Chronicles of architectural internships: Student experiences versus practitioner expectations

    Ang, S.
    Built Environment


Abstract: This paper presents preliminary analysis and data gathered for a master of architecture by
research study which seeks to explore the value of student work experience in architecture. It
describes the theoretical framework upon which internships provide certain technical and professional
knowledge and are regarded as an integral element of professional education. Until the last decade,
internship in the architecture profession has received surprisingly little attention from researchers.
Structural constraints unique to the architectural profession present challenges to how student work
experience/internships can be sustained and it is pertinent to examine its precise relevance for the
future. Vignettes of student learning experiences are presented and discussed against vignettes of
practitioner expectations. The data in this study have been collected using combined methods of semistructured
and open interviews and a qualitative approach to analysis of data. The opportunity to test
the results in the architectural practice experience unit currently offered as a one credit earning elective
for the architecture degree program at Deakin University will be discussed. It expects to prompt
exploration into the potentially potent and broader pedagogical outcomes of a form of work-integrated
learning (WIL) framework for students of built environment professions in the future.


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