Rethinking Education in Today's Competitive Arena

September 17, 2008 · by Ava J. Abramowitz

With the National Architectural Accrediting Board’s accreditation review currently in the works, Ava Abramowitz revisits her 2003 DesignIntelligence article, which helped serve as an impetus to add clients and negotiation into the NAAB’s student performance measures.

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6 Essential Competencies

Ava Abramowitz offers the following update to the recommended competencies she put forth in her 2003 article for DesignIntelligence.

To be an educated person, one needs:

Thinking competencies, requiring knowledge of science, the liberal arts, cultures here and abroad, research, ethics, and critical thinking -- the ability to analyze, synthesize, integrate, and apply -- as well as knowledge of how to learn
People competencies, requiring grounding in negotiation, persuasion/sales, listening, hearing, appreciation of diverse people and ideas, collaboration, teamwork, and conflict management

To be a practitioner of architecture, one needs:

Design competencies, requiring grounding in history, theory, design, structures, sustainability, life safety, life cycle/eco-economics, aesthetics, and problem solving
Making competencies, requiring grounding in technology, drawing, integrated project delivery, building information modeling, construction, codes and standards, legal aspects of architecture, and time management

To be influential in society, one needs:

Business competencies, requiring grounding in building/project economics, project management, accounting principles, firm management, and entrepreneurship
Public competencies, requiring grounding in advocacy, government, community building, outreach, leadership, and oral and written communication

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