The Boyer Report

Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice -- commonly called "The Boyer Report" in honor of Ernest Boyer, a leading educational thinker who authored much of the text.  The Boyer Report was commissioned by the collateral architecture organizations AIA, AIAS, NCARB, NAAB, and ACSI as an independent study into the profession of architecture. Carnegie Senior Fellow Lee Mitgang co-authored the document with Boyer and presented it to the profession.  The final document was formally released at the 1996 AIA Convention in Minneapolis and is structured around the following seven essential goals.

1. An Enriched Mission:

"We recommend that schools of architecture should embrace, as their primary objectives, the education of future practitioners trained and dedicated to promoting the value of beauty in our society; the rebirth and preservation of our cities; the need to build for human needs and happiness; and the creation of a healthier, more environmentally sustainable architecture that respects precious resources."

"...[W]e urge schools of architecture to prepare future practitioners capable not only of creating beauty, but also able to communicate, clearly and convincingly, its value to the public."

"The curricula and design sequences at architecture schools should...[include] more frequent contact with clients and communities by placing more emphasis on 'environment-behavior' studies."

"...[A]rchitecture schools should prepare graduates to apply their design knowledge to preservation and renovation as much as the creation of 'newness'."

"The profession, schools, and students should expand their knowledge, for example, of energy, the use of renewable resources, the recycling process, the use of carcinogenic materials, and the safe disposal of waste."

2. Diversity With Dignity.

"We imagine a landscape of architecture programs in which the multiple missions of schools are celebrated, and the varied talents of architecture faculty are supported and rewarded in a scholarly climate that encourages excellence in research, teaching, the application of knowledge, and the integration of learning."

"...[T]he diversity of philosophy and content of the nation's schools of architecture is a strength that ought to be preserved."

"Based on our classroom observations, we concluded that many faculty, both beginners and veterans, could use help with teaching skills."

"...[T]he national architecture groups and their affiliates (should) promote conferences that improve the dialogue and understanding among practicing architects, teachers, and university administrators about the special goals and strengths of architecture education."

3. Standards Without Standardization.

"Such standards would affirm the rich diversity among architecture programs, establish a more coherent set of expectations at all schools that would support professional preparation, and bring into closer harmony the scholarly activities of students and faculty."

"...[M]any programs lack integration and leave inadequate time for electives or liberal studies."

"Writing skills were cited as a weakness by majorities of administrators, faculty and alumni, and a majority of faculty, students, administrators and alumni disagreed that their schools were effectively preparing students for opportunities involving non-Western and developing nations."

"...[W]e recommend that the written products of the accreditation process be more broadly and publicly distributed. In particular, the accrediting board should make available, in compact booklet form, a list of the fifty-three criteria for distribution to every student during freshman orientation at
all schools of architecture."

4. A Connected Curriculum.

"A connected curriculum would encourage the integration, application and discovery of knowledge within and outside the architecture discipline, while effectively making the connections between architectural knowledge and the changing needs of the profession, clients, communities and society as a whole."

"The need for a liberal architecture curriculum is particularly urgent for students who begin their professional programs directly from high school."

"Making the connections, both within the architecture curriculum and between architecture and other disciplines on campus, is, we believe, the single most important challenge confronting architectural programs."

"There must always be occasions, especially at the beginning of the professional program, when students can simply discover and dwell on the art of architecture, freed from the constraints of budgets, codes, or clients."

...[A]ll graduates should be required to pull together, in a single piece of design work, what they have learned in the professional degree program and express their design concepts clearly--orally, in writing, and in two- and three-dimensional representations."

5. Climate for Learning.

"Each school of architecture should actively seek to establish a supportive climate for learning--where faculty, administrators, and students understand and share common learning goals in a school environment that is open, just communicative and caring."

"We recommend that alternative approaches to evaluation of design projects be more vigorously explored."

"...[W]e are concerned that life for many architecture students is socially isolated and exhausting, and leaves little time for any but the most determined students to explore the connections between architecture and other fields of study."

"Students repeatedly complained to us about inadequate career support and academic counseling. Fewer that 15 percent of students 'strongly agreed' that they could get good counseling at their school...."

6. A Unified Profession.

"The priorities for sustained action between the academy and the profession should include strengthening the educational experience of students during school, creating a more satisfying system of internship after graduation, and extending learning throughout professional life."

"We propose that [practicing architects] be made an even greater part of classroom and studio life, and in discussions about the priorities of the curriculum itself."

"...[W]e recommend that firms regularly invite faculty and administrators to spend time in offices to exchange ideas and to help educators and practitioners keep abreast of the realities of practice and academic life."

"We recommend...that schools, practitioners, and local and national architectural organizations collaborate to increase the availability, information and incentives for students to gain work experience during school. And we urge that the monitoring of those internships for their educational value be improved."

"...[W]e are not proposing that all schools require work experience for graduation."

7. Service to the Nation.

"To realize this last goal for renewal, schools should help increase the storehouse of new knowledge to build spaces that enrich communities, prepare architects to communicate more effectively the value of their knowledge and their craft to society, and practice their profession at all times with the highest ethical standards."

"Students and faculty alike should regard civic activism as an essential part of scholarship."

"For students to recognize the professional and ethical importance of civic engagement in their own lives, such behavior ought to govern the day-to-day conduct of each faculty member and the school as a whole."

"Schools...must place far greater priority in preparing graduates to be effective and empathetic communicators, able to advocate with clarity for the beauty, utility, and ecological soundness of the built environment."