“The real architects are the young ones, regardless of age, with continuing enthusiasm, imagination, industry, inventiveness, curiosity and dedication to architecture for all people as their reason for being … By such examples we continue to renew faith in the creative spirit and its potentials.”
Bruce Goff. “As An Architect,” 1978.
SFIA offers new alternatives in design education while retaining the best features of exceptional traditional schools. While following many well-proven traditions in education, SFIA is also testing new approaches to solve long-standing problems. Research studies challenge the value of competitive design studios, the jury system, arbitrary criticism, and subjective grading. The architectural profession has complained bitterly about being cheated by design education that is educator-oriented rather than student-oriented, staffed by non-architects, and divorced from the realities of architectural practice. SFIA has introduced dozens of innovative practices to deal with these issues. SFIA solicits and monitors ongoing feedback on the effectiveness of our practices and policies, from all parties concerned.
Above all, SFIA is dedicated to helping all students reach their highest creative potential. We support student experimentation and visionary exploration, require no student to follow any design ideology or convention, and encourage all students to find their own personal modes of expression.
SFIA offers open enrollment for re-entry students, students from other professions and trades, and other promising students regardless of academic background. And it offers academic credit for work in architectural offices. These policies are in the tradition of the long-established Boston Architectural Center.
SFIA offers a three-year Master of Architecture degree program for committed students from other disciplines. This follows the pioneering program at the University of California in Berkeley that has been adopted by many other universities across the U.S.