Design students in Canada are taking a more holistic approach to the way they learn, while those in the U.S. are moving away from the traditional curriculum to focus more on digital skills, as the Canadian Institute of Design takes the helm.
According to the institute, there are more than 3,000 students enrolled in the school’s architecture program.
With an estimated $1.3 billion in revenue annually, it is the world’s largest architecture school.
While many architects in the West rely on traditional design curriculum, the Canadian program emphasizes digital skills in order to enhance their learning and prepare them for careers in design.
“Architects are becoming more digital-driven.
They’re increasingly using their design skills in a more agile way,” said John Fennell, president of the Canadian Architecture Schools Association.”
They’re now really focusing on how they learn through design, and they’re not necessarily in the traditional classroom or the traditional design program,” he said.”
The whole architecture design school in Canada is going digital, and that’s really going to be a really exciting development for the profession,” said Fennill.
The Canadian Institute for Design (CID) is one of several institutions taking the lead on this trend, joining other institutions such as the Ontario Institute of Technology and the University of British Columbia.
The institute, which offers a bachelor of science in architecture, is a major player in Canada’s design industry, but also in the United States.
“Our primary mission is to build architecture for the 21st century,” said Mark Jankowski, the institute’s president and chief executive officer.
“We’re focused on making architecture the best in the world.
The curriculum is going to change.”
In the U, the design curriculum has been shifting to a more hands-on approach.
“We are focused on digital education for students,” said Peter Hynes, the president and CEO of the American Institute of Architects.
“I think that there are many other organizations that are looking to do the same.”
A new design school is also taking shape in the Canadian provinces.
At the University de Montréal, students are learning in a digital format, including digital fabrication.
And in Quebec, the Faculty of Architecture has been developing a digital design school.
“What’s happening in Canada and the United Kingdom is a real paradigm shift for architecture,” said Robert Gifford, the dean of the architecture program at the University at Buffalo.
Gifford said he believes it’s a trend that will continue in the years to come.
“In a very short period of time, this new technology is going a long way in improving education and creating opportunities for students to become better architects and designers,” he told ABC News.
“When you look at architecture as a career, and you look in a broader context, you can see that the profession is very important,” Giffords said.
Architectural schools around the world, including Canada, are looking at the same model and seeing parallels to the American design school model, he said, but with more emphasis on digital learning.
“It’s a way to keep students engaged,” he added.
“They can get involved in an architectural project or in a design project.”
But the change in curriculum is also bringing about an overhaul of the landscape for architecture in the country.
Archaeologists are not the only ones taking the digital plunge.
The University of Toronto is planning a new architectural curriculum that is focused on computer skills, and is already starting to take students to the design studios.
“This new architecture school is part of our larger effort to create a more digital learning environment for our students,” the school said in a statement.
Archivist Dan Haines said he is thrilled that students are using technology to enhance learning.
The new digital architecture school at the university has been an amazing experience, he told CBC News.
Haines, who teaches a bachelor’s degree in archaeology, said he’s also noticed that students who take the course are also taking it to the university campus, as well as online.
“I feel like this is really going in the right direction,” he explained.
“If we can educate students in a very different way, we can create a better environment for students.”
Hainess said he hopes the new program will lead to a shift in the way architecture is taught in the classroom, as students are no longer being taught in traditional classrooms, but rather digitally.
“A lot of the information that they’re learning now in this program is actually available in digital format,” he noted.
“That’s really good for students and for teachers, because students are not really taught in those traditional ways.”
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