From Benchtop to Bedside: Exchanging Research Lessons Learned in an Undergraduate Program

Dec 01, 2008

This study evaluates undergraduate research in architectural education with specific attention to those opportunities which link education and practice. Over the last ten years, significant transformative efforts have been made in undergraduate education to integrate research. The question arises: ‘How is this national initiative appropriate to the early education of architects?’ While many architecture programs across the United States provide undergraduate research opportunities in various forms, the underlying implications of the role of research in the education and career development of an architect have remained largely undocumented. Ultimately, this project probes the question of how architecture research in undergraduate education could be developed through the exploratory testing of a conceptual model based around the mechanism of linking academia and practice to promote a reciprocal knowledge production and exchange. This report summarizes the benefits and challenges of instituting such a model, in the form of the ‘Preceptorship Program’, by examining data collected from a pilot study semester and comparing it with existing research programs in architectural education, and situating these results in the context of research in practice and in accredited programs in the United States.

Meredith Banasiak (University of Colorado, Denver)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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