New Essay Collection Investigates Public-Interest Architectural Internships

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap: Public-Interest Architectural Internships, a collection of 19 essays, by contributors from across the United States, brings together the best in current practice and thinking regarding public-interest architectural internship and advocates for new models that will have the power to profoundly change the architectural profession and our communities. The volume is edited by Professor Georgia Bizios (North Carolina State University) and Katie Wakeford.

The essays in this collection address a broad range of considerations regarding public-interest internships, outlining the issues, identifying the benefits, confronting the challenges, and offering lessons from the field and dreams for the future of public-interest architecture. Some contributors challenge the architecture profession to embrace its ethical responsibility for contributing to the public good and train new generations to do so. Other writers present successful examples of innovative internships provided by academic institutions and nonprofits. Several authors inspire with personal accounts of the joys and satisfactions of community engagement work, even in the face of disappointments and compromises. While the collection is not intended to be exhaustive, its breadth is sufficient to fuel a vibrant conversation in the hope of inspiring the creation of new public-interest internships and informing the ongoing updates to the Intern Development Program (IDP).

The importance of this topic and this investigation is reflected in the positive responses from academics and professionals. Professor Daniel Friedman, past president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture writes:

“Bizios and Wakeford have assembled a timely, convincing, and highly useful collection of essays that demonstrates the power of public service to expand the education of architects through direct community engagement, greatly multiplying the dividends of internship. Bridging the Gap enriches the literature on public-interest practice, and establishes the relevance of social equity to our continuing discourse on professional development.”

Clark Manus, President of the American Institute of Architects, highlights the significance of this exploration of public-interest architectural internships.

“Bridging the Gap offers tremendous value in addressing the important linkage between architectural internship and public service. As such, this discourse has the ability to positively influence the emerging generation’s conception of practice and the value that design thinking has in serving society.”

The advantages to developing new public-service internships are clear. The challenges are surmountable. Bridging the Gap will inspire further discussion and investigation of public-interest architecture and internship in the years to come.

Bridging the Gap: Public-Interest Architectural Internships is available at
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