The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

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The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Sybok » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:31 am

What is the point in studying architecture at DIT Bolton St. for five years (MINIMUM) when you can study architectural technology? You'll have access to better studios and I.T. and model making infrastructures than the architects, use the same thesis year facility, produce the same if not better academic output (as part of the head of the department's relentless push to 'blur the lines' between the two programmes) and have a MASTERS degree in four years?! To top this off, architectural technologists with the unique qualification afforded them by DIT are seemingly much more employable than the hordes of architects spilling out of DIT, UCD, WIT, UCC and Queens every summer. Is the 'design element', the commonly cited difference between the two disciplines, really that important? I ask this as a final year student at DIT in an already massively overpopulated class of soon to be unemployed and unemployable architects who will have to surrender a large amount of our allocated studio space to the technology programme in the coming academic year.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby spoil_sport » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:32 am

"Is the 'design element', the commonly cited difference between the two disciplines, really that important?"

Looks like someone is having a little crisis....

That entirely depends on what you define as "important". In saying that, I did go to the end of year shows for UCD and DIT last year, and it has to be said, UCD work was of a substancially higher quality (and I'm not just saying that because I came from UCD) I'm not sure why that was, maybe because UCD dosen't have a seperate tech course so the "design element" is clearly the most important, or maybe because I was tought in UCD its my own prejudice to appreciate the "design element" more...
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Tayto » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:22 pm

:rolleyes:
spoil_sport wrote:"Is the 'design element', the commonly cited difference between the two disciplines, really that important?"

Looks like someone is having a little crisis....

That entirely depends on what you define as "important". In saying that, I did go to the end of year shows for UCD and DIT last year, and it has to be said, UCD work was of a substancially higher quality (and I'm not just saying that because I came from UCD) I'm not sure why that was, maybe because UCD dosen't have a seperate tech course so the "design element" is clearly the most important, or maybe because I was tought in UCD its my own prejudice to appreciate the "design element" more...



Well, it looks like someone from UCD is having a little spelling crisis......

It must be because of the vast amount of superior, higher quality, design appreciation skill leaving less room in the brain for basic communication skills.;)
Hey- if you're going to attempt sneering condescension, at least try to get your basic spelling right. Otherwise, it defeats the whole purpose, don't you think? For God's sake, it's "taught" not "tought", and it's "substantially", not "substancially"! What class of illiterates are they churning out of UCD these days? :rolleyes:
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby spoil_sport » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:04 pm

I'm fully awary of my awful spelling, and your not the first archiseeker to pick me up on it. However there was no sneering condescension intended, I simply thought that last years UCD graduates, as a whole, produced far more interesting work than their DIT counterparts.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Sybok » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:18 pm

Agreed Spoil Sport. The quality of the thesis year output at DIT is below par and certainly does not justify the shockingly high failure rates for the studio module. In a European context the standard of the facilities made available and the calibre of the tutors (despite the best efforts of a few) is an embarrassment.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby foremanjoe » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:53 pm

Uh, this seems to have morphed incredibly rapidly into a UCD vs. DIT architecture debate.
Ease up there frat boys.

I suppose the main difference between the two DIT courses is the individual student's eventual goal in studying architecture.

If you want to be technically excellent, readily employable and willing to be an employee or working within a company for the majority of your career, then the technology course is a brilliant place to be.

However, if you're long-term goal is to be your own person, your own employer and to create work that is your own personal contribution to the world (architectural & real), then the architecture course contains the elements that will help you on that route.

That's not to say that a technology graduate can't be self-employed or independent, but the architecture course, by way of the peaks and troughs that it entails, instills in its graduates a kind of toughness and independence that can only be beneficial in your career. If you can emerge from the course with any bit of fire left in your belly, or having preserved an element of your love for architecture, then you can kick on from there.

Chin up Sybok.

P.s. It might help your frame of mind if you change your registered location from Green st. to somewhere a little more excapist in nature. I know you will be spending all of your waking hours there until next june, but being this defeatist in the first week of september doesn't bode well for the next nine months!
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Butters » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:41 pm

Been a Architectural Technologist that came through the DIT program I am glad to see that the profession is finally getting the respect it deserves.

The new 4 year degree is a Honors degree and NOT a Masters degree. It is the first time it is available in DIT and previously only was available in WIT and in Northern Ireland. How this is deemed relentless expansion seeing that the Architectural Technology in DIT began running in 1963 is beyond me. If there is a problem with other programs losing out it is a problem with how DIT is run and not with Architectural Technologists.

I have worked abroad for a number of years and have found that the gulf between Architects and Technologists only exists in Ireland. Foremanjoe's comment is completely null and void to me. A technologist, or any other profession for that sake can "be there own person" there "own employer" and "create work that is your there own personal contribution to the world".
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby PTB » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:16 pm

The B.Arch course has been relentlessly expanded too.

Last year I was in a class of 55 crammed into a room that was fit for about 30. We had roughly three quarters of a desk each and nowhere to build site models. Nowhere to do crits, only one fire escape, no space at all really. This was brought up with the people at the head of the school of architecture who just brushed it aside claiming that they had no power to deal with it and all the decisions were made by people higher up. No one seems to care. At the same time the Architecture department continues with the expansion program begun about four years ago when the numbers of first years being admitted increased from 35 or so to 50 or 60. This expansion is based on predicted shortages of architects made in the height of the celtic tiger. This as we all know now has since proved to be redundant information yet still I fully expect to see 50 or 60 first years in DIT whien I return. Again the Architecture Department will shrug and say that they were simply instructed by DIT to expand the B.Arch and that the facilities that would have to be provided would fall into some other department. Since DIT are famously stingy the facilities have not been provided

For the past two years the first years were accommodated in a converted restaurant in the Linenhall trades college. It's a half decent studio but it's so isolated. The library, any printing facilities, shops, the canteen, the student union, the crit pit - they're all down the lane and across the road and require endless trips to access. Last year the second years were almost accommodated in a converted gym in linenhall but DIT renaged on that having installed radiators and lights. The gym may be used again this year given that there appears to be nowhere to house this years second years.

Essentially the facilities for architecture students in DIT is in disarray. Far too many students in studios that are too small. Most of this has been caused by relentless expansion without consideration for where these students have to be housed. And this will go on for many more years now since Grangegorman is on hold (from what I can see) and DIT don't seem to have enough cash to deal with the problem. This has actually been going on for a number of years now in fact but it's getting really bad now as the big years start coming up through the system. Don't go to DIT kids.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby JB » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:52 pm

Sybok wrote: .... (as part of the head of the department's relentless push to 'blur the lines' between the two programmes) and have a MASTERS degree in four years?!


The head of the AT department blur the lines between Architecture and Architectural Technology .... ????? :eek:

That's wildly inaccurate, and I would suggest the complete opposite of what has been going on as part of a much larger campaign over the last 6 years.

If the facilities for Architecture at DIT aren't up to scratch it's probably something you should take up with the Head of that Department.

Secondly, as has been said already, it's an honours degree not a masters ... inaccurate again. I'd be suggesting to you that you should get your facts right before you jump in with all guns blazing.

And, thirdly, while you have my symapthies on being unemployable, it's no walk in the park for the Technology graduates out there either - there's no jobs for anyone at the moment.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Sybok » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:37 pm

I'm just grinding your gears dude. One love.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby adrian5987 » Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:13 pm

I think PTB said it all, the Architects are cramped while the technicians have some of the bigger studios with a desktop computer (and another desk) for all and each year is right beside each other. (architects being at the top of 3 different 3/4 story buildings... not great for integration)
I know the ATs get their computers sponsered and from what i hear this money is also helping them to other benefits. Basically im wondering why the Architects cant get this also if it can help with the pretty poor facilities. I wonder will there be any changes now Eddie o'Shea is gone
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby magwea » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:55 pm

This year there are only forthy-one first year architecture students. The studio has plenty of space.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Bren88 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:26 am

foremanjoe wrote:If you want to be technically excellent, readily employable and willing to be an employee or working within a company for the majority of your career, then the technology course is a brilliant place to be.

However, if you're long-term goal is to be your own person, your own employer and to create work that is your own personal contribution to the world (architectural & real), then the architecture course contains the elements that will help you on that route.


This is wildly inaccurate, and a little disillusion.
Despite their goals and wishes, most architects won't work for themselves for the majority of their career.

It's a fruitless debate, as only people that have done both courses are in any way qualified to compare them. And even still they are likely biased anyway (based on choice of progression)
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby ba » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:34 pm

Sybok, design is very important. The basis of hiring an architect is for the design and the vision we have. It is a simple difference, but nevertheless profound. Technologists will ultimately play an assistant role to the architect. and tbh i don't want to be an assistant.

I have heard from others that the head of AT Dept. blabbers about the blurring lines of AT and Architecture. However their course is too heavy on regulations, construction industry and various other things to totally embrace design philosophies. So this simple difference no longer really seems simple anymore. Cormac Allen can try all he likes to blur the lines, but who is he fooling? Don't tell me a final year architecture student, like yourself, is subscribing to that CA BS. I asked some AT students a while ago (thesis students) whether they'd be comfortable designing or trying to blur their qualifications and having a stab at architecture... they'd rather calculate U-values for the rest of their days.

But if all you want to become at the end of your 5 year course is be employable, help yourself to AT so. Olgiati once said, 'the difference between me and you is that I would die for architecture'. Architecture since 1st year has been about learning an art form, stick to your guns as an artist, and the clients will come. i hope anyways...
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby missarchi » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:53 pm

ba wrote:Technologists will ultimately play an assistant role to the architect


I'm sorry but go and work in a practice or 4...
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby ba » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:07 pm

I have, and they were assistants to the project architect. They were part of a design team, but nevertheless without design input. This i feel is the issue the OP refers to.
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby missarchi » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:14 pm

No design input... I think you would be surprised...
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Butters » Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:03 pm

relentless expansion of technology!!! where is the canteen and gym gone in linen hall? oh yeah, architects have them!
its not our fault that we are eminently more employable than you but the fact remains that an architectural practice can be run with one architect and 10 technicians, exactly because of the fact that our education involves 'real world' applications such as regulations and technical design
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Re: The relentless expansion of architectural technology at DIT Bolton St.

Postby Zygnoth » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:16 am

where is the canteen and gym gone in linen hall?


The canteen is on the ground floor and staffed everyday. Linen hall is used by plumbers and others so I think they legally need to have one on the building. The gym is on the basement floor - staffing has been reduced in DIT and they couldn't afford to open the gym this year. Kevin Street has only just reopened.

I've worked in a few different practices and ATs have had different roles - full designers and all the way to CAD monkeys. I've seen the exact same thing with architects as well - full designers and all the way to CAD monkeys.

Worrying which course makes you more employable is definitely the wrong approach to take to university. If you're deciding between courses you should look at what aspects of architectural design you want to pursue the most and what you want to work in. After college, you'll have to find your own employability and sell yourself in the workplace.

Nevertheless, it's important to recognise that the term 'architect' is legally protected and it's probably going to stay that way for a while. There is a grandfather scheme for ATs/engineers/engineering technologist who've practised for over 10 years as architects but I think this has closed for any new graduates. If you read through any book of architects and their biographies, you'll find that there is a significant number who didn't come through a typical architectural education.

Ultimately, your job is going to be how you choose it to be. Work is an excellent firm and you'll be guaranteed some great input.

Regarding DIT, I'm giving it thumbs up despite any problems. Complaining about resources is definitely a great way of getting a class to bond together. The worst university in the US has far superior equipment than DIT has, but this doesn't necessarily produce better architects. A few donations of high spec plotters from any architectural companies wouldn't go unthanked though!

As a final note - DIT is in Dublin city surrounded by Irish architecture. I wanted to study Irish architecture and, looking on, I've no regrets.
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