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Graeme Bristol

5.3

THE CITIZEN ARCHITECT

MAY 2002

An alternative curriculum

I am not suggesting that every architecture school change its curriculum. I am suggesting, though, that there is ample room for an alternative professional degree program – one that more directly addresses these issues of rights and basic needs. I see the program as international in nature – perhaps like the International Baccalaureate program in high schools, in that there are schools throughout the world but the standard and curriculum are common between them. Although still meeting the NAAB standards, I would see the emphasis shift somewhat:    

5.4

Experience on construction sites (building experience) – minimum half year Minimum half year experience in architect‟s office Minimum # of hours of community service (similar to the International Baccalaureate program) Some revisions to a core curriculum to include required courses on Ethics, sustainability, housing, community development, participatory techniques, basic needs and rights, as well as appropriate technology in addition to the standard core – history, structures, materials, etc.) Community Design Centre

This is an old idea that is still in place in some areas of the US and England but it is worth expanding particularly to allow for the continuity of projects beyond semesters. In essence, the CDC, based out of the university develops projects within the community. What is developed is generally at the feasibility stage rather than the working drawing stage. Many communities recognize the need for particular projects but do not have the expertise to develop them to the point of being able to attract funding. There is, of course, a transition between the CDC and the profession itself. 6.

CONCLUSION

With somewhere around 1 billion people on this planet effectively homeless, there is, I would suggest, a great thundering howl for help on the other side of that party wall. As citizens and as professionals we are duty-bound to respond. However, in that response – and this is where I found Mockbee‟s phrase most instructive – we must be mindful of these overriding principles of democracy. The words of the Universal Declaration, of our Constitution, of the US Declaration of Independence are not just words – they are principles that guide our actions. Principles, indeed, that bind us together as citizens, as human beings.

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Citizen Architect 2002  

1. INTRODUCTION In January of 1998, I came to Bangkok to teach architecture. I came with some general intentions and with a set of ideas abo...

Citizen Architect 2002  

1. INTRODUCTION In January of 1998, I came to Bangkok to teach architecture. I came with some general intentions and with a set of ideas abo...

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