Contract - Nurturing the Next Generation

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Nurturing the Next Generation

10 April, 2014

-By John Czarnecki



This editorial appeared in the April 2014 issue of Contract. To read the digital edition, click here.

In our last issue, many readers took notice of my editorial, “Smells Like Teen Spirit, or Unpaid Internships,” making the case that interns must be paid or receive college credit for the work they complete. A few readers emailed me directly, and many clicked to like, repost, or retweet it via social media. This month, I am continuing to focus on emerging design professionals with another dimension impacting their financial wherewithal: student loan debt.

In March, a piece of bipartisan legislation was introduced into 
the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 4205, the National Design Services ACT (NDSA), that would amend the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and give architecture students relief from student loan debt in return for community service. Similar loan debt relief is already available to recent graduates of law and medical school, for example. Introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the bill had six cosponsors as of late-March. The bill is strongly supported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Institute 
of Architecture Students (AIAS).

In a statement, Robert Ivy, FAIA, the CEO of the AIA, says: “Millions of young people aspire to help their communities build a better future, but a lack of opportunity and the crushing cost of education holds them back. As a result, the design and construction industry faces a severe shortage of talent at exactly the moment America needs to rebuild for the future.”


The NDSA would ease student debt burden by providing 
loan assistance to architecture students and recent graduates who contribute design services to underserved areas. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would be authorized, through this bill, to create a program allowing architecture students to work with community design centers in exchange for student loan assistance. Such centers are often community/university partnerships that provide assistance to community groups, nonprofit organizations, and city departments that are representing underserved or underfunded projects. The goal would be to provide a broad range of architecture services that may not have otherwise been available to communities, and architecture graduates will be enticed to stay in the profession rather than leave for other work.

The bill was assigned to the House Committee on Financial Services on March 11, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole. What are the chances of it being passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama? Well, 
as we all know, Congress has passed far less legislation in recent years. The independent website govtrack.us, through its own methodology, notes that this bill has a “two percent chance of being enacted. This 
bill has an 11 percent chance of getting past committee first. Only 11 percent of bills made it past committee and only about three percent were enacted in 2011–2013.”

So, the chances may be slim, but the AIA and AIAS must be applauded for moving forward with the proposal. And I, personally, 
am especially proud because students at my alma mater, University 
of Wisconsin—Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, organized phone banks to members of Congress to urge them to support the bill. Architecture students and graduates are concerned about the debt load they will be taking on as they pursue career choices, and we all should be concerned about this because young people are the future of our industry.

New and notable
In this, our annual issue focused on great hospitality interiors, we showcase project features as we usually do, but we are also introducing a new element: two projects that are “new and notable.” Yes, frankly all of the projects that we select to feature are new and notable. But, as 
we planned the content for this issue, there were two projects recently completed in Europe that we simply had to add to the issue, even if not at full feature length, because of their unexpected appeal. Each is noteworthy for its beauty, buzz, and brash take on hospitality: the nhow hotel in Rotterdam (page 82) by Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA and the restaurant Eclectic in Paris (page 84) by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. Both just opened in January. Call them hot, fresh, now, and of-the-moment—just like Contract!

Sincerely,

John Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA, Hon. IIDA


Editor in Chief




Nurturing the Next Generation

10 April, 2014


This editorial appeared in the April 2014 issue of Contract. To read the digital edition, click here.

In our last issue, many readers took notice of my editorial, “Smells Like Teen Spirit, or Unpaid Internships,” making the case that interns must be paid or receive college credit for the work they complete. A few readers emailed me directly, and many clicked to like, repost, or retweet it via social media. This month, I am continuing to focus on emerging design professionals with another dimension impacting their financial wherewithal: student loan debt.

In March, a piece of bipartisan legislation was introduced into 
the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 4205, the National Design Services ACT (NDSA), that would amend the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and give architecture students relief from student loan debt in return for community service. Similar loan debt relief is already available to recent graduates of law and medical school, for example. Introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), the bill had six cosponsors as of late-March. The bill is strongly supported by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Institute 
of Architecture Students (AIAS).

In a statement, Robert Ivy, FAIA, the CEO of the AIA, says: “Millions of young people aspire to help their communities build a better future, but a lack of opportunity and the crushing cost of education holds them back. As a result, the design and construction industry faces a severe shortage of talent at exactly the moment America needs to rebuild for the future.”


The NDSA would ease student debt burden by providing 
loan assistance to architecture students and recent graduates who contribute design services to underserved areas. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would be authorized, through this bill, to create a program allowing architecture students to work with community design centers in exchange for student loan assistance. Such centers are often community/university partnerships that provide assistance to community groups, nonprofit organizations, and city departments that are representing underserved or underfunded projects. The goal would be to provide a broad range of architecture services that may not have otherwise been available to communities, and architecture graduates will be enticed to stay in the profession rather than leave for other work.

The bill was assigned to the House Committee on Financial Services on March 11, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole. What are the chances of it being passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama? Well, 
as we all know, Congress has passed far less legislation in recent years. The independent website govtrack.us, through its own methodology, notes that this bill has a “two percent chance of being enacted. This 
bill has an 11 percent chance of getting past committee first. Only 11 percent of bills made it past committee and only about three percent were enacted in 2011–2013.”

So, the chances may be slim, but the AIA and AIAS must be applauded for moving forward with the proposal. And I, personally, 
am especially proud because students at my alma mater, University 
of Wisconsin—Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning, organized phone banks to members of Congress to urge them to support the bill. Architecture students and graduates are concerned about the debt load they will be taking on as they pursue career choices, and we all should be concerned about this because young people are the future of our industry.

New and notable
In this, our annual issue focused on great hospitality interiors, we showcase project features as we usually do, but we are also introducing a new element: two projects that are “new and notable.” Yes, frankly all of the projects that we select to feature are new and notable. But, as 
we planned the content for this issue, there were two projects recently completed in Europe that we simply had to add to the issue, even if not at full feature length, because of their unexpected appeal. Each is noteworthy for its beauty, buzz, and brash take on hospitality: the nhow hotel in Rotterdam (page 82) by Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA and the restaurant Eclectic in Paris (page 84) by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio. Both just opened in January. Call them hot, fresh, now, and of-the-moment—just like Contract!

Sincerely,

John Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA, Hon. IIDA


Editor in Chief

 


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