Three Architecture Programs to Receive 2012 NCARB Awards Totaling $75,000

Winning Proposals Will Challenge Conventional Teaching Pedagogy and Create New Curricular Models for Design Studios

Austin, TX—Architecture programs at three U.S. universities will receive NCARB Awards to develop and implement innovative initiatives that integrate practice and education. The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) today announced the 2012 NCARB Award recipients at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Administrators Conference.

The NCARB Award supports initiatives that will have a long-term impact on students, faculty, and curriculum. It is designed to help schools implement new programs that merge practice and education in a classroom, seminar, or studio setting. To be eligible, schools must be located in an NCARB Member Board jurisdiction with a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) or a program that is a candidate for NAAB accreditation.

This year, NCARB limited the total number of awards to allow for potentially larger individual award amounts than in the past. "As a result, not only did we receive a record number of proposals—47 in total, from 42 schools—but the caliber, scope, and degree of innovation in these proposals was truly groundbreaking and exceptional," said Michael J. Armstrong, NCARB CEO. "NCARB is proud to support initiatives that will advance architectural education and prepare students to handle the demands of practice today and beyond."

2012 NCARB Award Recipients

Program: Auburn University, School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture – Auburn, AL
Proposal: "Studio: Urban Healthcare"
Total Award: $20,000

Through a series of workshops in the required fourth year comprehensive studio, practitioners with specialized expertise in healthcare architecture will provide critique and direction to students as they design a small urban hospital. Students will focus on practice areas not traditionally found in studio courses, including project budget management, marketing and communications, and contract negotiations. By modeling the ongoing collaborative nature of practice, the proposal also addresses financial and management considerations, especially as these are driven by construction and consultant fees, codes, structure, and energy performance. The project has the potential to serve as a model for other schools looking to incorporate specialty knowledge into their curriculum.

Program: Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) – Savannah, GA
Proposal: "Disentanglement and Gates: An Interactive Game of Architecture Practice"
Total Award: $40,000

The project proposes to develop interactive games to simulate practice environments, placing students in architects’ roles to face critical issues and make real-time judgment calls and decisions. Collaborative and competitive aspects will allow students to interact with architects and further simulate practice settings by factoring in issues such as multidisciplinary teams, time management, client relations, and economic factors. Using the concepts of entanglement and gating, the games will simulate conditions that students currently experience only hypothetically through textbooks or case studies. Uniquely suited to today’s millennial generation, this has the potential to revolutionize architecture education by making a range of subjects more accessible and by preparing students to respond more effectively to practical issues when they enter the profession.

Program: University of Southern California (USC) School of Architecture – Los Angeles, CA
Proposal: "Performance as a Design Driver: Creating a Framework to Integrate Practitioner Knowledge in the Design Studio"
Total Award: $15,000

This proposal asks students to address the often complicated and intricate relationship between design ambitions and project performance requirements that practicing professionals are faced with on a daily basis. Seven local firms and approximately 20 practitioners will be engaged to help develop a framework for integrating professional knowledge and expertise into design studios. Synthesizing a broad range of evaluation techniques and performance indicators used in practice, students will face the real-life trade-offs and compromises that arise out of managing a comprehensive range of building performance issues. This new curricular model will be piloted in four USC graduate design studios, and will form the basis of published guidelines for future studio curricula.

Honorable Mentions:

The NCARB Award Jury also recognized three additional programs for proposals that innovatively addressed development of specialty knowledge and challenged existing educational models.

Program: University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design & Planning – Lawrence, KS
Proposal: "Integrating Specialized Knowledge in Architectural Curricula"

This proposal’s primary goal is to establish a model for bringing specialized practice knowledge into the academic setting. Practitioners will teach design and practice issues through on-site lectures, web-conference presentations and interactions with students during a one-month "visiting scholar" studio. Specialized knowledge lectures and teaching materials will be made public and accessible to the NAAB network of accredited architectural programs via a web portal.

Program: University of Minnesota, School of Architecture – Minneapolis, MN
Proposal: "A Model for Licensure Upon Graduation: An Advanced Degree in Research Practice"

The program aims to create a repeatable model that offers a streamlined path towards licensure while also building research practice experience. It extends learning beyond the campus-based practice courses into an internship that integrates education, practice and research. Supporting the integrated internship will be a consortium of firms that helps identify pressing research needs in the profession. The program supports student fulfillment of IDP requirements and creates a mutually beneficial research program that bridges the academy and practice.

Program: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), School of Architecture – Las Vegas, NV
Proposal: "The New School, Interdisciplinary Research & Design Investigation of the Contemporary Learning Environment"

This interdisciplinary project with the School of Architecture and the College of Education proposes to investigate the contemporary learning environment and the factors impacting it over the next decade. Non-faculty practitioners with specialty expertise in education facilities design will conduct a majority of class sessions in recurring symposia/roundtable format and will also be involved in a companion research studio. The project offers a replicable model for interdisciplinary collaboration, and integration of specialized practical expertise.

The 2012 NCARB Award Jury

The 2012 NCARB Award Jury rigorously and impartially evaluated proposals against a published set of criteria. The jury was comprised of seven architects who volunteered extensive time and expertise to fulfill their charge. Led by Daniel D. Bennett, FAIA, chair of the 2012 NCARB Award Jury, members of the jury included: Michael J. Andrejasich, AIA, Champaign, IL; David M. Biagi, NCARB, Lexington, KY; James R. Boyd, AIA, Charlottesville, VA; Chris E. Brasier, FAIA, Raleigh, NC; Creed W. Brierre, FAIA, NCARB, New Orleans, LA; Denis A. Henmi, FAIA, NCARB, San Francisco, CA. Award Jury members with any connection or potential conflict of interest abstained from voting on that school’s proposal.

NCARB Support of Architectural Education

Since 2001, the Council has supported the integration of practice and education by awarding nearly $800,000 to schools through the NCARB Prize (2001-2011) and the NCARB Award (2006-present; known as the NCARB Grant until 2012). These funds have reached 56 schools—representing more than a third of all NAAB-accredited degree programs.

Note: This news clip was modified on November 16.



The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.