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Practice : Winter 2010
Addressing Perceptions of Interdisciplinary Inequality Students have occasionally expressed frustrations about perceived inequalities associated with becoming professionals in various design elds. In schools o ering multiple degree paths, students (especially women) choosing to become interior designers or landscape architects have sometimes indicated they felt professionally diminished in the eyes of students (primarily men) studying architecture or engineering. e Boston Architectural College has sought to address these perceptions of inequality through two initiatives. In conjunction with the University of Cincinnati, and with assistance from design educators at national universities, we began a series of conversations on curricular overlaps and divergences between professional studies in architecture and interior design. ese national Inside:Out conversations have taken place over the past year on various campuses and at ACSA and IDEC meetings in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Savannah, and this fall in Boston. Over design educators have participated, from more than schools. While outcomes of these meetings cannot yet be assessed, the discussions have support- ed further scholarly research into design teaching and expected learning outcomes, with a goal of determining what each professional discipline contributes toward improving the quality of our built environments, with particular emphases on sustainability, ergonomics, and human factors engineering. By implication, the discussions are addressing how designers can better collaborate to improve client ser vice, and the perception of what di ering disciplines contribute toward improving design outcomes. On the BAC campus, we have brought together women designers on our faculty and in our governance, in architecture and interior design, to discuss the challenges they have faced as design professionals. ese informal Culture of Equality discussions were initiated to foster a sense of collegiality across disciplines. We believe such conver- sations will inform our student advising about perceptions of gender inequity and professional disciplinary discrimination. e conversations are also encouraging women professionals involved with the BAC to share their experiences and insights with BAC students in all disciplines. NEWSWORTHY ] "BIOMES" FEATURE ] PREPARE FOR A CHANGING WORLD Above : Rebecca Barnes FAIA and Diane Georgopulos FAIA; Jill Rothenberg; Felice Silverman '92 IIDA; Lisa Bonneville FASID; Jane Weinzapfel FAIA; Holly Cratsley '84 AIA; Carolyn Meek FIFDA In conjunction with the University of Cincinnati, and with assistance from design educators at national universities, we began a series of conversations on curricular overlaps and divergences between professional studies in architecture and interior design. 23 PRACTICE