The gap between finalising an assignment and presenting a project to the ‘real world’ can be intimidating for students and requires a rethink of academic objectives in light of larger professional and community priorities. Students in the Master of Architecture program recently had their first exposure to professional practice through the aptly titled program, Dare to Pitch.
Armed with a three-minute ‘pecha kucha’ style presentation, around 200 Masters students swarmed out in small groups to visit the offices of architecture practices across Sydney. Their hosts included architectural practices Crone, COX, fjmt, Jacobs, Architectus, Lacoste + Stevenson, TZG, and others as well as real estate investment group Mirvac. In front of a room of industry professionals, the students presented their projects, explaining their ideas, approaches and innovations and how these could address current problems or open up new opportunities for the built environment.
Dr Rizal Muslimin, Coordinator of the Digital Architecture Ressearch Studio believes that “presenting their work to industry experts off-campus was a good experience for students,” and he got the sense that “the encouraging feedback and the engaging discussions gave the students more confidence that what they are producing is relevant and of the standard expected by the industry.”
Professor Duanfang Lu highlighted that there are equally benefits for the host practices: “We had two of the senior architects of Jacobs give constructive and well-articulated feedback, commenting that they appreciated the opportunity to see a range of fresh ideas from students.”
On the behalf of architectus, I’d like to thank the students for sharing an interesting, creative and intelligent range of thinking and work at the recent presentations.
This event forms part of what Master of Architecture Program Director Sandra Löschke hopes will become a broader professional engagement initiative. “I hope students will learn how to articulate the central ideas and benefits of their projects and explain how they contribute to the solution of real world problems,” Sandra Löschke explains. “I want them to have the chance to present in non-familiar contexts and to gain confidence in pitching their ideas to large, non-academic audiences. And, of course, it's also an opportunity for them to make contact with potential future employers.”