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Reed Insight and Community






How Diversity is Preparing Future Practitioners

Podcast: 2009/5/15 - 18:06

Presenters: William Miller, FAIAI, Kevin Singh, AIA & Robyn Crumby






William C. Miller, FAIA, is a professor of architecture in the College of Architecture + Planning at the University of Utah. From 1992 to 2002 he served as the dean. Active in ACSA, NAAB, and the AIA, in 2004 Prof. Miller received the ACSA Distinguished Professor Award.

Kevin Singh, AIA Is an assistant professor of architecture at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La. He is director of the Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC). His Walter Wagner Forum paper is "Rebuilding a Community: Social Justice, Diversity, and Design."

Robyn Crumby is a graduate student at Louisiana Tech University. She will graduate in May 2009 with a M Arch and has been a part of the Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) this school year.

Architecture schools have been entrepreneurial in the development of programs that expand students' experiences and understanding of the complex and diverse world in which they will practice. From international programs in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe to design-build programs in our cities and rural communities, to service and community-based design studios working with underserved and marginalized populations, architecture programs address diversity through a rich matrix of educational experiences and settings. How are architecture schools addressing the diverse world in which today's and tomorrow's students will be practicing? How are they equipping designers, practitioners, and facilitators with the skills they will need to address the changes occurring in our ever "flattening" world?

At the 2009 AIA National Convention in San Francisco, California, William Miller discussed Architecture Education in a Complex World and provided attendees with information necessary to evaluate programs that will give students experience with diversity, Identify ways in which students will benefit from these programs, and recognize elements that can be applied to their own practices. In this Interview, William Miller, Kevin Singh, and Robyn Crumby discuss the intent of the 2009 Walter Wagner forum call for papers and their individual experience with diversity and its effect on architecture today.

Kevin Singh's paper, Rebuilding a Community: Social Justice, Diversity and Design focuses on a new model of education where the student is placed in a leadership role on a team that will provide positive social change in a community.  SIngh states "In this capacity, the role of the architect is further enhanced and the community realizes more value in what an architect brings to the design table. Working within an impoverished neighborhood provides students with the opportunity to work in a diverse and challenging environment where they respond and design according to real life social issues. The outcome for participating students will ultimately be to learn to design with a conscious, and actively contribute to the communities where they will practice as emerging professionals. "

Robyn Crumby, an architecture graduate student a Louisiana Tech University tells us about her participation in the Community Design Assistance Center, probono work, and increased emphasis in community outreach.



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