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Practice : Winter 2009
architectuurstudio hh architects Landscape Architecture, and Urba n Design, a nd perhaps most notably from the stand- point of Practice, insisting that students must a lready have employment in their respective field before they are even ac cepted, the challenges and simila r concerns related to outpacing changes in the de sign profes sion s a nd improving the quality of educ ation are striking. This common ground lays the foundation for a n ongoing convers ation and a fertile cros s —pollination of ideas. We have already begun to discuss ways to engage in a transatlantic dialogue and mull over our shared points of intere st and concerns: question s such a s: what are the best methods for a s ses sing student learning in Practice that will combine annua l portfolio and persona l intervie w with practitioners and instructors? How to we best counsel st udents to be proactive about their individual learning need s while working as intern architects? Do we really need to integrate Practice and cla ssroom-based learning to conform to a singular set of curricular goals and objectives, and, if so, how should this be accomplished? What new innovations do we need to consider for students to e arn credits that satisfy Practice requirements to graduate? Or the one that stirred a lot of c onversation, how c an we better engage the firms to be active participants with the school a nd pa rtner in the education of our students? The trip to Amsterdam has already c au sed us to rethink matters here in Boston. Similar to the period of Don Brown’s initia l visit 40 years ago, the opportunity to obser ve both classroom and practice learning settings in Amsterdam ha s prompted a rigorous self- exa mination at a time when the words change and transformation are on the lips of e veryone invested in the f uture improvement of the C ollege. The evoc ative discussion s that have followed this second visit under- score the genuine interest many of us have in continuing the conversation. Comparing notes bet ween the t wo schools will take many forms, including exchanges of pedagogy and curriculum; there are those who have suggested a tra nsatlantic telec onferenc e c a ll in the not-too-distant future to map out a c omprehensive agenda . A critical next step will certainly be to forma lly structure, w ithin this coming yea r, a n exchange of students, perhaps instructors a s well. More ambitiously, we wou ld like to develop relationships bet ween Dutch and Boston firms, h ave them swap st udent interns and engage openly in discussions about pressing issues involving professional practice. As design profe ssiona ls sort out dynamic issues like building information modeling/ integrated project delivery, the impacts of out sourcing, global practice, a nd the mandate to assume a lead position in sustainable design, the opportunities and imperative to re ach across the Atla ntic seem boundless and exciting. Once again, our thanks go out to Don Brown for taking the first step four decades ago and forging the way on this invaluable connection. pRacTIcE ] REachINg acROSS ThE aTlaNTIc len charney and Ted landsmark greet herman hertzberger The afternoon breakout sessions touched on a range of themes — all of them applicable to issues and challenges we ourselves grapple with in Boston. DOk architecten pRacTIcE 35