#Architalks #Experience cc @RIAIonline

This post is part of the ArchiTalks series where a group of us (architects who also blog) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. The Topic ‘Leader’ for this post ‘Experience’ is Lora Teagarden:

The way I treat these tricky posts is to start with the basics – Googling ‘What is…’ and in this post ‘Experience’.

Wikipedia has this starting point for ‘Experience’:

Experience is the knowledge or mastery of an event or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.

The question therefore is how this applies to the field and study of Architecture.

I remember well the baptism of fire that was leaving University after three years and starting in my first architectural job. I felt that I had learnt more at the end of that year of work than I had in the entire college duration. This was probably partly true but I feel that it is the combination of academic learning with the practical experience that forms the well-rounded architect in the end.

What’s interesting is that you can qualify as an architect on an ‘Experience’ route. I have mentored a potential student on this route (and also one on the ‘Qualification in Architecture and Experience Assessment’ route. The RIAI calls this ‘Route F: The Register Admission Examination’ and to pursue this route you must:

• Have at least 7 years’ practical experience performing duties commensurate with those of an architect in the State (this does not mean that duties had to be carried out within the State, rather the duties have to have been commensurate with those of an architect in the State);
• Be at least 35 years of age;
• Have passed a prescribed register admission examination.

There is currently one Prescribed Register Admission Examination available, this is provided by ARAE Ltd.

So although it looks like the route is ‘Experience’ only, the ARAE provides ‘The examination [as] an opportunity for experienced practitioners to formalise their professional standing.’

You can read more about the ARAE Examination process HERE and again what’s interesting is that this route is definitely not easy:

If you look at Stage 2:

“This Stage comprises four written examinations in the subject areas of Critical Analysis, Structure & Technology, Environment & Performance and History & Culture. In addition, there is a five-day Design Project.”

With the following caveat:

“ARAE is challenging for both examinees and assessors … It asks them to step out of their comfort zone…. There is a shift away from the focus on product to an emphasis on process and method…”. ARAE 2011 Assessor.”

A an architect who took the traditional ‘University + Practical Experience’ route, I wouldn’t have wanted the ‘Experience’ route to be seen as too easy, nor would I want it to be so hard that it was impossible. Instead I feel that the RIAI have sone their upmost to provide a set of fair but challenging and different routes to reach the same goal.

Click on the links below to see how the other ‘ArchiTalkers’ have interpreted this theme:

Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
experience comes from experiences

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
Gaining Experience As A Young Architect

Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
knowledge is not experience

Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
That’s Experience — A Wise Investment

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)

Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
You need it to get it

Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Channeling Experience: Storytelling in the Spaces We Design

Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
The GC Experience

Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)

Leah Alissa Bayer – Stoytelling LAB (@leahalissa)
Four Years In: All Experiences Are Not Created Equal (Nor Should They Be)

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