Douglas B. Sydnor / Douglas Sydnor Architect and Associates, Inc. / President & CEO / Bachelor of Archtiecture, Architecture & Environmental Design, 1976 / 05.18.18

Where is design going?

More collaboration on the large and complex architectural commissions.
Prefabrication of components off-site to improve quality, shorten construction schedules, and be cost competitive.
Rediscovering craft.
Retaining sketching and drawing skills.
Virtual reality technologies.

How can design education be more relevant?

Meaningfully involve the local and licensed architectural practitioners.
Mandate that architecture students have an internship in the construction field one summer (2 months?).
Align a student with an architect as a mentor.
Provide individual studio projects that test the skills of each student (not too many teaming exercises)

What are the future skillsets designers need to learn now?

Develop a wide range of skills as they will be required in professional firms; i.e. contracts, technical specifications, project management, producing contract documents, construction administration, verbal and graphic presentations, civic involvement, and more.
Continue to be the integrator and orchestrate the various disciplines in a holistic manner.
Function as a leader that manages the design and construction process.
Remember and respect the basic design determinants as climate, site, program, budget and schedule.

What should a design school do to prepare students for transdisciplinary work?

Early undergraduate years need to develop the individual skills first and long before they tackle the interdisciplinary teams in the later years or as graduate students.
Develop interpersonal social skills of working with others, truly listening and hearing, and following up with ideas suggested by others…it cannot be done only electronically.
Develop consensus-building skills among a group or team, but have an ability to retain the most important concepts in this process…not all ideas are created equally.

What should a design school do to forward equity and inclusion?

School staff and faculty need to structure the programs to encourage inclusion, and be sure that all are involved in a meaningful way and have the opportunities to be heard.
Understand the individual student skills and build upon them where possible, and so they can have an significant impact with the greater group.
Faculty can provide one on one counseling to assist those that may not be feel included, and can suggest techniques and approaches to become more included.

What other thoughts/ideas would you like to share?

It is absolutely imperative that the ASU Architecture program be overseen and managed by a professional licensed architect, as only then will the importance of becoming a licensed/registered architect following graduation be a very high priority and be taken most seriously. Non-architects in this position simply do not and cannot understand the importance of being a licensed architect. Until this architect arrives, the ASU architecture program will not improve.

Douglas B. Sydnor

Douglas Sydnor Architect and Associates, Inc.

President & CEO

Bachelor of Archtiecture, Architecture & Environmental Design, 1976

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