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Practice : Winter 2010
In THE MIDST OF A CHALLEnGInG ECOnOMy AFFIRMInG OUR EDUCATIOnAL VISIOn changes in practice and the academy The word now generally emerging at national conferences for designers and educators is that when the economy recovers for the design professions in another two or three years, “everything will be different about how we oper- ate.” Large firms may be smaller and more agile. Coalitions and collaborations among smaller designers and building entities may replace current working arrangements. Building informa- tion modeling, outsourcing, and expedited project delivery will have reshaped what is expected of interns entering the professions. Outcomes-driven design and “design thinking” will be more prominent both within, and outside traditional design fields. All of these changes will affect what we teach and how we prepare our graduates for varying professional careers. The Boston Architectural College is positioned to become the preeminent urban American design school. We have been moving toward achieving this recognition through our fundamental commitments to providing excellent, rigorously assessed, multidisciplinary, practice-based professional education; inclusivity for students, faculty and others interested in design studies; an enduring commitment to teaching and practicing sustainability; a focus on public service and social justice through design; and the application of critical design thinking toward address- ing the needs of individuals and communities most in need of improved environmental design. Our goals in this 2009 –10 academic year are to sustain our educational initiatives, to manage programs and institutional change within a balanced budget, to expand our credit-bearing Practice alternatives, and to further improve onsite student retention. Lifelong learning and distance education will continue to expand. These commitments build our foundation for transforming design education to better prepare graduates for the challenges of rapidly changing professions. success during the Economic downturn We are in one of the most extraordinary periods in the history of the BAC. The 2008 – 09 was marked by record-high enrollments and the opening of 951 Boylston Street, despite a severe economic downturn that produced more than 200 student Practice employment layoffs. We graduated of our first Distance Masters of Architecture students; completed a highly successful Solar Decathlon project; retained high recognition in DesignIntelligence for our Schools of Architecture and Interior Design; initiated green roof and green alley projects; were awarded an nCARB Prize for integrating practice- based and academic learning; held our second successful Gala; made changes in our governance; announced the hiring of a new Provost, while bringing on a new Master of Landscape Architecture and the Landscape Institute; and initiated and implemented educational initiatives to strengthen teaching, learning, and assessment. During the past year and a half we undertook two tremendously successful AD20/21 Galas and two Cascieri Lectures, one followed by a visit to Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut. We sent staff delegations to Cincinnati, St. Louis and Savannah to facilitate national interior design and architectural curricula discussions, and sent a delegation to Greece to open our European online sustainability program. We hosted events affiliated with the president Ted landsmark we employ to provide excellent practice-based education are adapting rapidly to prepare our graduates for a world that is becoming ver y different from what we k new a decade ago. strategies The vision & 52 pRacTIcE