Gao, Yun and Orr, Kevin (2015) Architectural students' year-out training experience in architectural offices in the UK. arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 19 (2). pp. 175-182. ISSN 1359-1355

This paper investigates architectural students’ ‘year-out’ learning experience in practices after completing RIBA Part I study within a UK university. By interviewing and analysing their reflections on the experience, the study examines how individual architecture students perceive and value their learning experience in architectural offices and how students understand and integrate what they have learned through two distinct elements of their training: one in university and one in practice. The architectural offices that students work with vary in terms of workforce size and projects undertaken. The students’ training experience is not unified. The processes of engaging with concrete situations in real projects may permit students to follow options that most inspire them and to develop their differing expertise, but their development in practice can also be restricted by the vicissitudes of market economics. This study argues that creative design, practical and technical abilities are not separate skill-sets that are developed in the university and in architectural practices respectively. They are linked and united in the learning process required to become a professional architect. The study also suggests that education in the university should do more to prepare students for their training in practice.

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