Brittany Williams Joins AIA Higher Education Advisory Team

By Brianna Rhodes / Jan 26, 2024

Brittany Williams teaching in the Great Space
Image Caption
Associate Clinical Professor, Brittany Williams (center) teaching in the Great Space.

Associate Clinical Professor Brittany Williams (B.S. Architecture '05, M.ARCH '07) has joined six academic professionals from across the nation to help bridge the gap between architectural practice and academia as a member of the AIA 2024-2025 Higher Education Advisory Team. 

The advisory team, also known as (HEAT), will advise and share expertise and updates with AIA staff on issues relevant to architecture education. Its members represent the six Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) regions in the U.S., from institutions with National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited programs, and will serve one, two-year term. The volunteer committee members hail from universities such as Florida A&M University, State University of New York at Buffalo and University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign. Williams will be representing the Mid-Atlantic ASCA region and UMD's Architecture Program on this national committee. 

Brittany Williams and a student

“I'm really excited to be part of these kinds of conversations,” Williams said. “I think it's important because the teaching of architecture is so intertwined with the practice of architecture. It’s really critical to always have constant conversations between those who are teaching architecture and those that are practicing architecture. And this group really provides an opportunity for those in higher ed to discuss and advise, both amongst themselves as a national committee and then also with the staff at the AIA.”

The team will meet to discuss professional development opportunities, best practices, shared questions or concerns and a series of advisory topics from AIA leadership. Previous topics included: COVID/pandemic impact on institutions, faculty/staff and students, curricular innovation, expansion of true diversity in the academy and more. 

Williams said she's looking forward to talking more about the future of architecture education and how it can impact students to set them up for success. It will allow her to tie into those national conversations and bring her knowledge back to MAPP so the school can evolve its curriculum and design studio. Williams serves as the coordinator of the design studio sequence and she thinks her role on the advisory team will further the pedagogy with the Architectural Program’s curriculum committee.

“The practice of architecture is forever evolving with continued inputs from society and culture, like artificial intelligence, manufacturing and material availability, as well as increased awareness of environmental stewardship,” Williams said. “And so that practice of architecture is always going to push back on and respond to what's being taught in classrooms.  

It doesn't have to be a one way street from practice to teaching,” she added. “The classroom can also lead in some of those conversations. I think that close-knit ties and those kinds of conversations that transcend just a single firm or a single school, but are happening at a national level are really important.”

To learn more about the program, visit the AIA KnowledgeNet webpage

Program / Center Affiliation