Hi Ian, I'm back with questions..
It's a thought that has bothered me for quite a while:
What exactly is the assessment criteria in our studios (or our school, in general) if given a choice between talent & hardwork?
Apparently four kinds of students (or more) can be found in the studios;
1. talented & hardworking
2. talented & less hardworking
3. less talented & hardworking
4. less talented & less hardworking
We all know how to grade the (1) and (4), quite naturally..
Now, how about the (2) & (3)? I believe by looking at how they are graded comparatively, we'll be able to understand what the faculty's agenda really is..
From my point of view, however, there's not one perceivable, strong guideline that the tutors follow in assessing the students or their work.
I believe there has been quite some disatisfaction and wonder among the students.
So ,what does the SABD want to do? Don't tell me it's all about $$
What's the SABD's identity? Certainly not Sketchup-ish or such..
What kind of architects does the SABD really want to give to the industry/society?
In fact, I've seen some cases whereby one's graded high because of the obvious [stable & consistant progress], while the final work outcome does not show as much quality and content compared to those of the [more talented,less hardwork done, but quality outcome] students, which at times are graded lowly.
On the opposite end, what about those (if any) who worked their head off alone, without once consulting the tutor because the tutor always tells them to "do whatever you want" or gives some unhelpful advice (which indeed happens), and finally come out with good designs/work by themselves, but still get undergraded for the lack of perceivable step-by-step hardwork?
I personally believe hardwork is more important than talent and that everyone's ability will always improve if effort's made; but hardwork itself does not equal to ability, hardwork does not promise quality and excellence as much as ability.
Does the school want to produce architects that is able to make things right? Or architects that work hard but still not yet able to make things right? I thought we're always reminded to work clever first, then work hard..
Besides, it's stated in all SABD student handbooks that an 'A+' is granted for [Exceptional quality of work...bla bla... It may also be given to acknowledge originality in work.....bla bla....]. Does it not express that appreciation we should have towards individual talents?
Grading systems are imperfect and they don't always reflect one's accurate level of standing but grades, undoubtedly, encourage/discourage people. Why shouldn't we be more willing to encourage the talented by grading them more properly?
Is the grade given by external crits actually fairer than grade given by studio tutors, then, in an objective sense?
The Integrated Policy, Is It There?
The absense of clear agenda/vision in the SABD is also quite troubling. Just look at the common difficulty to cope with the non-conherence in tutors' expectations because each of them are So different! Sometimes there's no mutual agreement between some tutors and their respective units! Didn't mean it's bad to have unique characters, as a matter of fact tutors should have their individuality.. to enlighten us. But I wonder is there anything that binds the tutors and the whole studio together? It seems lacking.. where's the architectural policy of the school?
I believe it's better if the school holds one unified, consistent set of architectural policy and it be complied by every faculty staffs. By that, the SABD should be able to always develop upon itself rather than standing still, architecturally.
I'm not an academic, and I'm not at all familiar with architectural education despite my involvement in an arch.learning research quite some time ago.
Just voicing out an honest opinion that I hope the tutors would contemplate on, and hopefully the school gets a glimpse of it.
Being a Malaysian private institution is not an excuse, I don't care what Taylor's Education Group thinks, but the SABD should be a little bit more autonomous in spirit, a responsible attitude to architectural education..
Last but not least..
I hope to get not just Ian's personal view on the matter, but also what the school is all about, if you can answer me..
Thank you very much for the time ~!
**editted on 14JUL, 2.59pm. in Blue.