Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On Licensure and How the Future is Going to Get Even More Weird

I have some thoughts on professional licensure in architecture included in this article in Architect magazine. The article was written by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson, she's done an excellent job of sorting out a sticky set of issues, through which there are no easy resolutions: academics, professional liability, the roles of the many organizations that regulate aspects of the profession, and the "threat" of a Lost Generation. As usual, Archinect has a great discussion about the article as well.

This is a topic that's near to the interests represented here, I've written about it from the point of view of titular protection, alternative examination structures, and here (pdf link), for the AIAS Journal CRIT, popular perception of skill sets.

It's worth bringing up again. Thinking about these issues as a teacher, now that I'm rereading the finished article, makes me begin to wonder, not about a current Lost Generation, but about the next few generations down the line. Re-examining paths to licensure and registration is going to be even more important for a discipline that wants to wrangle the talents of the generation who are currently just starting out. In the past few years I've taught introductory architecture and design to two groups of first year grad students, three groups of sophomores, and two groups of freshmen, at three different schools. I'm here to tell you that these kids are good, and there's a lot of 'em. If the current group of recent grads is seeming ambitious, talented, numerous, and kind of confused, just wait til you meet the ones who will be coming out with professional degrees in the next four years. It's on us to get this licensing and terminology mess sorted out in time for us all to get down to the real work.

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