Warning: mkdir(): Permission denied in /home/virtual/lib/view_data.php on line 86 Warning: fopen(/home/virtual/ejpbl/journal/upload/ip_log/ip_log_2022-10.txt): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/virtual/lib/view_data.php on line 88 Warning: fwrite() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /home/virtual/lib/view_data.php on line 89 The Mantra of Architecture Practitioners: Architectural Education is Detached From the Profession. Healing the Schism: The Need for Reformation in UK Architecture Education

The Mantra of Architecture Practitioners: Architectural Education is Detached From the Profession. Healing the Schism: The Need for Reformation in UK Architecture Education

Article information

J Probl Based Learn. 2022;9(1):4-12
Publication date (electronic) : 2022 April 29
doi : https://doi.org/10.24313/jpbl.2021.00108
Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
Corresponding author: Martin William Andrews, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Portsmouth, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, Eldon Building, Middle Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2DJ, UK Email: martin.andrews@port.ac.uk
Received 2021 December 28; Revised 2022 February 22; Accepted 2022 March 17.

Abstract

The schism that exists between UK architecture academics and architecture practitioners is now a significant issue because the practical-knowledge gap within the profession has diminished the status of the architect as an important member of the construction team. This opinion article explores the need for tutor training in architecture education. This article draws on findings from an investigation of teacher training and staff development in Higher Education to show that the ARB, RIBA and UK Schools of Architecture could begin to develop a professional teaching and CPD framework to support architect-tutors as a way of bridging the divide between academia and practice. This article argues that if educators and practitioners can work together more harmoniously, the UK architecture profession stands a better chance of meeting a challenging and unpredictable future.

INTRODUCTION

“Excellent histories of the architectural profession have been written (Crinson & Lubbock, 1994; Kaye, 1960; Saint, 1983). In each, reference is made to an apparent schism between architectural education and architectural practice” (Farren, 2000).

This historical context has led to a consistently unbridgeable gap being formed between architectural education (AE) and architecture practice. Farren, 2000 goes on to suggest that the current form of architectural education in the United Kingdom is relatively new. “Prior to the Oxford Conference of 1958 the profession had been the product of a predominantly office-based education process, enhanced (or for some disturbed) by an examination system and a variety of educational opportunities to support candidates” (Farren, 2000). As Roaf & Bairstow (2008) suggest, “The 1958 Conference was organized by Sir Leslie Martin on behalf of the Education Committee of the RIBA [Royal Institute of British Architects]. In 1958 the organizing committee had several objectives: 1) The Conference should draw together as much relevant factual information as possible 2) The discussion should bring out as much informed opinion as possible from people interested in widely different aspects of Architectural Education 3) The discussion should be frank 4) If possible, some line of action should emerge”.

An illustration entitled ‘Four Hundred Years of Architectural Education: Relative routes to qualification as an architect through time’ (McCormack, 2020) substantiates Farren Bradley’s comments. The yellow portion of this diagram, which references the proportion of architects who have chosen to qualify through the Higher Education (HE) route over time, is a relatively small proportion of the overall histomap. It was not until the 1970s that registered architects entered the profession via a combination of undergraduate and postgraduate education and a period of supervised training in practice (Farren, 2000). The two divergent views of the different factions can be summarised as follows:

The Practitioner View

Practicing architect Patrik Schumacher states his view succinctly, “…architectural education is detached from the profession and from societal realities…” (Ravenscroft, 2020). Griffiths (2020) summarises this view by stating, “…a large section of the profession thinks that educators are failing at our sole task: to train students for practice.”

The Academic View

“Recently, a university seeking a new dean for its college of architecture asked me to review its advertisement for the position. I suggested revising ‘seeking an educator who can perform the following’ to ‘seeking a professional with both educational and practical experience in his/her field of expertise who can perform the following’. ‘Please, not a professional!’ The faculty member’s response implied that a professional was a practitioner. The further implication was that an educator is not a professional” (Steidl, 2009).

Where the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) states that all Members of the profession must follow a prescribed academic curriculum and undertake ongoing Continuing Professional Development (RIBA Fulfilling your CPD requirements and obligations as a RIBA Member, 2020), no such methods of training or Continuing Professional Development (CPD) currently exist specifically to support architect-educators in the UK. However, Milliner (2000) suggests that the RIBA is the powerful lever in the profession; “It exerts a wide influence over architectural education, working alongside other key stakeholders to influence the way in which architecture is taught, practised and experienced in the studio, lecture theatre and drawing office”. The need for teacher training in AE has been highlighted by many authors (see for example Teymur, 1992;Weaver, 1997; Nicol & Pilling, 2000;Weaver et al., 2000; Roaf & Bairstow, 2008). As will be shown in this article, the development of programmes to train architect-teachers how to teach have rarely been implemented in UK AE (Weaver, 1997;Weaver et al., 2000).

This article will argue that the agitation that has existed for nearly a century between academics and practitioners in UK AE could be eased by providing proper training and CPD for new and existing architect-educators. Schools of architecture in the UK could develop a professional teaching and CPD framework to support architect-teachers as a way of bridging the divide between academy and practice. This paper will conclude by suggesting that if educators and practitioners can work together more harmoniously, the architecture profession stands a better chance of meeting a challenging and unpredictable future.

METHODS

In this part of the article, it is important to briefly explain to the reader the various methods used for teaching architecture to students in HE which are a form of Problem-based Learning (PBL). These descriptions will provide the necessary context to better understand how students learn but also how tutors teach in AE.

Currently, the RIBA has programmes at almost 60 schools of architecture and other course providers in the UK and typically, at least 50% of these courses are design project-based with the remaining 50% of the courses taught through traditional lectures. In this way architect-educators are asking students to become independent learners in the design studio while absorbing codified knowledge during their lectures.

Lectures in schools of architecture can take place synchronously on-line or in-person or asynchronously through videos and lectures and can be taught to entire cohorts or to small groups of students. Lectures in AE are sometimes termed ‘seminars’ and sometimes called ‘workshops’; this terminology indicates to the participating students whether there will be substantial interactive elements built into the sessions.

In contrast, academic-educators believe that teaching design in the studio is “central and special” (Potts, 2000). Design studio is taught using a form of PBL and has many names in AE, including, but not limited to, the ‘live’ project, atelier, unit system, design charrette, design workshop and design competition. Where the assessment of knowledge gleaned from lectures is normally submitted as essays and reports, academic work in the design studio is typically examined through ‘pin-ups’, ‘Crits’ (for example staged reviews, interim-reviews and final reviews) and ‘portfolios’.

Weaver et al. suggest that, “Much of the knowledge and skill inherent in good design tutoring remains tacit” (2000, p. 266), however it could be argued that in many UK schools of architecture, this is also true for the way architect-educators learn how to present their lectures to their students. This article will propose that teacher-architects in the UK should be offered training to support their specific needs. By developing the existing methods of delivery in AE, by enhancing design studio teaching and lecturing, architect-educators would be able to better assist their students to respond to a variety of social, community and professional needs relating to diversity, equality, sustainability, well-being, health, safety and technology. Currently, this discipline-specific support and training does not exist for architect-educators.

Additionally, it is also important for architect-teachers in the UK to provide students in AE with the required skills and knowledge to address the technological, social, environmental, diversity and equality issues currently affecting the profession. Because of the word limit of this article, the author will not be able to discuss these aspects in depth. However, it is important to signpost readers to a recent publication by the former president of the RIBA Alan Jones entitled, ‘ Defining contemporary professionalism: For Architects in Practice and Education’ (Jones et al., 2019). Jones’s book begins to address these issues in more detail, through the writing and reflections of architect-educators and practising architects.

Skin in the game: professionalism and the professional identity of architects in practice and architect-educators in the academy

“…the way for architects to retain their leadership role was by educating the members of their profession to a higher degree than their competitors did … there can be no question that the perception of architecture changed radically when it became a university subject. Indeed, changing the perception of architecture was the whole point of the exercise” (Zamarian quoted by Jolliffe, 2019).

In the context of this article, it is important to carefully explain the models of UK professionalism and professional identities related to architects in practice and architect-educators in the academy.

Architects in practice

The title ‘Architect’ is protected by law in the UK (Architects Act 1997, 2020) and the Register for Architects is maintained by the Architects Registration Board (ARB) (Who can use the title architect - ARB, 2020). In order to hold the title ‘Architect’, the RIBA states, “Whilst the typical route involves five years study at university and completion of a minimum of two years' practical experience, you can also study part-time ” ("Pathways to qualify as an architect", 2020). Therefore, the quickest route to qualification for an architect in the UK, through a combination of HE education and practice, is a minimum period of 7 years. Simply put, the route to becoming an architect in the UK combines the acquisition of knowledge gained in HE and the application of that knowledge in practice. For architecture students in the academy, knowledge is learnt in schools of architecture using a form of Problem-based Learning, combining design, concepts and theories about the subject and the profession. For architecture students in the workplace, professional knowledge is gained through the application of theory into practice while working ‘on-the-job’.

There are several different pathways to qualification as an architect. Full-time and part-time modes of study are available, as is a degree apprenticeship (DA) model of work-based learning (WBL) in schools of architecture at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The WBL nature of the DA is deemed to be beneficial to all parties involved including students, employers and HE institutions, although this route is relatively new to UK academies. Farren Bradley discussed the merits of work-based learning for architecture students, almost 25 years before it was introduced into UK AE. However, Farren Bradley suggested, “Some of the first work-based learning necessary would therefore be for the academic staff themselves!” (2000, p. 183). This discipline-specific training for architect-teachers to support the needs of DA students has not taken place.

Separately from qualifications, Members of the RIBA must abide by a ‘Code of Professional Conduct’ ("RIBA: Code of Professional Conduct 2019", 2020) and complete an annual CPD obligation. Members of the ARB must observe the ‘The Architects Code’ ("The Architects Code", 2020). It is interesting to note, however, that membership to join the RIBA is optional.

The RIBA and the ARB are the two professional bodies that maintain the educational, ethical, standards, conduct and practice of architects and schools of architecture in the UK. With specific regard to AE the RIBA have for many years suggested that schools of architecture in the UK need to reform how and what they teach. Key meetings and publications include the RIBA Congress on Architectural Education (1924), 1958 RIBA Oxford Conference, RIBA Education Review (2013), RIBA Education Forum (2015), RIBA Retropioneers: Architecture Redefined (2017), RIBA Education Futures (2018), RIBA ‘The Way Ahead’ (2020). These moments of reflection upon AE build on an enthusiasm within the RIBA for educational review to define learning structures responsive to modern practice (Jones & Gloster, 2018). Discussions about, “Developments of advanced training and research” 1958 RIBA Oxford Conference (Hodder, 2020) are very similar to these suggestions five-and-a-half decades later, “teaching practices that contribute to curriculum delivery should be encouraged and developed”, RIBA Education Review, 2013 (Hodder, 2020). These events and reports indicate a clear desire for reform of how AE is taught in the UK, but the RIBA has not suggested how this should, or could, be done from a tutor-training perspective. If the RIBA Education Committees have felt, and currently feel, that they have been unable to make suggestions about what mechanisms are required to improve teaching practice, perhaps now is the time to commission research undertaken by interested UK schools of architecture.

Architect-educators

The route to becoming an architect-teacher is predicated solely on learning through the practice of teaching and as Berg (2018) comments, “That architects would want to teach is no surprise. Whether they should is a more nuanced question”. In contrast, to the heavily prescribed route to professional qualification controlled by the RIBA and ARB described above for Architects in practice, the route to becoming an architect-educator is not controlled; anyone with an interest and inclination to teach can become an academic in a UK School of Architecture. Those that do teach are usually registered architects or those with qualifications gained while studying in AE. However, this is not always the case with many teachers entering schools of architecture from a wide range of professional and academic backgrounds.

As Rhowbotham states this can be challenging because, “It is customary amongst practising architects to assume that those who have achieved some degree of experience are somehow automatically equipped to teach. Nothing could be further from the truth” (1995, p. 12). In addition, Weaver et al. (2000, p. 267) suggest that architect-educators rely on memories of their own education and Wooley proposes that academics in AE are intuitive teachers (1991, p. 47).

Validation of UK Schools of Architecture

Reading the anti-academy comments by practitioners in this article, and looking at the lack of teacher-training available to support the specific needs of architect-educators, it could be concluded that the schism described in this article has been caused by schools of architecture and their staff. However, the RIBA (the validators of UK schools of architecture) and the ARB (the body responsible for prescribing the qualifications and practical experience required for entry onto the UK Register of Architects) find themselves in a difficult position in this regard. The RIBA and ARB set the criteria that schools of architecture and architecture students must obtain in order to teach and practice. Schools of architecture are assessed by the RIBA every five years using a peer review process, through validation visits. However, history has shown, for a UK school of architecture not to be validated for not meeting the academic standards defined by the RIBA validation criteria, is very rare.

Challenges for the RIBA and ARB

Considering the statements above, it would be sensible to ask the following questions:

● If the RIBA controls the validation of UK schools of architecture and the ARB controls the Register of Architects, why do practitioners continue to suggest that architecture students are not prepared for practice during their extensive period of education at university?

● Are the various validation criteria set by the RIBA and ARB, for UK Schools of Architecture and Registered Members, not strict enough?

● Does the RIBA and ARB need to change the existing validation criteria to ensure that architecture students are being taught the correct content and to the correct standard?

Solutions through a united response

There is great potential for academics and practitioners to work together to build a dynamic and relevant knowledge-base for the profession, if they are both encouraged to work to their strengths. “We cannot call for greater practice/academic integration at entry level if we do not also champion the research capability of our academic institutions as a vital part of professional practice” (Jolliffe, 2019). Samuel (2019) supports Joliffe’s view, “Without a literacy in the best-quality knowledge, architects cannot claim to be professionals - their expertise is unclear, out of date and seemingly dispensable, and their status within the construction team continues to diminish”. It would seem then, having considered the comments above about existing professional weaknesses in academia, practice and the RIBA and ARB, that all sides of the schism are at fault; they currently share an ambivalence towards the development of research and the acquisition of knowledge in the overlapping spheres of AE and architectural practice. It could be suggested, therefore, that there is huge potential for academics and practitioners to develop a much more synergistic relationship to benefit the profession as a whole, under the tutelage of the RIBA and ARB.

For nearly a century, the RIBA have called for reform of AE without suggesting how changes could be implemented. Now could be the time for the RIBA and ARB, alongside UK schools to support the specific needs of architect-educators of architecture and practitioners, to carefully consider how teacher-architects can be supported with training and professional advice to further enhance their methods of delivery. This approach may help to heal the schism that currently exists in the architecture profession.

Architectural education: reevaluating teaching literature and the contextualisation of uk teacher education reforms

“…those interested in the betterment of architectural education might begin to engage in a form of inter-textuality, a dialogue between theories, which might result in the critical scrutiny and revision to the theories themselves” (Webster, 2008).

To further understand the debate surrounding professionalism and the professional identity of architect-educators, it is important to contextualise two particular aspects of AE. Firstly, to briefly review the key texts currently referred to by academics in AE, which are used to improve their teaching and secondly, teacher education reforms in the UK and the impacts that these have had on schools of architecture.

Teaching-literature in Architecture Education

Many authors have written about teaching and learning in AE including, including but not limited to, Jane Anderson (2011), James Benedict Brown (2012), Geoffrey Broadbent (1995), Harriet Harriss (2015), Ruth Morrow (2007), Martin Pearce (1995), Ashraf Salama (2015) , Flora Samuel (2017) and Rachel Sara (2020). For reasons of brevity, the author has chosen to include a small sample of the total number of publishing architect-educators that operate in schools of architecture in the UK and across the world.

The following paragraphs do not dismiss the important contribution that these authors, and others, have made towards the development and improvement of AE. However, certain teaching theories, in this instance those developed by Schön, Laver and Wenger and Kolb, have dominated AE pedagogy and have stood the test of time.

Donald Schön (1983) chose to highlight the mechanics of the design studio in AE. Schön’s descriptions of a specific narrative in AE through a chapter entitled ‘Design as a Reflective Conversation with the Situation’ (1983, pp. 76-104) focuses on the conversations between an architect-educator and an architecture student in an academic design studio environment. This chapter, through Schön’s observations, provides architect-educators with fly-on-the-wall insights into the studio design process from the perspectives of both the teacher and the student. Schön’s work encourages architect-teachers to be self-reflective (in-action, on-action) and reflexive in the way they work with their students with the aim that their teaching practice will be improved.

Kolb’s ‘experiential learning theory’ (originally published in 1984) considers the specific context of students (2015, p. 279-280) in AE. In Kolb’s diagram entitled ‘Concrete/Abstract and Active/Reflective Orientations of Academic Fields’ (2015, p. 182) architecture students are described as being active/ concrete learners and grouped with students from Law, Education, Education psychology, Education administration, Medicine, Psychology and Social Work. Kolb’s observations about how architecture students prefer to interact with peers and architect-teachers (2015, p. 279) reiterates the importance of learning about design in a studio environment though connected cycles of learning through doing, reflection, iteration, learning through doing, etc; these actions remain the key teaching mechanisms to educate students in AE.

Lave and Wenger (1991) build on the work introduced by Schön by looking at how the apprentice model works through apprenticeship. Although the theories by Lave and Wenger do not specifically mention the profession of architecture as Schön and Kolb did, the five apprenticeship models (1991, pp. 59-87) that they focus on have particular synergies with AE. Unlike the work of Schön, where the student is dependent upon knowledge being passed-down by the master-teacher, Lave and Wenger, through their theories connected with ‘legitimate peripheral participation’ place the student at the centre of the learning either as newcomers, old-timers, or students who are moving between these two extremes. The chapter by Lave and Wenger concerning Midwives, Tailors, Quartermasters, Butchers and Non Drinking Alcoholics (1991, pp. 59-87) could be used by architect-teachers to reflect upon ways that AE could be improved from looking at non-architecture related vocations and professions.

Webster (2008) states, “It is quite extraordinary that architectural education remained un-theorised until the 1970s when Donald Schön, following his studies of the design studio, put forward the notion that design studio learning simulated real professional action … ”. Webster critiques Schön’s work (2008, p. 72) by suggesting that Schön is un-reflexive and unable to declare or recognise the limitations of his own position. In this paper, Webster encourages architect-educators to consider other teaching models, in addition to the work of Schön, as a means of broadening the theoretical base of AE, “whilst recognising that they also view particular issues through particular lenses” (2008, p. 72).

In her paper, Webster also suggests that architect-educators should consider other teaching theories in addition to the work produced by Schön. With this comment in mind, it is important to ask why architect-educators continue to use the work of Schön, to assist them with self-reflective practice? Firstly, as Clegg suggests (1999, pp. 169-170), reflection on teaching is pleasurable, empowering and motivational. Secondly, Schön wrote specifically about reflective practice in AE, making it relevant to the day-to-day activities of architect-teachers. However, Clegg (1999) goes on to suggest that Schön’s work is limited in terms of the gender balance between the ‘master’ tutor (‘Quist’, a man) and the younger, inexperienced, ‘pupil’ (‘Petra’, a woman). The teaching approach of ‘Quist’, as described by Schon (1987), would not be considered diverse enough to satisfy the learning requirements of UK architecture students in 2022.

It could be interpreted from Webster’s writing, that by looking closely at theories connected to situated knowledge and action and learning, there is a suggestion that teachers in AE should once again reflect upon the work of Lave and Wenger and Kolb, in addition to Schön. Perhaps, Webster is suggesting, that a broader theoretical approach to AE can be adopted, one which responds to the needs of cohorts from more diverse and wide-ranging backgrounds than when Schön was writing in the 1980s; a blended theory that takes the best parts of Schön, Lave and Wenger, Kolb, and others, which could be used by architect-educators to address current-day needs.

Teacher education reforms and schools of architecture in the UK

In 1963, the Robbins Report set out the “Aims for Higher Education” (Gillard, 2020). In the same report under the heading, “Methods for Teaching”, Robbins goes on to suggest, “Some of our witnesses have urged that every university teacher should have a period of instruction in teaching techniques before he takes up his duties” (Gillard, 2020). Prior to the Robbins Report suggestions, there was no formal teaching of university lecturers before 1963, “The expansion of training in the early '60s had generated a need for new lecturers largely met by recruitment of experienced teachers who had completed or were pursuing advanced study in various aspects of Education in university departments and Institutes” (Taylor, 1988). Following the recommendations published in the Robbins Report, the education of lecturers in HE has been evolved and developed through a series of HE related organisations and reports; the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) in 1993, the Dearing Report in 1997, the Booth Report in 1998, the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (ILTHE) in 2000, the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2004 and most recently the formation of the AdvanceHE in 2018. Research undertaken as part of this article has revealed that architect-teachers have been largely unaffected by the report recommendations and organisations mentioned above, which are connected to the improvement of general teaching practice in HE.

Many UK HE institutions recommend that all teaching staff apply for, as a minimum requirement, Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), which was originally coordinated by the HEA (from 2004 onwards) and more recently with the AdvanceHE (from 2018 onwards). However, major weaknesses of the HEA Fellowship pathways include i) no enforcement across institutions and ii) not being discipline-specific to assist teachers who work in AE. To support this view, that AE has not benefited from any architecture-specific teacher training programmes, a search of online and in-Library articles, books and papers about this specific topic, reveals that there are significantly limited resources available to assist architect-educators.

Armed with this knowledge, it is important to consider the following scenario: A new teacher-architect enters a school of architecture to teach for the first time:

● Where can this teacher seek advice, away from their institution, about teaching architecture?

● How can this teacher build their own knowledge about working in AE, independently, if no teaching programmes or reference books exist to help them to develop in their chosen profession?

It should be noted, however, that Weaver et al. (2000) describe establishing an architect-teacher training programme at the University of East London (UEL). The programme was connected to a UEL coordinated Post Graduate Certificate in Competence in Teaching in Higher Education and the ILTHE. “The programme is based on experiential learning, mentoring arrangements and shared discussion of teaching practice and of research on student learning. The aim of the training course is to develop reflective studio tutors” (Nicol & Pilling, 2000). The UEL programme is the only AE specific teacher training programme that this author has been able to discover.

Comparisons can be made between the work carried out at the turn of the century by Weaver et al. (2000), and an academic paper written by Bergmark and Erixon (2019) which reports on the academisation of the teaching profession in Sweden. Similar to the UEL programme, the Bergmark and Erixon paper documents a Masters’ programme “to promote teachers’ academic knowledge, as applied in practice-based research and school development, as well as supporting the principal and colleagues in the work of integrating the practice-based research” (p. 6). Both of these formal training programmes set-out to embrace research and challenge academic knowledge, with the ambition of improving teaching practice.

Weaver, et al. (2000) and, then almost two decades later, Bergmark and Erixon, identified a gap in knowledge within UK architect-educators and Swedish teaching professionals. Bergman and Erixon suggest, “this gap in theory/practice and teacher/researcher can be bridged and reduced if research and teaching are regarded as two equal practices that meet each other, which might result in both changing based on the interaction” (2019, p. 589). In order for teachers to engage with student learning in relevant and meaningful ways, educators could continue to learn, continuously jumping between practice and research, “we conceive the boundaries between these two knowledge domains as not so clear-cut, but more as a continuum along which researching teachers, in our case, can move” (Bergmark & Erixon, 2019).

This part of the article set out to reevaluate AE teaching literature and to contextualise UK teaching education reforms. Firstly, it has been suggested by Webster (2008) and Clegg (1999) that the key principles of Schön which continue to be referred to by contemporary architect-educators for very sound pedagogic reasons, need to be re-evaluated, adapted and blended with other teaching and learning theories, so that they are better suited for a learning environment that is very different from the 1980s when they were first published. Secondly, due to the lack of discipline-specific training for architect-educators in the current HEA Fellowship pathways, it could be argued that there is merit in looking at forming an AE-specific tutor training programme similar to the Course established by Weaver, et al (2000).

The methods and principles used to improve the quality and delivery of teaching across other subject areas in the UK from the Robbins Report onwards, and more recently in Sweden, could be applied to AE in UK Schools of Architecture. Given pressing matters in the architectural profession concerning diversity, race, community, digital education, sustainability, well being, health and safety and the environment, current methods of teaching could be re-evaluated and adapted. This would be an important move for architect-educators to make today, in order for them to help prepare the architects of tomorrow.

CONCLUSIONS

“This might sound rather obvious for some, contradictory for many and somewhat ‘blasphemous’ for others, but for genuine educators, i. Education must be more important than architecture, and ii. Education must be ahead of architectural practice” (emboldening and italicisation by Teymur, 1992).

This article has argued that there is a need for professional teacher training programmes within UK AE. As has been documented in this article, there is, and has been over a prolonged period of time, a will and desire by Government, HE institutions and related professional bodies, such as the RIBA and ARB, to improve the quality and delivery of teaching in UK universities. If this were to happen, there is evidence to suggest (Bergmark & Erixon, 2019;Weaver, et al., 2000) that students could be better prepared for practice because their architect-teachers have engaged in specific training but also postgraduate and doctoral level research specific to AE. It would be highly unlikely for these AE-specific teacher training programmes to be controlled and managed at a Government-level. However, an organisation such as AdvanceHE may be interested in this type of programme as it would complement other initiatives within their existing training portfolio ("AdvanceHE: Supporting External Examiners on Architecture Courses in UK Universities [Briefing Guide No. 07] | AdvanceHE", 2020). For instance, the programme established by Weaver et al. (2000) was intended to be connected to the forerunner of Advanced HE, the ILTHE. More likely than becoming an additional programme in the AdvanceHE portfolio, an architect-teacher training programme could be tested and ultimately adopted nationally by the RIBA, or at a more local level by UK schools of architecture.

The views of Samuel (2019) and Jolliffe (2019), described above, were included to illustrate how research should be championed and embedded within AE so that it becomes a vital part of professional practice. AE-specific teacher education, modelled on a version of the UEL programme (Weaver, et al., 2000), adapted to include the investigations of Bergmark and Erixon (2019), Nicol (2000) and others, could be used to develop the skills of tutors embedded within UK schools of architecture, while at the same time producing new research. This new research could be used to partially plug the practical-knowledge gap that currently exists within the architecture profession. By encouraging discipline-specific teacher training programmes and postgraduate and doctoral level research, UK schools of architecture could support an architecture profession that has not prioritised the generation of research and knowledge (Samuel 2019).

Professor Murray Fraser (2014), writing an article for the Architects’ Journal has suggested, “universities have to find better ways to blend themselves more effectively with architectural practices, while both players need to keep a sense of their own identity so that each can also continue to do what they are best at”. In his article, Murray describes the nuanced relationship between schools of architecture and architectural practice and the importance of working together harmoniously, yet remaining distinct.

Just as this article began with the words of Judith Farren Bradley, discussing a schism between academia and practice in architecture, it will end with Farren Bradley’s own concluding statement: “Dialogue, both critical or supportive, is best achieved through vigorous interaction. Graduates from such a revised architectural education system will create modes and forms of practice appropriate to the future, the details of which it would be impossible and probably unwise to predict” (2000, p. 188).

Notes

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no conflict of interest.

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Dr Charles Leddy-Owen and Nicholas Timms for their help during the development and writing-up of this article.

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