That unfortunate reality can only be solved by more overseas lectures on class breaks to places such as Barcelona and Milan where those theories can be explained graphically and I think that students are far more receptive to new ideas when away from the college and the usual student politics.
Excuses, excuses, excuses. . . I totally disagree with you. It is high time we woke ourselves up in this country to some basic realities, and called a spade, a spade. Rather than this 'lets rear our young purely on a diet of broken biscuits' kind of formula. So maybe just allow me to just encapsulate the situation for you.
The unfortunate result of the above point of view, is that many architectural students may have walked around more of Barcelona, Amsterdam and Paris, than they have done of their own city here in Dublin. With no motivation or hunger to try and explore the cities we live/use here in Ireland. Or even try to imagine how they could be improved. Hence, I think why geographers have always managed to win the key positions in planning departments etc - literally because architects show no interest in those areas.
This treatment of our own city as unsuitable for study, is a major stumbling block in my opinion. With the said temptation as I have already pointed out, to treat architecture school just as a place to design 1:100 scale flash presentations of an interpretive centre somewhere on the coast of Mayo or the Aran Islands. Then draw a detailed section of it at 1:20 and almost mandatory 3DS VIZ render. What else can you do, without adequate quality, intensive supporting lecture content in geography, architectural concepts and urbanism?
I mean, I listed out the 'take-away' attitude to supporting subjects in DIT. It was the equivalent of parents saying to their kids, here is a fiver, I am going to the pub and am too lazy to make any dinner, so go around the corner to the chipper instead.
In fact, if you ripped out the guts of the DIT course and examined it, you would probably find that less than 10% of the 'taught' course material was compiled for architects, by architects. That was the price the course really had to pay, for tying itself far too closely to an institution full of carpenters, plumbers and decorators such as Bolton Street.
Yeah, the argument promoted by the Department heads down through the years, has been 'that architects have a broad education'. But after a while you can begin to believe your own marketing bullshit a bit too much. In a similar way, to what DIT uses on its brochures, "Dublin city is our campus". An abomination most likely created by some overpaid PR consultant 20 years ago, and we are all still stuck with.
The truth of the matter, is that DIT just managed to cobble together an architectural course content out of virtually nothing, in very hard times, and that same said course content still had the advantage it happened to be just 'good enough' for youngsters taking the boat to England back in the 1980s. But don't try and sell all of that, to anyone with any intelligence, as 'architects have a broad education'. Since it is like saying that kids who live on chips and burgers have a high nutritional diet.
Architects needed to be technologists, was certainly promoted by the 'I can get a job in London anytime I want' crew so powerful in DIT all through the 1980s and early 1990s - the big rugby club type that is who owned the very first mobile phones. In fairness to the architectural education system here, it was mainly facing itself toward Holyhead, for the past quarter of a century. You have to give it that - in a kind of five nations/the roar of landsdowne road, nine kegs of porter consumption kind of way.
It is a new day now and it is high time we re-visit that. It is more like lattes and cappucinos now, instead of porter. But that idea of Holyhead in architectural education, the smell of stale Guinness, still has managed to linger on, possibly for the sake of the few cronies still left in BS, clinging onto the memories of the emigration era. "We'll change it when they are gone, kind of approach". Despite the fact, that the playing pitch has changed utterly - now I am competing here in Ireland against Italians, French and Germans for the said architectural jobs - and getting my arse booted into oblivion too I might add.
It is Italians, French and Germans, not to mention Fins, British, Spanish and god knows how many Poles or South Africans who are designing the future reality of Ireland's built environment. It is like the world cup for architects out there - except the Irish are the only ones who didn't manage to qualify. Did anyone even tell DIT there is a Tournament? Not to mind, being at the ball park.
DIT architecture course in Bolton Street still to a massive extent, awaits it's Jack Charlton, "We'll put 'em under pressure". Just crank out them funky 'The Edge on electric guitar' rifts man! And bring on those big green inflatable shamrocks!
How many entries by established Irish practices were there for the Carlisle Pier competition? I don't even mean winning entries, just a spirited challenge might even do. You would imagine, that of all the old nags we have quietly munching away through bags of oates in stables, we could at least have put out one good horse for the race. Imagine it has taken a two person firm from New York city, to come back here to make us wake up even slightly. Thankyou H/P for the Carlisle pier entry!
Brian O' Hanlon.