The paper by Frank Weiner, associate architecture professor in the School of Architecture + Design of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, that won the first place European Association for Architectural Education prize in Dublin, Ireland, last March—“Five Critical Horizons for Architectural Educators in an Age of Distraction”—has recently been translated into Turkish and Czech for two international architecture publications.
Mimarlik, the scholarly journal of architects published by the Chamber of Architects of Turkey, translated Weiner’s paper and published it in its entirety in nine pages of its Jan/Feb 2006 issue, vol. 327. Czech architectural magazine ERA21 printed an excerpt of the paper on the horizon of teaching and made it the lead editorial for its recent issue devoted to architectural education.
Weiner’s paper identifies five contemporary societal forces that significantly impact the context of architectural education today—accountability, sustainability, the global economy, information technology, and the politics of transparency. These forces, or 'fundamental distractions,' are in turn countered by developing a set of five horizons—teaching, history/theory/criticism, philosophy, literature, and sensibility. Each of the five horizons offers a broad platform from which to critically view the challenges that face architectural educators as they collectively seek future directions.
Frank Weiner received his graduate degree from Columbia University and his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University. At Columbia, he studied under and assisted Professor Kenneth Frampton, an internationally known architectural historian and critic. Weiner has been at Virginia Tech since 1987 and served as the head of the then Department of Architecture from 1997 to 2003, co-chair of the graduate program in architecture from 1996 to 1997, and founding interim director of the School of Architecture + Design in 2003. His published research is on architectural education and the relationship of architecture and philosophy.
The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest of its type in the nation. The college is composed of two schools and the departments of landscape architecture, building construction, and art and art history. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design and interior design. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The college enrolls more than 2,000 students offering 22 degrees programs taught by 160 faculty members.