According to the Workforce of the Future report by PwC, automation is rapidly gaining traction and “changing the skills that organisations are looking for in their people.”
The report highlighted how in all four potential future worlds of work, digital transformation will be at the core of rapid change.
“The potential for digital platforms and AI to underpin and grow the world of work is unbounded. They already play an essential role in the development of all Four Worlds of Work, matching skills to employer, capital to investor and consumer to supplier.”
Architecture is no exception as the industry is already being disrupted with immersive technologies and innovative new designs spurred by cutting-edge software.
There is also a growing need for architects to build soft skills, seen as essential to those working in the Four Worlds of Work.
These include innovation, creativity and collaboration – skills that architects must already possess and further develop.
Innovative architecture education today is built around educating students on their responsibility to create architectural solutions with sustainability in mind. This is due to the growing awareness of the environmental impact of construction.
Alongside this, architects of the future must learn how to adapt to new technologies that will become integral to their workflow, such as digital automation, material computation and robotics.
For architecture majors, universities today must strike the balance between academic knowledge and practical learning.
Universities are increasingly offering more projects for graduate students in architecture to develop their innovative thinking skills.
By doing so, they are preparing students for the future with the development of soft skills and real-world experience.
Here are three universities offering innovative architecture programmes, developing leaders of the future architecture industry.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTURE (SCI-ARC) – USA
SCI-Arc is a world-renowned leader of innovative architecture education and one of the few independent architecture schools in the world.
The school is situated in the inspiring environment of the Arts District in Los Angeles, California, an emerging cultural hub rich with architectural experimentation.
Founded by a group of architects and students who wanted to offer a more experimental perspective than traditional architecture programs offered, SCI-Arc has attracted an internationally diverse student body to its bachelor, master, and postgraduate degrees over its forty-year history.
The school’s postgraduate division, SCI-Arc EDGE, Center for Advanced Studies in Architecture, is specifically structured as a platform for speculative scholarship and specialized training to enable dynamic careers in the twenty-first century.
The innovative SCI-Arc EDGE programs target areas of study that constitute important frontiers for architectural investigation.
In contrast to professional degree programs that train building professionals, SCI-Arc EDGE programs are designed to encourage specialization and independent research that can develop new careers models for the architect. Each one-year intensive EDGE program seeks to identity the difficult problems that define this moment in history and encourage students to speculate and propose ideas that edit the many realities of the contemporary world.
MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF DESIGN, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE – AUSTRALIA
At this highly-ranked Australian university, innovative architecture programmes are offered under the Melbourne School of Design.
A distinctive approach to architecture is offered through one of the largest studio programmes for Master’s students in the country.
Recognising that architecture is a cross-disciplinary field, programmes here often overlap in areas such as urban design, planning, cost management, digital design and fabrication, engineering, environmental design, materials science, construction, landscape, art and the social sciences.
Students are encouraged to take part in critical debate and applied research, where they can develop critical thinking skills through practice-based learning.
Creativity is also strongly encouraged in architecture students through innovative design laboratories used by both staff and students to experiment with ideas.
Along with a strong foundation in architectural history and theory, students become well-versed in today’s technology that’s the backbone of innovative architecture.
Students also learn how to use new materials and utilise technologies to create environmentally sustainable buildings in some of the country’s best makerspaces and fabrication workshop facilities.
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING AND GEOMATICS, UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN – SOUTH AFRICA
At this university in rapidly developing South Africa, architecture students receive hands-on learning opportunities and a student-centered education.
The research-led curriculum is constantly updated to reflect today’s trends in innovative architecture, and students are exposed to all forms of architecture, from urban design to conservation.
Students can expand their knowledge and further develop their professional interests via workshops and information seminars held periodically throughout the semester.
The Bachelor of Architectural Studies programme provides students with the ideal foundation in the design of buildings and built environments.
Students gain the necessary design, technology, theory and communication knowledge of architecture so they can pursue graduate studies in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, or city and regional planning.
Besides architectural knowledge, students here are strongly encouraged to think critically and creatively as they build their individual characters.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International
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