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We're always curious to see the DesignIntelligence lists of top architecture and design programs in the U.S. While the methodology is imperfect--pretty much ignoring all the amazing smaller architecture programs out there--these lists do give us a snapshot of which big-name programs are doing a good job of preparing their architecture and design students for the "real world."
Architecture and design are practical professions, so being prepared for professional life has always been essential. In the depths of a grueling recession, though, these rankings have even more weight: for a recent graduate, being ready to design real buildings on day one could easily make the difference between employment and unemployment.
We've said it before: green building is just about the only kind of building happening right now. In an abysmal job market, design program grads ought to be able to say they are up to date on holistic sustainable design principles and best practices.
So we were proud to see that 80% of the programs listed by DesignIntelligence are campus-wide subscribers to BuildingGreen. Five of the six programs listed as strongest in sustainable design practices are also campus-wide subscribers (the sixth, Auburn University, subscribes to the print version of EBN).
We first started offering campus-wide subscriptions because professionals who also taught wanted to share BuildingGreen with students and the wider campus community. This subscription gives everyone on campus--from design students to sustainability directors to facility managers--unlimited access to Environmental Building News, GreenSpec, and the high-performance buildings database.
"While many practitioners admire theory courses, they feel students need heavier doses of reality," writes James P. Cramer in his Architectural Record article about the DesignIntelligence lists. So we have some questions for you.
If you teach sustainable design, how do you "keep it real" for your students so they will be prepared for the jobs that (hopefully) await them after they finish their degrees?
If you are a sustainable design or building professional, what gaps would you like to see filled in the education or experience of interns fresh out of design school?
And finally, what can BuildingGreen do to help close the gaps between design school and professional life? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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