Architecture schools do already have a way of educating students to become good designers and we have a way to evaluate how well they do that. But design can and should be also about research.
The architectural culture has not had a robust tradition around research, which means that much of the research that goes on in offices for projects rarely gets tested, generalized, and shared.
Research is central to what makes an architecture school have an academic purpose and clarity beyond teaching the tricks of the trade.
The architecture culture has framed success in terms of individual design contributions rather than in terms of who does the best discovery and communication of new knowledge.
Architecture is a global and complex discipline in so many ways, and so should be their education system. Architecture schools need to do a better job defining how their students should be evaluated and have a better understanding of the discipline in the current panorama. Contemporary architecture schools maintain many of the core ideas of the Beaux Arts method. If we dismantle the rigid hierarchy and need for competition and recreate the informal café style of architectural discussion and innovation in contemporary architecture schools, then they would become better environments for learning and designing.
Students often lack the requisite understanding. Architecture schools do not train students about these complex issues, about the interlocking complexities of human and social behaviour, about the behavioural sciences and technology. There is little or no training in science, the scientific method, and experimental design.
Today's architects are poorly trained to meet the today's demands: We need a new form of architecture education, one with more rigor, more science, and more attention to the social and behavioural sciences and to modern technology. But we cannot copy the existing courses from those disciplines: we need to establish new ones that are appropriate to the unique requirements of the applied requirements of architecture.
But beware: We must not lose the wonderful, delightful components of architecture. The artistic side of architecture is critical: to provide objects, interactions and services that delight as well as inform, that are joyful. Architects do need to know more about science and engineering, but without becoming scientists or engineers. We must not lose the special talents of architects to make our lives more pleasurable.
We need to search beyond and ask ourselves what value do architects possess when they draw lessons from other vocations? How do differing paths and origins influence the work of architects today? How does architectural training prepare people for other disciplines, and what skills are transferable?