The Portland Declaration


October 19, 2019

To: The National Architectural Accrediting Board

From: The Undersigned Attendees of the 2019 John Reynolds Symposium

Subject: Proposed Revisions to NAAB Accreditation Criteria Context

On October 18 and 19, 2019 around 100 attendees actively participated in the 2019 Reynolds Symposium: Education by Design. In a wrap-up session at the end of the symposium, efforts to effect change by looking forward were discussed in plenary session. The key point of focus was the proposed change in NAAB accreditation criteria—which the assembled group believes will seriously weaken architecture education in the areas of climate change mitigation, sustainability, and environmental responsibility. The following declaration is a result of these profound concerns. The signatories listed below represent the majority of those attending the symposium wrap-up session. Affiliations are provided for context only—none of the signatories claims to represent the formal views of his/her institution.

The Declaration:

Sustainability should be a major component of the NAAB program accreditation criteria. We strongly recommend that the principles underlying the AIA Framework for Design Excellence provide the basis for defining sustainability in this context. Those graduating from an accredited architecture program must be exposed to and demonstrate the ability to engage in:

• Design integration

• Design synthesis

• Building integration

• Sustainability (as embodied by the AIA COTE Top Ten/Framework for Design Excellence)

• Environmental stewardship values

Sustainability, climate action, and environmental stewardship must move to the top of the mission statement of NAAB. Urgency! This is critical to the continuing relevance, influence, and value of architecture as a profession that serves society.

There is 1 Comment

bhaglund's picture

On November 4 Ned Cramer posted an important editorial on the ARCHITECT website about the NAAB Accreditation Criteria currently in review; The Future of Architecture Education Is The Future of Civilization. He included both the Portland Declaration and COTE comments provided to NAAB this summer.