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

iration. Increasingly architects are asked to collaborate with a wide range of professionals as they respond to the increasing complexity and nature of contemporary environmental design challenges using sustainable development theories and practices that address social, environmental and economic dimensions. From the outset, designers are asked to prepare RFPs outlining methodologies and approaches for working effectively and collaboratively with others (stakeholders, communities, users) throughout all phases of the design and delivery process. Simultaneously, the Intern Development Program (IDP) necessary for practice of architecture prominently features collaboration and experience credit development in diverse settings. At a time of increased interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary teamwork during project delivery, learning to collaborate on teams is crucial to the practice of architecture.

Instead of Client Role in Architecture (NAAB 2009-C.3), the proposed C.1 in the NAAB 2014 draft focuses on stakeholder roles in architecture. This change reduces the perception and framing of interaction between architect, client, user, allied design team member into a “stakeholder” role in architecture. The vocabulary used (that of a stakeholder) fails to communicate the need to focus on eliciting and understanding user needs, becoming instead general. As such, this new language reduces and diminishes the impact and accountability that a disconnected architect can have on the lives of those s/he serves.

C.2 2009 NAAB ACCREDITATION CONDITIONS
C.2 Human Behavior: Understanding of the relationship between human behavior, the natural environment and the design of the built environment.

This condition has been completely removed in the 2014 draft. A standard dedicated to human behavior communicates the critical and dynamic interrelationship between architecture and people. Environment-Behavior knowledge is essential to shaping environments that fit
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