This just in from FOPA (friend of Portland Architecture) Matt Janssen: Although the effort has been in the works on and off for years, this coming weekend, Portland State University kick starts the process of becoming only the second accredited architectural program in the state of Oregon. The National Architectural Accrediting Board is sending a team to begin the multi-year long evaluation process whereby PSU could/should have a graduate program in place in the fall of 2009 with full accreditation coming in the summer of 2011.
There will a reception (read: free beverages and food) occurring this upcoming Monday at 6:00pm at the AIA Center For Architecture at 403 NW 11th Avenue. As Matt reminds us, "A strong show of support from the architecture community would go a long way in letting the NAAB team know that you/we believe in the creation of a second venue for architectural education within Oregon."
With a new Portland campus in Old Town, I'll bet the University of Oregon isn't too keen on PSU giving them competition with an accredited school of their own. But even as the Biggest Ducks Fan In the History of Humankind, I'd argue that PSU getting accreditation is a great move.
Although ours is increasingly a city becoming known for its quality design, Portland lacks enough accredited architecture schooling. PSU isn't ever going to be a top American architecture school, most likely, but it'd help the overall case for design here to have more kids able to start and finish their architectural education here in town - without having to spend time in Eugene or elsewhere. I hope PSU gets its accreditation, that UO doesn't fight it, and then they play in football with a 63-2 Ducks victory.
Oh, and speaking of UO, graduating Portland-based architecture students will be holding a variety/talent/cabaret show Friday at 7:00PM at the school's new facility at the White Stag Block in Old Town. For $5 you can see these future architects reveal their hidden performing talents. Why are they putting on the show? Because the school doesn't provide any funds for their graduation ceremony, I'm told. Isn't that just pathetic of my beloved Ducks? With all the UO architecture alumni in town, not to mention 'Uncle Phil' out in Beaverton (yes, Nike is in Beavertron, no matter what they say), you'd think these builders and dreamers of Portland's future wouldn't have to resort to this. Perhaps they could rig a deal to have caps and gowns with a swoosh and faux-diamond plating. But failing that, I can vouch for the fact that one of the students, my friend Adrienne, plays a wicked clarinet.