Put Em’ To Work! The Lack of Required Construction Apprenticeships

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As a nice follow-up to that last post, here’s an interesting op/ed piece that appeared this weekend in the LA Times, asking why architecture students aren’t usually required to serve apprenticeships in construction. It’s a very interesting question, because it makes you realize that this is one of the only high-profile professions we can think of where you could go about never touching the thing you made. It’s like someone in med school not ever having to visit a patient, even if they go off into research for the rest of their career. Or a tv critic who doesn’t own a television. In the piece, Arrol Gellner not only asks the question, but gets into a little into the behind the scenes too, looking at the few mentors/instructors who have requested that students get involved:

The U.S. system of architectural education (and, in fairness, that of many other nations as well) not only accepts but also reinforces the separation that currently exists between design and building. Over the last century, only a relative handful of architects — best known among them Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri and Christopher Alexander — have advanced the idea that hands-on experience is integral to the competent practice of architecture. Students of Wright’s schools at Taliesin and Taliesin West, for example, were expected to dig ditches, mix concrete and perform myriad other unglamorous chores usually left to tradespeople.