Debate 9 - Designing Tomorrow’s Designers

Thursday, March 16th, 2000 | Debates

This debate focused on the fact that large parts of the engineering industry feel perpetually short-changed by the educational system since there are not enough engineers.

This raised questions about the numbers of intelligent people coming through the education system. The argument is that the system of selection is based on wealth and not on intellect, and that it is failing 40% of pupils. Is it a question of people with the right aptitude (in this case, to be engineers) not getting past first base?

There is another set of questions on the relative appeal of engineering as a career. A simple compare-and-contrast model looks at architecture and asks why are these courses are over-subscribed at universities and engineering ones are not? There are many reasons for the differences — some profound and others merely cosmetic.

The discussion took the form of invited speakers each presenting short summaries of papers that were circulated. Paul Hyett who is an RIBA Vice President for Education, and a partner with Hyett Salisbury Whiteley, chaired the event.

The speakers were :

Paper 1: Designing Tomorrow’s Designers

Michael Dickson, Buro Happold/University of Bath

Paper 2: Designing Tomorrow’s Designers

Leonie Milliner, Director of Education at the RIBA

Paper 3: Designing Tomorrow’s Designers

Sonny Masero, ABS Consulting

Action points generated on the night

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