous vehicles may solve part of this problem, how can we deal with the proliferation of varying modes and speeds of mobility?
    What is the future of Public Space?
    Related to the above; but more critically as we become more selective about how and when we engage in face to face or communal settings, how is the public space of the city animated and kept alive?
    Architects and Urban designers also need to have a deeper understanding of the potential for cities to function as more integrated and complete ecological entities.

    Edgar Adams
    Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies
    Roger Williams University
    Bristol, RI



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    Edgar Adams AIA
    Roger Williams University
    Barrington RI
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  • 4.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 01-31-2020 13:59
    As an academic who will be participating in the RUDC Conference, I would be interested to hear any ideas about how to adapt the architecture curriculum to reflect a more collaborative and interdisciplinary model. We have comprehensive studios where we have outside consultants. In my Urban Design studio we always enlist local planning and environmental offices and sometimes engage with advocacy groups. There are generally public presentations as well. However getting students to work in teams remains a challenge.

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    Edgar Adams AIA
    Roger Williams University
    Barrington RI
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  • 5.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 02-03-2020 17:32
    We need more urban design studios in schools and firms.
    Thanks for showing the way,
    Doug




  • 6.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 02-04-2020 17:30
    I very much agree with my colleague Doug.

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    R.Steven Lewis FAIA, NOMA
    Principal
    ZGF Architects LLP
    Altadena CA
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  • 7.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 02-03-2020 17:42
    I agree that students need to feel comfortable in an interdisciplinary group setting.  For several years, I have served as a mentor for a student team in the ULI Hines Competition where Urban Design, Architecture, Planning, Landscape and MBA students form an interdisciplinary team and prepare a re-development scheme in a multi-block urban setting.  It is a national competition that the students work on in addition to their normal coursework.  I give the students who voluntarily choose to enter the competition a lot of credit.  It is always rewarding to see the students break out of the shell of their own major as they glean insight from their peers.  I believe that these teams preapare more thoughtful projects than they would on their own.  It seems to me the colleges could set up a similar multi-disciplinary scenario for credit as part of normal academic term.  Add scientists and engineers into the mix and take on broader topics. Students have a vested interest in their own future.  The path to answers can not come out of a single academic department.

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    Timothy Pellowski AIA
    STG Design
    Austin TX
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  • 8.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 02-03-2020 19:00

    Great opportunity and thanks for sharing this Tim!

     

    Other Departments for sure! There are certainly challenges that require the attention of ULI, if it is serious about addressing the question of affordability; however, I don't see too many Opp. Eds. about combined sewer overflows or fish die offs or daylight flooding or the fact that cities like Boston are investing billions in real estate and infrastructure that will be underwater in the not too distant future. Bad for business I suppose; but there are real strategies that we can employ if we can convince politicians to look beyond the 4 year election cycle.

    Sorry if this sounds like a cynical rant. I applaud the work that is being done by so many within the profession. But the kind of "Big Picture" thinking that is needed here (as Tim implies) is of a very different sort.

     

    Edgar






  • 9.  RE: How do we better prepare graduates for new/future challenges?

    Posted 02-03-2020 21:14
    The Hines Competition has been very successful in connecting students in multiple disciplines.
    It’s highly popular because the prize money is high. Some universities have a half dozen or more teams. One of my teams won (3 Iranians, one East Indian and one American). They each won $9000!
    Doug