The Practice as Project

The role of the architect today is constantly shifting. While society will continue to require numbers of well rounded, licensed and affiliated architects to provide core professional services, an increasing amount of hybrid practices will apply an architectural skillset – such the ability to synthesize and orchestrate – in areas as (design and innovation) consultancy, technology and other cultural spheres. Furthermore one will see novel practice-models emerging based on a single agenda or the exploration of a specific field of interest. Understanding the extent of this shifting array of opportunities, and how to operate within this dynamic field is vital for the young graduate of tomorrow. Ultimately, finding a meaningful way to apply one’s unique capabilities and believes in pursuit of ones own ‘project’ – will be a key motivator for professional success.

Objectives and Outcomes:
The objective of this course is to teach students an array of strategies of structuring practice – with all its facets – such that it becomes an instrument for growth, both intellectual and economical.

The course’s area of focus will oscillate between the core and the periphery of the profession. Through examining a series of people, practices and projects it will demonstrate ways to structure one’s convictions into a vehicle for professional fulfillment. This will happen in 3 ways.

1. Visits to a number of practices in Boston (NADAAA, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, over,under & Pinkcomma Gallery)
2. Conversations with outside visitors, including young professionals leading large global design firms, as BIG (Sheela Maina, CEO) and Bruce Mau Design (Hunter Tura, CEO); young architects successfully pursuing their own beliefs through practice, such as Chris Lee (SERIE – architects) and Mitch McEwan (Superfront); enablers, facilitators or advocates of the profession and the culture of architecture. Andrew Klemmer (Paratus Group), Jarred de la Valle (Alloy)
3. Case studies of architectural projects and their underlying professional structures that brought these to light. Toledo Museum by SANAA, Kukje Gallery and Shrem Museum by SO – IL amongst others.)

Method of Evaluation:
Grades will be established based on student’s participation, quality of response to weekly assignments and quality of final paper.

This course is geared towards ambitious students who want to pursue a meaningful and self-motivated career in the unstable regions of the profession.