1.1. The Contexts, Objectives, Purposes Architecture is one of the key professions involved in shaping the built environment and urban space. Architectural education that prepares architects for a professional life should therefore, be seen, at least in the following contexts and the specific objectives pertaining to them:
1.2. Social, Cultural, Political Contexts Professional, technological, industrial contexts The World: local, global, ecological contexts Academic contexts: including science and knowledge in general. International contexts There are also a number of new contexts such as the increasing internationalization of the building industry, the building professions, and architecture itself, the dominant use of the computer and the Internet, etc. Whatever the detailed dimensions of these contexts, architectural education should have two basic purposes: To produce competent, creative, critically minded and ethical professional designers/builders; To produce professionals who are intellectually mature, ecologically sensitive and socially responsible. As there is no fundamental conflict between these two purposes, schools, programs and courses should aim to achieve both of them through different means and vehicles obviously varying in different geographical and social contexts. As a corollary to the first purpose mentioned, architectural education should also aspire to improve the quality of architectural output in general and architectural practice in particular. In addition to educating well-equipped graduates, this can be done by research (i.e. Constantly expanding architectural knowledge), by setting good examples, by publishing and by fostering contacts with practices. As a corollary to the second purpose mentioned, architectural education should contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of society - both nationally and globally.
1.3. Social, Cultural, Political Contexts Space is by its very nature social, and society is spatial. Architecture therefore exists to serve society primarily by designing and planning its spatial infra- structure. Young architects should be encouraged to assume responsibilities as professionals within society. The basic goal of education is to develop the architect as a “generalist” able to design built form often involving potential contradictions between different requirements, and giving form to society‘s and the individual‘s environmental needs. The architect, by virtue of the education received, is the privileged interlocutor of the various elements of society and the State — from local authorities and decision-makers to promoters, contractors, users and the public. Therefore, architectural students should be made critically aware of the political and financial motivations behind the clients ‘brief and building regulations in order to foster an ethical framework for decision making within the built environment. Architects can be considered as intellectual services ‘providers whose education enables them to synthesize controversial issues, and contradictory forces. Architects and architecture students must have a responsible professional spirit and a comprehension of environmental ethics. They should work for the benefit of society as a whole, and try to carry out strategies that contribute to the overall quality of human settlements. Architecture should be considered as a service, accessible to the whole community. It could act as a mediator of social tensions and should be considered as a resource, one of the instruments which contribute to the balance of society. It is essential to restore the cohesion between architectural production and the development of society in the context of cities. The management of public fabric and its change and development is of particular importance, so that planning policies should also be consistent with the cultural evolution of the population. “Architecture, the quality of buildings, the way they relate to their surroundings, the respect for the natural and built environment as well as collective and individual cultural heritage are matters of public concern.” Architects have some significant responsibility for the health, safety, welfare and cultural interests of the public and for the sustainability of the built environment.
responsibility should be clearly stated in legislation, defining the architect‘s professional responsibility, and should be acknowledged in public education efforts, by using the media, national press, radio and television to achieve a more serious understanding by the public. Conversely, it is important that society is made aware of the various areas of knowledge, skills and competence that the architectural profession could deliver, and for which, architectural education is expected to prepare them. Furthermore, the architect‘s education should enable effective intervention in the numerous fields where construction may not be the sole objective.
1.4. Academic Contexts Architecture is an interdisciplinary field that comprises several major components: humanities, social and physical sciences, technology and the creative arts. “Since architecture is created in a field of tension between reason, emotion and intuition, architectural education should be regarded as the manifestation of the ability to conceptualize, co-ordinate and execute the idea of building rooted in human tradition.” The future of architecture also depends on an understanding and assimilation of the achievements of other disciplines and professions. Although, like other branches of professional education, it is primarily assigned the task of educating future architects, architectural education is, generally, part of the university system and must adjust to and benefit from the traditions of the university, such as doing research and seeing the professional practice within the context of society and science.
1.5. National and International Contexts of Architectural Education As one of the oldest industrial, creative and cultural activities, and as one of the established professions, architecture has always been international and cross- cultural by its very nature. However, there is evidence to suggest that a significant section of the architectural profession and building production is becoming increasingly “multi-national” at quite another level of institutional and cultural complexity. This trend of internationalization is creating both new potential and new, often unprecedented, problems. Traditional professional attitudes are coming face to face with
major political and economic developments and environmental factors. If architectural practice and education are to become more international, that is, be aware of and responsive to, and participate in, the developments and formulations must go beyond traditional definitions and hence the education must take these into account. Mutual recognition of qualifications and education across previously discreet national sovereignties is a new factor that can be fostered to allow wider movement of architects and students. In the increasingly globalizing world, architects should be trained to not only understand, protect and highlight architectural heritage in their countries, but also to understand the contexts, both territorial and cultural, in which they may be called upon to work. In a wider sense, the mobility of persons also covers sometimes large human masses that gravitate to the major urban conglomerations, especially in the developing countries, where uncontrolled development fails to meet the basic needs and rights of a habitable and sustainable spaces. The challenge set by this mobility requires that architects should be trained to respect, analyse and protect the different cultural backgrounds, and accept the social and cultural responsibility of responding to each local context and identity.
1.6. Program Objectives The primary objective of the Program of Architecture is to:
• Train Architects who are capable of practicing in architectural projects
• Impart knowledge and skill in the field of architecture and produce qualified architects to satisfy the manpower needs of the country.
• Advance knowledge in the fields of architecture through research.
• Render all services, considered appropriate and best handled by the Department to the community of the region
• Participate in the study and preservation of the architectural heritage of Ethiopia