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Practice : Winter 2010
pREsIdENT’s lETTER ] TEd laNdsmaRk pREsIdENT’s lETTER Overall matriculating enrollments increa s ed 6.7% to 1145 students . While total revenues from donation s were negatively affected by the economy, there wa s a significant increa se in the number of BAC donors. We are ma naging tightly through difficult times . What the Economy hath Wrought In the wider profe ssion, the economic implosion has been devastating. Large and medium size firms have commonly laid off more than a third of their employees: one major San Francisco firm laid off one third of three thousand employees, while a long established Boston firm shrank by 40%. Smaller firms a re merging or disappearing. Design firm leaders around the country are virtually unanimous in saying that “when the economy comes back in another two or three years, ever ything will be different. None of us will still be practicing the way we have over the past decade.” Integrated project delivery, mergers and acquisitions , a drained talent pool, global outsourcing, the need to provide sustainable environments, a nd changed political a nd economic factors will require that firms be more agile, diversified, c oll aborative, c ontinuously educated, a nd innovative in how they ser ve clients. changes have affected practice-based Education How a re these changes affecting our practice-ba sed educ ation? A yea r ago, more than two hundred BAC students were laid off from various B oston firms, yet a ll students in their final year graduated with altern ative placements outside traditiona l firms . The entire Practice depa rtment has mobilized to c ontinue to find altern ative placements in the ne w world of practice-ba sed lea rning and intern ship. Students are more often working on community-ba sed servic e projects, with non-profit organizations, preparing competitions, a nd doing hands-on construction and planning work with neighborhood groups. Students involved with our Solar Decathlon House earned credit for their work. Students worked on c ommunity garden s and on su stainability projects. The BAC’s practice-based learning has continued unabated, a nd we have adapted to a world requiring greater client sensitivity a nd hands- on learning. This work is doc umented throughout these pages. design Thinking across our curriculum A deeper change re sults from how the BAC is adopting the principles of “design thinking” across our curriculum. Designers are critical thinkers and problem solvers for clients needing solution s to environmental planning problems. De sign thinking, des cribed in IDEO President Tim Brown’s Change By De sign , focuses on the application of innovative, holistic (interdisciplinary a nd coll aborative), bac accEpTs dImauRa IslaNd The Boston Architectural College is pleased to annou nce the acceptance of the gift of DiMaura Island, a four-acre island located in the Charles River on the Dedham /Boston boundar y. The gift , from philanthropic real estate developer Paul DiMaura, was arranged over a year-long period by BAC Oversee r Richard Snyder, Esq. “This site is a significant contribution to our ability to study urban wilds and wetland ecology. The island enables landscape and sustainability students and faculty to under take projects on virgin land unspoiled by habitation or industrial encroachment . It is isolated from developments that have spoiled other Boston area natural environments, but close enough to the BAC to permit active studies. We don’t know what we’ll fi nd there in our landscape research, and that’s what makes this gift so enthralling.” — President Ted Landsmark Despite the current economic climate the BAC did well financially, balancing our budget with operating revenues and expenses increasing to over $21 million. 2 pRacTIcE