Dean Ponce de Leon speaks at the International Architectural Education Summit in Spain

Dean Ponce de Leon speaks at the International Architectural Education Summit in Spain

Dean Monica Ponce de Leon recently participated on a panel on “Education in the Digital Age,” at the International Architectural Education Summit, June 24-26, 2011, in Spain. The summit’s theme was “Innovation in Architectural Education.” Jointly organized by UCLA, Los Angeles and IE School of Architecture, the event brought together internationally renowned architects, educators, and scholars to explore trends, issues, and research in architectural education worldwide.

Here is an excerpt from her presentation:
“Technique, and its corollary technology, have of course always been related to architecture but need not be its subject. Skill and technique are fundamental to the education of the architect. But one of the things that sets us apart from other disciplines is that technique is only a means to an end. Thus, we need to seek and deploy better strategies for delivering skills independent of the studio and the classroom. Web-tutorials and workshops need to take over the responsibility of delivering very advanced skills. The discussion in studio and in the classroom needs to move away from the how and the what to the why?

Lets not forget that while in academia we argued over the relative merits of one digital platform over another, the industry has made choices for us. How many of us remember courses devoted solely to AUTOCAD… now students learn autocad in high school, and at least in the U.S., the profession is being forced to completely do away with autocad and Revit will soon become the driving software in practice.

While we should ensure our graduates are nimble digital experts, we should concentrate in opening more space in our curriculums for critical thinking and place the ability of design to impact the world at the center of architectural education.”

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