The Importance of Entrepreneurship in Architectural Education Today

I remember back in my university days we had a course called EDS, Entrepreneurial Development Studies, and as the name implies it was a course that sought to help us young undergraduates tap into our innate business mind and harness idea and opportunities.

Then it was touted as the first of its kind in the Nigerian Higher Education curriculum and I must admit, it did have an effect in my world view and paradigm today. However, it never really merged with my major course of study which was architecture. It was a totally separate course that really had no academic relationship whatsoever, EDS was EDS, Design Studio was Design Studio. Looking back now, I think that was a missed opportunity.

Today, more than ever, there is a need for some form of entrepreneurial development tailored to architecture and the practice therein as most schools of architecture really don’t prepare one for the real world challenges of practicing. You really don’t get an insight into running a practice or even being an effective part of a practice. There is an apparent gap in architectural education and architectural practice that needs to be filled as quickly as possible, most especially when one considers the volatile global economy and emergence of a plethora of new technology.

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Architect and environmental journalist Lidija Grozdanic, writes,

There is a reason why the term “architecture” is no longer only associated with designing and building physical spaces. The architecture of applications, websites, software and networks all illustrate the manifold nature of what it means to practice architecture today.

Architecture has broadened as a field, merging various disciplines, technologies and products. This expansion requires a new educational model to teach students how to innovate and compete in an industry that is increasingly outward facing.

When we say there is a gap between academia and practice, we don’t only mean that architecture schools are failing to prepare students for entering the workforce. The bigger problem seems to be that, while schools may teach students to be innovative in terms of design, there is an overwhelming lack of similarly pioneering content for the business side of architecture.

Click here to read the rest of her arcticle on archipreneur.

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