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Environmental Design Research Association Statement on the Proposed National Architecture Accrediting Board 2014 Conditions for Accreditation
Date:11/1/2013

l differentiators in today’s highly competitive industry. The design research approach clients demand, seen in the healthcare and workplace environments for instance, requires explicit measurement of and participation by building users so that designers understand the impacts of their designs on humans. The 2014 draft omits and drastically reduces several human centered Conditions from the 2009 document that are central to the education of architects as they join the profession in the 21st century, and will impact whether they will become successfully employed or not. These Conditions (see below) are also at the core of what EDRA believes in and advocates. Specifically, EDRA’s concerns are as follows:

REALM A 2009 NAAB ACCREDITATION CONDITIONS
A.5 Investigative Skills: Ability to gather, assess, record, apply, and comparatively evaluate relevant information within architectural coursework and design processes.
A.11 Applied Research: Understanding the role of applied research in determining function, form, and systems and their impact on human conditions and behavior.

REALM A 2014 PROPOSED DRAFT CONDITIONS
A.3 Investigative Skills and Applied Research: Ability to gather, assess, record, and comparatively evaluate relevant information and performance in order to support conclusions related to a specific project or assignment.

Proposed changes to Realm A remove Applied Research as a condition and include the words “applied research” in the title combined with investigative skills. This eliminates a focus on the intricate nature of action oriented human centered design research. The proposed language is also problematic in that it suggests gathering evidence to support a forgone conclusion or design decision rather than deducing a conclusion from evidence and foundational research.
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