Monday, April 11, 2016

WHO NEEDS NOSTRADAMUS? – PREDICTED CPD OUTCOMES PROVEN



One does not have to be the equivalent of Nostradamus to predict the outcome of the current CPD arrangements. Just today, 11 April 2016, for the very first time, I was shown professionally-produced, glossy, smart documents that have been printed by a group that appears to include the Australian Institute of Architects, apparently promoting REAL FLAME – gas-fired fireplaces. This critique has nothing to do with the product. It is about the CPD system.


PRESENTATION

A portion of the material looks like what used to be called a 'Technical Catalogue' that was once given out to architectural practices for their reference libraries. Now this document is labelled 'FORMAL CPD.' One booklet is subtitled 'PRESENTATION;' alarmingly the other twin to this pseudo-'technical catalogue' is subtitled 'EXAM.' This second publication is a printed document that is filled only with a series of 'CPD' questions, each numbered, one per page, complete with a place for ‘ANSWERS,’ all lined carefully in wide spacing in anticipation of the professional response. So CPD does formalise what used to be ordinary technical matters once offered to the offices by salesmen; and it IS AN EXAM! - see: http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/green-gobbledygook-promotes-new.html The surprise is that architects once used to examine the salesmen on their products and their performances! Now the tables have turned. This second glossy document reminds one of a child's colouring-in book, such are its naive inviting voids; but it is less interesting than these children's pastime publications.

EXAM

The ‘PRESENTATION’ publication of this twin-set reads as a PowerPoint introduction to the subject, all ready for the seminar – is it intended to just be read out to the slides? - after which it appears that the second ‘EXAM’ publication will be issued to the attendees of the 'CPD Occasion’ to complete. In order to get the points, 1.5 apparently for this commercial promotion, (who decides on points?), the ‘EXAM’ questions have not only to be all answered, but also checked and signed off by the presenter. One assumes that the points are yours if you get everything right. If not, what happens? Proportional points? Does one have to do 'the course' again? Is there detention involved? Lines to write out? Dare one suggest ‘the cuts’? - see: http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/not-learning-from-experience-denying.html


THE BOOK OF QUESTIONS: QUESTION 1 - ironically, it is not a question!


This is simply a dumbing-down of the profession that should be outraged at this insulting CPD engagement. IT HAS TO CHANGE. These 'FORMAL CPD' publications make what is a grand and ancient profession simply look like a foolish group of kids, amateurs. As there is no recognition of experience, a mature architect is asked to sit an exam beside a recent graduate. CPD needs to do better than this. Both the Board of Architects and the AIA, (what a silly name that matches the American Institute of Architects 'AIA'! - and they were told!!), have to get together to make sure that there is true quality learning in this 'REFUEL' programme if it is to be relevant; that there is substance that seeks out much more than the alarmingly simplistic notion of 'New Knowledge' in commercial technical material. Cringe!! Gosh, does no one in the profession now read anything other than their own words, as Elle Macpherson once boasted? What texts are read by the profession for it to allow CPD to become so trite? Is it really so ignorant? Why allow itself to be treated like this?





The profession needs to protest most vehemently in order to reinstate true quality, meaning and depth into its understanding instead of playing what looks like silly Playschool games: expensive ones too apparently. The industry would be much better advised to produce quality technical publications that are truly informative instead of pandering to the BOAQ and the AIA. Have a look at some of the publications designed by European companies. Glossy space is not always best.


What we are seeing here in these documents is the industry manipulating the current CPD structure, turning it into a commercial opportunity that is cheeky enough to try to make itself more attractive with an extra half point. One could liken it to a media release by a company that journalists can just take and use as 'free and easy' news that cunningly promotes the company. With the 'FORMAL CPD' publications, we have a 'free and easy' seminar that can accrue points while it promotes a company and its products. Why should any company not try to use the rules in this way? It is not the company’s problem. It all has to do with the BOAQ CPD requirements. THERE MUST BE A CHANGE.


CPD - Compulsory Professional Development!

P.S.
14 APRIL 2016
It might seem to be merely a quaintly silly reversal of positions, but having salesmen examine architects is significantly different to an architect’s examination of a salesman. One is quantitative; the other qualitative. The salesman’s exam is seeking to confirm how much of the presentation has been understood and remembered by the architect. The architect’s exam, if questioning a product and its performance can be called this, is seeking to determine the qualities of the product: its functions; its efficiencies; its effectiveness; its durability; and matters of this genre. It is a testing session where the rigours of doubt are juxtaposed against the hype of promotion.

One has to ask: which approach is more responsible ‘in upholding the standard of practice of architects’? It seems clear that the doubting, the testing of the sales blurb, positions the architect in the role expected of the profession, the agent for the client acting in the client’s very best interests. Insisting that architects learn by rote and accept without question all of the material the salesman might choose to offer by way of promotional persuasion, and to see this as important, CPD point-scoring ‘new knowledge,’ seems to be a very dangerous, simplistic, irresponsible strategy. Yet this is what the Board is supporting; and the AIA (Australian) too. CPD, if it is to be relevant, needs to do better than engage in this mindless, moronic quest and test for numbers. It is the ‘compulsory’ interpretation of ‘continuing’ as policed by the Board of Architects of Queensland, that turns the admirable intention of learning into a empty-headed game of avoidance with crafty compliance that does nothing for an architect’s reputation or practice.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

NOT LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE – DENYING THE RIGHT TO BE AN ELDER





Another invitation to a talk promoted by the Australian Green Development Forum has arrived: see below. As usual, it offers the opportunity of 'new knowledge' at a critical time in the year: this is the last month in the CPD calendar (March 2016). This talk could very well be one's last chance to ‘top up’ with a few points, so it might come as a welcome opportunity for some. It is becoming more obvious with each one of the AGDF talks just what my critique of this publicity and the CPD system itself might be, as the pattern of presentation and use of language is all very similar: see - http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/the-problems-of-gaining-knowledge.html and http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/architects-education-cpd-learnings-from.html So I will refrain from analysing these documents that seem to offer a somewhat different vision for the professional. There is a sweetly naive feeling to the whole promotion; something almost idealistic: 'New World order' new knowledge? The harsh world of reality does not appear to have etched its presence into this narrative that still exudes a native, raw and hopeful energy, free of many cynicism. It exudes optimism. Quaintly, the ‘practical experience’ starts with the role of cook for Russell Hall Architects, a position that might challenge the ideas that some could have for women in architecture.



This does bring to mind the matter of experience and CPD generally. While the Architects Act does allow the Board to take experience into the assessment of any re-registration, see: http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/who-or-what-is-architect.html , it has chosen to ignore this, and insist on every registered architect from the recent graduate to the professional with, say, forty year's experience or more, accumulating ten formal CPD points, and ten informal CPD points. These points have some guidelines as to how they can be collected, see - http://www.boaq.qld.gov.au/Content/NavigationMenu/Resources/ContinuingProfessionalDevelopment/Qld_Info_Sheet_1_-_Practising_Architects_and_CPD.pdf , but there is no supervision or any other guidelines on quality set for the presentations, talks, seminars, conventions, or whatever, that one might attend for points. The Board does not accredit anyone who or any group that might claim to be able to offer CPD-point sessions. This failure has apparently allowed anyone to run sessions for which points can be amassed. Just how one rates any presentation - is it one, two or perhaps three points; maybe four? - seems to be an ad hoc and unsupervised situation. There have been occasions where points have been allocated well above what one might guess to be the norm, apparently to make the occasion appear more attractive. Points have become marketing tools in the same way as CPD sessions have become fund-raising or commercial enterprises.




All of this casually loose structure is the basis on which the re-registration of an architect is based, as if the system structured possibilities offering some critical meaning and relevance to the individual, sources of important, transformative ‘new knowledge.’ Little wonder that some architects remain cynical about the whole process that frequently seems to involve sessions that used to be standard technical product presentations provided to the profession, with a snack and a drink to encourage attendance. That these occasions have now been turned into ‘important,’ paid presentations for which one can achieve some necessary points, seems to suggest a strange change in the state of affairs just because of the Board’s CPD requirements. There is something astray in this arrangement.




The AGDF talk presents a special vision. That is fine. One should encourage fellow professionals and learn from them. This idea of encouragement and learning does bring to mind a broader, more fundamental matter: the Board's interpretation of the rules does not recognise those who can inspire and teach in the role of mentor; the position of the elder is overlooked. Mature architects are asked to line up with all others in the profession, to participate in the same note-taking and reporting, as if the whole essence and intent was that of an exam: see – http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/green-gobbledygook-promotes-new.html  The other option is for them to opt out completely if they are unhappy with the exams, or to become classified as a 'non-practising' architect, whatever this might mean other than perhaps 'old, and beyond it': see -  http://voussoirs.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/what-does-non-practising-architect-do.html  This circumstance is denying the one important role in all cultures: the position of the elders; the source of wisdom; the voice of experience. The Board is prohibiting senior professionals from becoming recognised as the elders of the profession, those who can pass on 'old knowledge' if you like to use the same language as the AGDF; past experience and understanding, just by defining its strategy for re-registration so narrowly, by continuing to ignore Division 4, Section 16, part (2) (a) of the Architects Act. It is a demeaning interpretation that fails to reocgnise the importance of quality experience. If the Board is able ot identify the essential 'new knowledge' required by all professionals, then it should start running its own seminars in order to ensure that architects are getting the core message.




Youth might like to race ahead as a pack of enthusiastic know-alls, but the learned, patient saunter of experience and understanding knows better, and can show how errors need not be repeated. It can highlight the pitfalls. Ours is a very complex profession, requiring years of training prior to even get close to the possibility of registration; but still the young architect soon learns how little is really known once the face of practice is revealed and ideals are challenged. It really does take years to gain true proficiency in this ancient profession that is so belittled today. The further insult is that the profession’s own managing Board is creating this offensive situation: the put down of the elders. It a circumstance that can easily be solved by the Board implementing the Act in its full intent.



The Board is treating the profession as a group of children might be handled. One pre-school teacher has corrected me, saying that even children would not be treated in this manner! If the Board is wary of allowing experience to be recognised without any supervision or testing, why not ask those claiming their ‘experience’ as being sufficient or adequate for re-registration, to give a CPD talk, or to prepare a paper, (reviewed by piers), that the Board might then publish as a collected set each year? It would be interesting to see the finances of the Board. The profession pays, but only gets strict supervision and threats from the Board. Why can the Board not begin taking a far more positive stance 'in upholding the standard of practice of architects' instead of only being the policeman? The profession needs much more and better than what it is currently getting now. Gosh, even those who do get audited have to wait months to get a response. Does it really take months to look at a list and send off an E-mail? Just what is the Board doing?


THE E-MAIL

Australian Green Development Forum
Green Speed Learning Forum - CPD Events
cpdevents@agdf.org.au



TICKETS ON SALE!

Green Speed Learning Forum - CPD Event

When: 13 March (Wed) 2016 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM
Where: Theatrette Room - Brisbane Square Library. 266 George St. Brisbane CBD, QLD 4000

Modest approach to a Livable Future

Julie Borgelt - Principal Architect at Borgelt & Craig Architects


This presentation follows a progression of design and sustainable projects and principles that have shaped the philosophies and ideas of the practice. With investigations into livability, sustainability, recycling, flexibility and future ways of living This will highlight award winning sustainable transformation of a family home into a highly functioning Home Studio.

Learning Outcome:
Participants shall:
  • Share architectural experience and knowledge of affordability, flexibility, recycling and ethical sustainable living and working models
  • Obtain new knowledge and able to understand Multi-life potential and adaptability of buildings
  • Utilizing what's on hand on: value of Sustainability and recycling to achieve liveability and treasured space
  • Obtain new knowledge in relation to shared space and resources. ethical- natural- local
  • Improved skills through a better understanding of affordability and the environment performance • Energy and comfort, and the importance of basics – sun, rain wind

Presentation and Interactive Workshop
Presenter: Julie Borgelt - Principal Architect at Borgelt & Craig Architects
Academic Qualifications: Bachelor Of Design Studies, University of Queensland Bachelor of Architecture, University of Queensland
Technical: Architectural Documentation, Specification Writing, Contract Administration -Owner-builder Construction for 2 houses

Practical Expertise: 1986 Russell Hall Architect -student architect / on-site laborer and apprentice carpenter and cook for construction site of Camp Island resort; 1989 Heather Thiedeke junior architect; 1990 Total Concept Interior / senior designer and Project Manager 1991 Russell Hall Architect / architect; 1992 Helen Smith Architect - registered architect; 1993-1995 Elizabeth Watson Brown Architects - senior architect; 1995 - Also Architecture collaboration with Alice Hampson & Sheona Thompson -won National design competition for Muscular Dystrophy Resort; 1996 -formed partnership of Borgelt & Craig Architects with sister, Deborah Craig


Please CLICK HERE to register your seat now!
Please CLICK HERE to download your worksheet for the April 13, 2016 event.

Competency Unit:  DESIGN


REGISTRATION FORM

WED, 13 APR AT 12:30 PM, BRISBANE CBD, QLD

GSLF "Modest approach to a Livable Future" by Julie Borgelt


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GSLF "Modest approach to a Livable Future" by Julie Borgelt

Wed, 13/04/2016 at 12:30 PM - Brisbane CBD, QLD

Event Information

Event Description

Overview:
This presentation follows a progression of design and sustainable projects and principles that have shaped the philosophies and ideas of the practice. With investigations into livability, sustainability, recycling, flexibility and future ways of living This will highlight award winning sustainable transformation of a family home into a highly functioning Home Studio. 
Learning Outcome:
Participants shall: 
  • Share architectural experience and knowledge of affordability, flexibility, recycling and ethical sustainable living and working models
  • Obtain new knowledge and able to understand Multi-life potential and adaptability of buildings
  • Utilizing what's on hand on: value of Sustainability and recycling to achieve liveability and treasured space
  • Obtain new knowledge in relation to shared space and resources. ethical- natural- local
  • Improved skills through a better understanding of affordability and the environment performance • Energy and comfort, and the importance of basics – sun, rain wind
Presentation and Interactive Workshop
Presenter:
 Julie Borgelt - Principal Architect at Borgelt & Craig Architects
Academic Qualifications: Bachelor Of Design Studies, University of Queensland Bachelor of Architecture, University of Queensland
Technical: Architectural Documentation, Specification Writing, Contract Administration -Owner-builder Construction for 2 houses
Practical Expertise: 1986 Russell Hall Architect -student architect / on-site laborer and apprentice carpenter and cook for construction site of Camp Island resort; 1989 Heather Thiedeke junior architect; 1990 Total Concept Interior / senior designer and Project Manager 1991 Russell Hall Architect / architect; 1992 Helen Smith Architect - registered architect; 1993-1995 Elizabeth Watson Brown Architects - senior architect; 1995 - Also Architecture collaboration with Alice Hampson & Sheona Thompson -won National design competition for Muscular Dystrophy Resort; 1996 -formed partnership of Borgelt & Craig Architects with sister, Deborah Craig


Competency Unit:  Design
WHEN
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM (AEST) - Add to Calendar
WHERE
Theatrette Room - Brisbane Square Library 266 George St, Brisbane CBD, QLD 4000, Australia - View Map


THE WORKSHEET
all ready to be filled out!








The sub-text for this daunting Worksheet could read:
Use black ink. Answer each question concisely and to the point. It is suggested that about 50 words be used for each response; no more than 100. Keep all text within the margins. Explanatory notes and further information may be provided in the margins, as asides. Allow yourself fifteen minutes to complete this Worksheet. Write your name at the top and sign it off at the bottom when completed.

For more on things 'green,' see: