Nascent narratives: Re-viewing presentations

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The subject of communication in architecture in the United States is one that has been of concern to the architectural profession from the turn of the 20th century; however, architecture is not alone, the need for proficient communication skills is also a concern across the spectrum of occupations. In December 2010, The National Association of Colleges and Employers released their "Job Outlook 2011 Survey" of the top five desired skills for a candidate or employee; verbal communication skills ranked first. While there is broad consensus that communication skills are critical for success, it appears that the education community has not sufficiently met this requirement. In the 1996 Boyer Report, Building Community: A New Future for Architecture Education and Practice, one of the primary recommendations was to "urge schools of architecture to prepare future practitioners capable not only of creating beauty, but also able to communicate, clearly and convincingly" [emphasis added] its value to the public" Interestingly, in architecture, a discipline comprised of structuring ideas, a commonly accepted, structured approach for teaching students to develop narratives in their oral presentations is missing within higher education. Most commonly, faculty expect that the design student will independently develop the skills necessary to create a competent narrative when they are facile with the language of architecture and are able to use it to explain their design work. This paper focuses on illustrating a strategy for student narrative development, utilizing the visual and spoken modes of communication through the use of sparklines as an analysis tool during the revision stages of a narrative presentation in an effort to develop a process for direct instruction in narrative that improves student presentations and provides a framework for self-evaluation and reflection. © Common Ground, Marsha R. Cuddeback, Frank Maling Bosworth, Vincent Cellucci.

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International Journal of Literacies

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