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Thread: German Architectural Education and 'good day'

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    German Architectural Education and 'good day'

    Good day to you all, and thank you for breathing life into Cyburbia. I have been a visitor for a couple of years now, and return every now and then to see what the topics have changed to. I am currently in the process of deciding whether or not an education in architecture would actually benefit me for practice in Germany. I will be moving there from New York City within the next couple of years, and would appreciate any information anyone may have on the subject. I know of the Technical Universities of both Munich and Berlin, and have done my research, so that much of it, you need not trouble yourselves with.
    I need info on the current situation in regards to architectural practice (outside of Berlin), and just how forward-thinking the German government is about "sustainable design". Any info you choose to relay will be most appreciated. My thanks to you all. Please respond either here or to my email address:
    petrushka@eudoramail.com

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Re: German Architectural Education and 'good day'

    petrushka wrote:
    Good day to you all, and thank you for breathing life into Cyburbia. I have been a visitor for a couple of years now, and return every now and then to see what the topics have changed to. I am currently in the process of deciding whether or not an education in architecture would actually benefit me for practice in Germany.
    Welcome back! (I think I said that already, didn't I?)

    For whatever reason, it seems that when I was still active in maintaining the "architecture side" of Cyburbia, there was far more activity coming from architecture students in Europe as opposed to North America -- I mean more personal sites, more project sites, more student associations, and so on. That's not to say that Europe is necessarily more innovative, but I got the impression that the boundaries of "architectural expression" across the pond seemed to encompass more.

    Think, too -- in the U.S., how many buildings are actually designed by architects? What about Europe? Is the professon more appreciated across the pond?

    I can say that at UB, there were plenty of architecture students from Europe that ettended full-time, not just on exchange programs. Why come to the States, and to Buffalo of all places? Universities in the United States are considered to be far more rigorous in the U.S. as opposed to overseas, and in the eyes of Europeans, supposedly a U.S. degree was looked at in a favorable light, because it was a sign that you definitely didn't slack in school. Supposedly, just taking attendance in class is considered unusual in Europe. (I'm told that a U.S. planning degree is good just about anywhere in the world, except the U.K.)

    I'm not an expert, though, so don't quote me.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  3. #3
         
    Registered
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    I have only spent time in Hungary (six weeks mostly in Szeged) and noticed that there is seems to be a much closer link between the urban "plan" (or LDR's like setbacks, ISR, FAR, etc) than there is here. When you place single family homes directly on the front and an edge lot line it really makes a difference how the house is designed and what it is made of as well. You maximize the usefull area of the yard (by orders of magnitude, it seems to me), however . Most hungarian homes minimize lawns and plant, fruit trees, grape vines and have rather extensive gardens in their yards.

    I also noticed that water towers were individually designed. Sone very interesting (good) but a few were very contrived. I put this down as a result of the communist system of training too many architects and then having to find something for them to do.

    By the way, the US high schook diploma is not held in high regard at least in Hungary. My friend's daughter took her senior year in a US high school (Philly subburb) and was told that she might have to repete the year in hungary before she could get into university. They let her take a test instead.

    So to the end if this ramble. Perhaps architects have mor opportunities in Europe to do different things than in the US.

  4. #4

    Registered
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    Re: Re: German Architectural Education and 'good day'



    Dan,
    Thank you for the welcome. The quality of American education as it relates to the fields of architecture, engineering, and art are exactly what I am concerned about. At my former school, City College of New York (CUNY), I encountered an administrative backed 'segregation' of those three majors-- something I do not believe adequately prepares students for professional practice where artists, engineers, and architects interact on a daily basis. City College is not alone in its mistake-- all others that I have researched follow the same pattern, and leave it up to the firms to do the actual teaching. As a student, this does not put me in a position to be very competitive and angers me because I am paying through the nose for an education that I feel I am not receiving.
    My research has turned up only one school (the actual reason for my relocation from Texas to New York City) that teaches the correct way; The Cooper Union. However, I fear that with the recent death of John Hedjuk (sp?), the School of Architecture's former dean for quite some time, that last bastion of interdisciplinary training may be in danger of falling. In an effort to back my efforts at making a childhood dream a reality, I have decided, as I did as a child, look towards europe.
    What I see is an enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment outside of the norm relatively unknown here in the states with the exclusion of the the work of Paolo Soleri, Frank Gehry, Samuel Mockbee, Santiago Calatrava's new extension to the Milwakee Museum of Art, and a couple of other examples. Also in Europe, there exists government backing of such experimentation as well as laws promoting the design of energy efficient and ecologically sensitive structures-- something U.S. politicians have been reluctant to fully engage for fear of losing political status.
    Truth be told, I have never had the intent of remaining in the states due to how far behind the country lags in issues revolving around education, racism, energy conservation, and ecological sensitivity. Europe has always, and continues to lead the way in all.
    The campus of the Weimar Bauhaus may have been a little ratty, but at least the output of its students relayed a widespread knowledge of other disciplines and a quality that remains today an ideal of worth. I simply refuse to pay to be inadequately trained and, in some respects, discouraged from acquiring the knowledge of related professions. The Cooper, or Europe-- there are no other choices.
    Universities in the United States are considered to be far more rigorous in the U.S. as opposed to overseas, and in the eyes of Europeans, supposedly a U.S. degree was looked at in a favorable light, because it was a sign that you definitely didn't slack in school.
    Dan Tasman wrote: Universities in the United States are considered to be far more rigorous in the U.S. as opposed to overseas, and in the eyes of Europeans, supposedly a U.S. degree was looked at in a favorable light, because it was a sign that you definitely didn't slack in school.

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