Founded in 1834 for "the general advancement of Civil Architecture, and for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of the knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith," the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) aims to continuously evaluate and improve the architecture industry in the United Kingdom.
This year, RIBA has announced a redesign of the core curriculum for UK architects for greater simplicity to ensure that students of architecture possess the most relevant skills and up-to-date knowledge to remain at the forefront of their profession. In the current economic climate, these key skills can help them to stay competent and resilient, and to protect themselves and their businesses, according to Joni Tyler, Head of Policy at RIBA.
"People need new skills for new ways of working, new societal needs, new competencies. The previous curriculum barely made mention of some of these issues and drivers which are now of major importance," Tyler said.
The curriculum was revamped in part in response to a need to simplify at a difficult economic time when time, money, and resources need to be carefully managed. Additionally, the practice of architecture and the face of the construction industry have changed greatly in the last five years. Architecture students will focus on 10 key topics per year, compared to 30 topics over five years previously.
The 10 topics are: being safe: health and safety; climate: sustainable architecture; external management: clients, users, and delivery of services; internal management: professionalism, practice, business and management; compliance: legal, regulatory and statutory framework and processes; building procurement and contracts; constructing it: structural design, construction, technology and engineering; where people live: communities, urban design and planning process; context: the historic environment and its setting; and access for all: universal/inclusive design.
New skills being taken into consideration include: school design; conservation skills for working on heritage buildings; green skills; skills to become access consultants; training for business start ups and managing/marketing the business; project management; and legislation, regulation, and standards.