Working with Universities

“We have found the Design Management lecture to be very popular as it gives the candidates an idea of how the overall project team is being managed beyond what their particular design team is contributing… this helps them to understand the bigger picture and thus work more effectively in it.” – Assoc Professor Miranda Terry, Course Director Professional Practice PGC (Part 3) University of Cambridge

Plan A Consultants have been engaging with various Schools of Architecture since founding the consultancy in 2015. We now give regular design management talks on the Part 3 Professional Practice courses at the University of Westminster, Architectural Association School, and University of Cambridge.

There are numerous reasons for industry to engage with academia, and whilst the concept of ‘giving back’ is often cited, from our experience the benefits are reciprocal. We have seen the benefits of these collaborations in several key areas:

1.     Sharing industry knowledge and experience
Learning about the industry’s current skill and competency requirements, as well as current trends, enriches university teaching and ensures greater alignment with industry needs. It also helps counter the wider perception of a disconnect between academia and practice.

We at Plan A Consultants also find this engagement beneficial in terms of the feedback loop. Part 3 students are in practice and come from a broad range of practice backgrounds. This offers the opportunity for an informed discussion around the sorts of challenges they are currently facing.

2.     Fostering future relationships
Employability is an important issue for universities, especially with governmental requirements to demonstrate value and relevance. Building close relationships with the industry helps address this metric.
Our engagement with the careers advisors at universities offers valuable opportunities outside the usual agency and social media route. Closer engagement with candidates considering a career change to design management benefits our recruitment efforts and enhances job placement opportunities for the graduates.

3.     Encouraging design management excellence
Architects need enhanced management tools and procedures to navigate an increasingly risk-averse building industry successfully. Recognizing the importance of multidisciplinary teams and collaboration is crucial for the future of the industry.

Our lectures and workshops aim to instil the value of implementing such measures and showcase our bespoke design management tools, helping to foster an environment of continuous improvement. On some courses we run an interactive ‘programme workshop’, giving all students the opportunity to learn whilst doing.

If you would like to have Design Management on your Professional Studies course, please get in touch by emailing info@planaconsultants.com.

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