The faculty at SCI-Arc has identified skill areas and intellectual qualities they believe are essential to a successful education in architecture and design. The following educational goals for the professional Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) and Master of Architecture (M.Arch) degrees reflect these skill areas and intellectual qualities as defined by SCI-Arc. The Student Performance Criteria (SPC) required of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) are another component of these learning objectives.
1. SCI-Arc’s pedagogy emphasizes active engagement with the world at large, and the production of works that matter globally, locally, and within the city and community.
Mechanisms for Delivery
- Studio projects on programming, urban contexts, low-income assistance, and international settings.
- Coursework: exams, papers, and assignments, required in undergraduate humanities and both undergraduate and graduate urban studies courses.
- SCI-Arc public programs.
- SCI-Arc lecture series.
- Student participation in gallery exhibitions, and cooperative exhibitions in various cities, from Los Angeles to Venice, Italy.
- International network of exchange programs with preeminent architectural institutions in countries around the world, including Japan, India, Austria, England, Australia, Mexico, and France.
- Upper-level studios and elective seminars that are taught within a travel format and deployed in economically depressed areas (e.g., Rio de Janeiro, Mumbai, Baja California).
- Schoolwide discussion at Academic Council meetings related to committee activities and responsibilities.
- Student achievement in studio projects and coursework.
- Student participation in public programs, exchange programs, and exhibitions.
- Active involvement by a diverse, professional faculty invited from all over the world to serve on jury reviews, deliver lectures, hold exhibitions, and teach select studios and seminars.
- Undergraduate and graduate Curriculum Committees monitor levels of public engagement in the core requirements, and regularly suggest immediate methods for delivery of engagement rubric.
2. SCI-Arc emphasizes a pedagogy that seeks a synthesis in the education of the architect by employing different modes of thinking across different fields of knowledge.
Mechanisms for Delivery
- Core and advanced-level studio projects.
- Core coursework, exams, papers, and assignments.
- Portfolio requirement.
- Thesis requirement.
- Hybrid and fluid courses, interdisciplinary and inter-university courses.
- Routine subject matter distribution in each semester of the core from the knowledge areas of design studio, applied studies, visual studies, and cultural studies.
- Jury reviews assure student competency in oral and graphic presentation of analytical, critical, and conceptual thinking. Juries are comprised of invited guests uniquely capable of interacting with and evaluating students on the particular subject matter of each studio, due to their demonstrated academic and/or professional competence.
- Ongoing evaluation of coursework both in-class and in Curriculum Committees demonstrates developing skills in writing, drawing, documenting, and producing innovative work in architecture and the city.
- Knowledge areas of applied technological studies, visual studies, and cultural/critical studies are overseen by three program coordinators. These coordinators, through feedback provided by course syllabi, student progress, and evaluations raised by the Curriculum Committees, are responsible for promoting fluidity and synthesis.
- Studio walk-throughs are conducted every semester by the program director, the three program coordinators, and the members of the Curriculum Committees, assuring communication among course materials and concepts both vertically and horizontally. Opportunities for synthesis across each semester’s courses are discussed, strategized, and organized immediately following the walk-through.
- Regular reviews of student portfolios and theses allow for insights into student competency of the synthesis rubric. It is the nature of these assignments to demand argumentation in graphic and written format, and conceptualizations that critically introduce different modes of thinking to normative paradigms. All yearly portfolio and major thesis reviews are followed by public panel discussions of strengths and weaknesses in synthesis.
3. SCI-Arc emphasizes the making of architecture, from conceptual design work to fabrication and construction, including printed and digital matter.
Mechanisms for Delivery
- Courses in professional development and technology are required in both core programs.
- Studio requirements for drawings, renderings, models, conceptual art, short films, animations, clothing, and furniture design in core studios.
- Student participation in gallery and public exhibitions, as well as public programs.
- Constant engagement of individuals with demonstrated expertise in advanced production methods to teach studios and seminars, and participate in jury reviews.
- Thesis requirements for material representations of argument.
- Portfolio requirement for the making of the portfolio book.
- The rubric of making is overseen generally by the Curriculum Committees, and is regularly evaluated by the studio walk-through method, in which material projects are publicly displayed and discussed, and by administrative participation in jury reviews.
- The rubric of making is overseen specifically by the Technology Committee, comprised of the program coordinator of applied studies, design studio, and visual studies instructors, and the shop coordinator. The Technology Committee evaluates technological obsolescence and overuse and makes recommendations for change and availability.
- Portfolio and thesis reviews are regarded as regular opportunities to evaluate student capabilities in making. Public panel discussions following yearly portfolio reviews and major thesis reviews address strengths and weaknesses in the rubric of making.