Cover image : The March of Intellect. “Lord how this world improves as we grow older.” William Heath, 1828. Learning is one of the defining aspects of being human. Taking the decision to study architecture, one participates in the collective desire to learn, produce knowledge, instigate new conversations, build on old ones, and make a […]
Cover image : The March of Intellect. “Lord how this world improves as we grow older.” William Heath, 1828.
Learning is one of the defining aspects of being human. Taking the decision to study architecture, one participates in the collective desire to learn, produce knowledge, instigate new conversations, build on old ones, and make a lasting difference in the built environment for future generations. This year’s cycle investigates possible paths that shift the understanding of architectural education through a series of pointed questions that invite diverse formats of responses.
#1 LEARNING SPACES
Cartha prepared a workshop for the Open City Design Institute | Korean Pavilion program at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. The workshop sought out the spontaneous, uncategorized and rebellious acts of learning that happen anywhere, anytime, outside of the boundaries of an institution. The question we asked participants: when unprompted, how, where and when do you learn about architecture?
#2 A MEANS TO AN END
The fluctuation between prioritizing personal or professional growth has led us to question the formats of learning that cater to one over the other. The education systems of today are as much online tutorials, community workshops and independent collectives as they are diplomas, grades and work placements. What is at stake is the product of a degree in architecture, challenged by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney in The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study as a burden of standardization in academia. When education is a continuous and unpredictable process, what value does a diploma have?
#3 “RADICAL PEDAGOGIES”
Beatriz Colomina’s collective research on radical pedagogies conducted between 2012-2015 presented an atlas of “intense, short-lived experiments in architectural education” at the 7th Warsaw Under Construction Festival. Drawing on a critical culture of pedagogical experiments from the 1960s, the pro- ject analysed moments of education reform as radical yet fleeting architectural practices in their own right. Simultaneously, Colomina questioned why similar practices are not used to provoke architectural discourse today. There are plenty of case studies for such experiments, many of which set precedent for what was then the future of architectural practice. It’s almost as if this type of educational system is built to perform within a limited time frame. Is ephemerality the secret to their influence? Why are radical pedagogies brief, and how have they consistently formed the landscape of speculative practice? Where can we discover their residues in the contemporary built environment?
#4 EDUCATION & POWER
Within the institutional framework of architecture education (both public or private), questions of hierarchy, budget and power within and outside academic institutions are directly entangled with the school pedagogical approach. The decision makers within education institutions navigate between the interests of higher power structures, their own idea of what a solid education might entail, and their personal political or economic agendas. All of which ultimately affect the curriculum taught within the school. Although recently new pedagogic forms have provided more independent forms of learning, many architecture students are still part of a more classic institutional approach, where such conflict of interest is often present. Are there ways to rethink the relationships between education and power which could ensure a more democratic and independent shaping of the curricula and the academic body?
#5 REDISTRIBUTION OF DISCIPLINARY BOUNDARIES
Architecture has historically been taught between the lines of other disciplines, drawing from the research that constitutes the built environment. What has been (and continues to be) extensively studied, is the network which architecture has been structured upon, increasingly so as interdisciplinary practices greatly contribute to contemporary architectural discourse. The boundary drawn around the professional activities of an architect is blurring and extending. How many of today’s architecture students will go on to become practicing architects and spatial planners in the most traditional sense? If the boundaries of spatial practice are being redrawn, should we be rethinking the methods, tools, frameworks and standards implemented in its education?
#6 ARCHITECTURAL POSSIBILITIES FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN
What started out as a talk given to a number of small societies back in 1928, evolved into an essay which came to set in motion a set of policies which we still now deal with on a daily basis. The title of this essay was “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” and the author was John Maynard Keynes, a British economist originally trained as a mathematician. In the essay, Keynes openly addresses the reigning economic and social pessimism of his time with a set of practical and uplifting proposals. The goal, as the title of the essay so clearly states, was to act now in order to allow for a different, better future for the generations ahead. If we expect today’s students to move towards the creation of a better, fairer, healthier environment, they must be provided with the confidence to overcome the fear of action in the face of extinction. What would an architectural education which widens rather than stifles the architectural possibilities for future generations look like?
The Call for Submissions is an open invitation for creative research and reflections related to Learning Architecture, where these six questions provide prompts for speculation, but different interpretations are also welcomed. As primarily an on line publication, we are open to a variety of formats including, but not limited to: text, image, video and audio, or a combination of any.
> Deadline – December 12
> Contributions should be electronically sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Accepted proposals will then be prepared for publishing in collaboration of the author and the editorial board.
> Text submissions must be written in English and submitted in .rtf format.
> We accept both abstracts (300 words) or completed proposals (maximum 1500 words).
> All images must be submitted as individual files (.jpeg) at 300 d.p.i. and at 72 d.p.i. Captions should be submitted alongside the images.
> Cartha does not buy intellectual property rights for the material appearing in the magazine. We suggest contributors to publish their work under Creative Commons licenses.
> Cartha’s Open Call for Submissions aims to support the presence of new and diverse voices in architecture. We are particularly welcoming submissions from women, people with disabilities, BIPOC and the queer community.