Unit 16

“Schools of Architecture Should Be Dissolved!” – Really!?

“Schools of Architecture Should Be Dissolved!”

Project Context: hosted by SUAS (Sheffield University Architecture Society)

The discussion comes across somewhat impartial and at times ironic, however it is worth a read and would be great to hear other people’s thoughts on the subject.

 PDF Text:

Architecture Schools should be dissolved unless. . .
. . . . abandon mono – vocationalism
After the collapse of the construction bubble , architecture schools must prepare their graduates to apply design thinking and architectural intelligene in sectors beyond just the property / construction sector.

. . . . promote informed generalism
Invite as much knowledge as possible from other disciplines , such as economics , engineering , agriculture , politics , activism , geography , psychology , socioloy , computing . . . Architecture is an amalgam of all these things.

. . . . encourage students who want to openly debate what is happening.
Escapism is ammoral at best, inmmoral at worst ..

. . . . realize that the game has changed.
Graduates must now leave with more than just a portfolio of beautifully drawn imaginary buildings , designed to take to inteviws at Architecture firms.

. . . . change the measures of success.

No more prizes for drawing trout farms on mars . There is more than one way to measure success.

. . . . take responsibility.
Architecture is not art . Art is Art .Design affects more than cultural discourse, and is more that social “engagement”. Architecture is always conected to social justice.

. . . . .teach an expanded view of architecture and design
“No longer associated only with objects appearances , design is increasingly understood as the human ability to plan and produce desired outcomes”- Bruce Mau

. . . . let each student shape their own education.
The purpose of education is to find the work that fascinates and fulfils you , and help you turn it into your life´s work . Schools ought to enable, respond and even structure its curriculum around student initiatives, and provide on -requiest turtorials on learning skills such as coding or business planning.

. . . . no longer assume their graduates will be employees.
From now on, the successful schools wil be those whose graduates are just as likely to use their thesis projects to start an enterprise /initiative as they are to use it to seek employment from an existing company. Schools must help them prepare for this.

. . . . act as incubators for designes , architects and ideas they produce.
Supporting people and projects after they have graduated.

. . . . become fablabs and drop-in institutions.
Provide intellectual forums and workshop facilities for would – be designers, inventors and activists who wish to attend the school for 7 minutes , 7 hours , 7 weeks or 7 months – not just those who whish to attend for 7 years.

. . . . .open theirs students for positive change in theri host cities.
Why do those who live next door to architecture schools never set foot inside them ?

. . . see their role as producing not just each new generation of graduates.
but also each new generation of ideas.

. . . . become open clubs ( peer to peer social networks) for their students and alumni.
A school is not really a building; its a network of people . It should open doors for you and your ideas.

. . . . seek to provide access to role models of all genders , races and backgrounds.
Architecture is still very male , white and middle – class , both in educationd and in practice . It´s not your fault if you are one (or all) of those things , but imagine all the great designers your´re not meeting and working with because of it. Imagine how much emptier design discourse is beacause they´re not here.

. . . . champion drop outs.
. . . actively encourage and promote those students with the bravery to change their mind. A good architecture school should help students do this,even if it´s bad for the bottom – line . Isn´t that the ultimate purpose of education?

. . . . nurture open sense of purpose.
“Architectue is peripheral to the most important social aims. I wish it was less peripheral.That´s why I´m an architect “ -Cedric Price

. . . . no longer see themselves as schools of architecture ,
but as ____________?

This entry was written by bmallan and published on February 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm. It’s filed under Learning, Resources, Talks and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on ““Schools of Architecture Should Be Dissolved!” – Really!?

  1. Maciej on said:

    I think that given the current economical condition it’s a good time to rethink how the education works and in particular how architecture schools should respond.

    The proposed ideas are not exactly a revolutionary. They are echoing a Christopher Alexander’s ‘university as a market place’ ideas forged in 70s.
    As to what actually Architecture stands for, the debate is on going and I think the beauty of it is that it will never conclude. Should the architecture schools dissolve? I don’t think so. You can actually carry on all of the proposals within the existing framework.

    What is actually needed is a rethink of personal approach.

    Both students and tutors are gradually waking up to the reality of increased tuition fees. Students demand more and tutors are taking responsibility for selling the product, which in architecture case might cost you up to 50K. Universities and heads of schools are looking to the east to fulfil their management contacts. The gap between few schools in London and remaining UK universities is increasing. We are moving somewhere but where, it is difficult to tell.

    During the launch of the Enterprise Zone program last week, lord Heseltine talked about change of personal attitude. The changes which west need to face up and wake itself from the Eurocentric lethargy build on centuries of rule.

    So should the architecture schools be closed? No they shouldn’t. People who are teaching should wake up in the first instance. Stop treating their jobs as a paid holiday between selected private jobs they have in the background and take responsibility for future generations.

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