What would Vitruvius Do? Re-Thinking Architecture Education for the 21st Century University

  • Winifred E Newman Florida International University
  • Shahin Vassigh Florida International University
Keywords: Architecture epistemology, pedagogy, education, design thinking


In the 1996 AIA Convention in Minneapolis, the governing bodies in the education and professionalization of architects; namely, the AIA, AIAS, NCARB, NAAB and the ACSI released the Boyer Report, subsequently published as Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice. The report was named in honor of Ernest Boyer, an educational theorist who also participated in writing the text. Less comprehensive than the canonical texts by Vitruvius and his interlocutors, it is nonetheless a mirror of our current assumptions about the education of the architect. This paper looks at the epistemology inherited from Vitruvius as it shapes pedagogy up and through the Boyer Report and into the twenty-first century. The basis of our argument is that historical divisions between professional or applied knowledge and liberal, or theoretical knowledge inherited from the past limit our capacity within architecture education to integrate new strategies for knowledge creation and dissemination. We conclude that considering architecture education also means reconsidering the basis of architecture knowledge. What of the (persistent) Vitruvian model is relevant in ourpost-modern condition? What do we learn from the image of our profession projected through the lens of the Boyer Report and it's like? In other words, what would Vitruvius do?
How to Cite
Newman, W., & Vassigh, S. (2014). What would Vitruvius Do? Re-Thinking Architecture Education for the 21st Century University. ARCC Conference Repository. https://doi.org/10.17831/rep:arcc%y252