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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sharon E. Sutton
ARCH 571
Seattle Campus

Professional Practice

Introduces the business and ethics of architectural design and building construction, while helping students explore their professional identities and make intentional choices about their career paths. Compares fundamentals of architectural practice against historical evolution of the field and speculation about its future. Offered: AW.

Class description

The overarching goal of this four-credit course, which is required for a professional degree in architecture at the University of Washington, is to inspire you with a love and respect for the business and ethics of building, while also helping you discover your own journey into field. The course offers insights into the past accomplishments and future directions in the field of architecture, but its centerpiece is an understanding of current business practices and ethical responsibilities. The course meets three times weekly and consists of a combination of theoretical and hands-on sessions: lectures by the instructor and guest practitioners, exploration of architecture offices, and student discussions and presentations. In response to the increasing diversity of the field, the course will help you explore a variety of office structures and career paths to see what best fits your aspirations.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

In accordance with university expectations for a four-credit-hour seminar, you will spend about twelve hours per week on this course, including 3.5 hours in class and 8.5 hours outside class. Because this is a required course for a professional degree in architecture, most of the assignments are prescribed by the instructor, but you will also have an opportunity to reflect critically upon those assignments and to work in a small team to conduct independent research.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

You will contribute to small-group discussions based upon required reading and lectures, write essays in response to open-ended questions, and participate in investigating a variety of practice types through site visits, case studies, and your own independent research. At the end of the course, you will submit a refined version of all your written material as a portfolio.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sharon E. Sutton
Date: 09/26/2010