This paper reports on a major research project, in progress, which aims to develop an understanding of the key teaching and instructional challenges facing the architecture discipline area across Australia. The project has allowed the development of benchmarking strategies to align Australian and international 'best practice'. The specific objectives of the project included: identify the challenges for Australian architectural education in maintaining and improving its quality, responsiveness and competitiveness in a global educational environment/marketplace. ; Set in place an agenda for future research and dissemination strategies to undertake detailed investigations into specific topics. ; Suggest how these challenges should be addressed by architectural education units and their staff, by university vice-chancellors, professional associations, government bodies and business organisations. While the primary motivation underlying this study is to promote innovation and 'best practice' in architectural education, a substantial component of the study involved gaining a broader perspective of the environment in which architectural education is situated. The state of the art of architectural education has been explored by situating it within a broader context of higher education in Australia. The study specifically focuses on the academic units that educate architectural graduates in universities across Australia. This will involve considering aspects of a range of associated discipline areas. Thus, the outcomes of the study provide relevance to architectural education but will also have wider relevance in related design (interior, industrial) disciplines. With the changes in Australian universities bought about by the higher student intakes and more efficient teaching modes as well as the integration of many lT initiatives, the educational landscape has changed. The opportunity now exists to re-establish leadership through creative approaches to education which redefines itself in the current Australian educational context. To achieve this leadership a comprehensive analysis needs to be undertaken; the outcome of which will be a sector-wide renewal and reinvigoration of the delivery of design education in the Architecture and associated disciplines. The identification and sharing of best practice within the discipline area will provide the impetus to reassert its international leadership.
IASDR’07: International Association of Soceties of Design Research 2007. IASDR'07: International Association of Societies of Design Research 2007. Proceedings (Hong Kong 12-15 November, 2007) p. 1-17