Architectural (De)Schooling in the Age of Quarantine

These days architecture schools are trying to figure out how to conduct lectures and seminars, studios and crits online. But it is just as well a test of the very foundations of architectural education. Do we need architecture schools? Do we need them to change? Are they capable of change, to prepare to deal with this crisis and the next to come?
This summer MARCH Architecture School invites educators from schools around the world to discuss the past, present and possible future of architectural education. It is a series of online conversations, which will bring together professionals, free to determine the direction of their discussion. They are coming from different countries, schools, generations, bringing their various views, experiences, expectations.
Read the full manifesto
Use the links in the timetable to join the conversations online, or follow our YouTube channel to watch later. The talks will be held till July, check this page for the regular updates of the timetable.

Timetable

June 11, 2020
19:00 (GMT+3)
Regina Loukotová
x Eugene Asse
Tom Emerson
x Sam Jacob
June 13, 2020
18:00 (GMT+3)
Adeola Enigbokan
x Carlos Medellin
June 17, 2020
19:00 (GMT+3)
June 24, 2020
19:00 (GMT+3)
Salomon Frausto
x Lea-Catherine Szacka
Troy Schaum
х David Dewane
and Daniel Roche
June 27, 2020
19:00 (GMT+3)
Sarah Hirschman
x Ana Miljački
June 30, 2020
19:00 (GMT+3)
July 2, 2020
19:00 (GMT+3)
Lucy Bullivant
х Alexander Eriksson Furunes
Piergianna Mazzocca
x Anastasia Gerasimova
Christopher Price
x Alexandra Chechotkina
Coming soon
Coming soon
The talks will be held till July, check this page for the regular updates of the timetable.

Talks

Regina Loukotová х Eugene Asse
June 11, 19:00 GMT+3
YouTube stream
Regina Loukotová is an architect and Rector of ARCHIP (Architectural Institute in Prague), the first private architectural school in Prague. She combines her architectural practice (started in 1999 together with architect Martin Roubik; GEM architects studio) with educational activities. She graduated from CTU, Faculty of Architecture in Prague, where she completed her postgraduate studies with the topic on Architecture and Public. She strongly believes in changing the approach toward building environment in general through education. She is active within the Czech Chamber of Architects, a member of its' Unit for Education, with her participation in the juries of architectural competitions and also in cooperation with expert press and other media. She has been a member of the Board of the Fulbright Commission in the Czech Republic since 2019.

"We truly wanted to change the approach to how architecture was taught in the Czech Republic. With that in mind, starting a new school seemed to be the ideal option, so that´s how ARCHIP was born." (The Arch. Ed. Podcast Episode 28: Regina Loukotová, ARCHIP, Prague (2018) // archedpodcast.com).
Eugene Asse worked as an artist, architect, curator and educator for more than 50 years, since his graduation from Moscow Institute of Architecture in 1970. In 1997 he started his own design office asse architects in Moscow, which he runs up to now. He became a Professor in Moscow Institute of Architecture in 1989, heading the Experimental Design Studio, was the Commissioner of the Russian Pavilion on the Biennale of Architecture in Venice in 2004 and 2006. In 2012 he co-founded MARCH Architecture School — the first independent architectural school in Russia.

"It is dangerous to teach people to think, feel and trust their feelings, to take more responsibility. The habit of thinking often leads to difficulties in the professional, and in public life. The art of architecture, like the art of poetry, is, of course, not easy to be sold and accepted. But I see no other way to create a new architectural awareness in Russia." (Asse E. Fire doesn’t teach water to boil, it simply heats it (2017) // blog.march.ru)
Tom Emerson х Sam Jacob
June 13, 18:00 GMT+3
YouTube stream
Tom Emerson is an architect and educator based in London and Zurich. He co-founded 6a architects in London with Stephanie Macdonald which has recently completed the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, the South London Gallery, a studio complex for Juergen Teller and Cowan Court at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. 6a has received several RIBA Awards, the Schelling Medal in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2017. Publications include Never Modern (2014) and a monograph published by El Croquis in 2018. Emerson is professor of architecture and vice Dean of the D-Arch at ETH Zurich where he leads a research and design studio exploring the relationship between making and the territory.
Sam Jacob is principal of Sam Jacob Studio, a practice whose work spans scales and disciplines from urban design through architecture, design, art and curatorial projects. Current projects include a gallery in south London, a new mixed-use building in Hoxton, the remodelling of the V&A's Cromwell Road entrance, and the new National Collections Centre for the Science Museum Group. He has worked internationally on award-winning projects and has exhibited at major museums such as the V&A, MAK, and The Art Institute of Chicago as well as cultural events including the Venice Architecture Biennale. He is Professor of Architecture at UIC, Chicago, council member at the AA, London, and currently visiting professor at ABK Stuttgart. Previously he was a founding director of FAT Architecture.

"Though we often imagine the idea of architectural education to be a natural and inevitable phenomenon, it is of course an accidental by-product of educational politics and economics, of demands of professional training and of murkily subjective disciplinary ideas." (Jacob S. Architectural education must change (2013) // dezeen.com).
Adeola Enigbokan х Carlos Medellin
June 17, 19:00 GMT+3
YouTube stream
In this conversation we address the roles of our different bodies and biographies in shaping the kinds of designers that we become, and the sorts of interventions we are able to make in the current moment. We want to talk about the importance of acknowledging our own life stories and how they are projected into the designs we propose.

Architects often assume leadership roles when they approach their work, however, architectural education is not very explicit about how to lead others, and how as designers we assume public roles. For us, leadership involves having the capacity to recognize our own bodies and how we affect others and the environments we create around us. It is also the ability to surface a shared vision that inspires a group of people to accomplish a common goal. Finally, leadership is the ability to sense how our bodies and biographies resonate within a specific context, and to define what our bodies can or cannot do in that context. We will discuss different methods to approach design as a more embodied practice of social leadership.
Adeola Enigbokan is an environmental psychologist. Using public engagement, she re-imagines the relationships between citizens, consumers, institutions and corporations, and the environments they create and inhabit. She combines deep knowledge of human behavior and emotional intelligence, with a sense of how social and spatial systems work and how creative change happens.

Adeola consults on the design of urban housing, workspaces, public space and emerging technologies. Additionally, she has taught Urban Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and New York University and Architectural Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the City University of New York, and a BA in Anthropology from Columbia University.

whyadeolabecause.com
instagram.com/adeolagoes

Carlos Medellín is an architect interested in building spaces for social engagement and individual empowerment. This means that he approaches architecture as a social practice, and his work explores how space can address the structural inequity that shapes our society.

He has experience conceptualizing, designing and managing artistic, architectural and urban projects across the globe. Carlos has also developed social entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary projects and participated in education as a teacher and researcher. He holds a MArch from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá and studied a postgraduate research program at Strelka Institute for media, architecture, and design in Moscow. Carlos has taught in Bogotá at Universidad de los Andes and Universidad Javeriana on the undergraduate architecture programs and in New York at Columbia University GSAPP on the Masters of architecture and urban planning.

www.carlos-medellin.com
instagram.com/cmedell
Carlos and Adeola encountered each other nine years ago on the way from New York to Moscow, Carlos the architect and Adeola the psychologist. It was not immediately clear that they would be friends, and how they would adjust their practices to the new reality of Moscow. Empathy for each other, and for Moscow, was built on everyday dialogs and experiences. They found that they needed each other. At a time in the city when being openly gay became a crime, and being black could get a person killed, their daily practices became crucial. As strangers, they came up with their own methods for understanding their own bodily and social differences, understanding the city and making themselves understood by others. Walking together, exploring, cooking, eating, shopping, working and resting: these practices became rituals of love and survival that slowly opened up the city. Eventually, the city enveloped them in the magic of friendship. They found that they were able to do good work in Moscow.
Salomon Frausto x Léa-Catherine Szacka
June 24, 19:00 GMT+3
YouTube stream
Salomon Frausto is the Director of Studies at The Berlage, part of the Delft University of Technology's Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. His books include Architourism: Authentic, Exotic, Escapist, Spectacular (2005), a volume exploring the role of architecture in the contemporary tourist imagination; and the forthcoming Twelve Institutional and Public Buildings Revisited, 1928−1968, documenting buildings outside of the received canon of modern architecture. He is also completing a long-term research and book project on the cross-disciplinary character of South African-born British architect Theo Crosby's work, the first critical assessment of his nearly forty-year career, spanning from the canonical "This is Tomorrow" exhibition and his technical editorship of Architectural Design to the founding of the multidisciplinary design firm Pentagram and his involvement with the Prince of Wales's Foundation for the Built Environment. His scholarly focus is on architecture at the intersection of pedagogy, criticism, and communication.
Léa-Catherine Szacka is a Lecturer in Architectural Studies at Manchester Architecture Research Group at the University of Manchester. Her work focuses on the history of architecture exhibitions, the history and theory of postmodern architecture, and, more broadly, the relationship between media and architecture since the 1970s. Holding a PhD in architecture history and theory from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, she investigates these topics through extensive historical and archival research and using oral history and micro-history as methodological tools. She recently published Biennals/Triennials: Conversations on the Geography of Itinerant Display. Her current research project is investigating the spatial implications of television.
Troy Schaum х David Dewane and Daniel Roche
June 27, 19:00 GMT+3
Registration
Troy Schaum is an architect engaged in teaching and research as an Associate Professor at the Rice School of Architecture where he has been teaching since 2008. His professional practice with partner Rosalyne Shieh, SCHAUM/SHIEH, was a finalist in the 2017 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, a winner of the 2016 New Practices New York by the AIA, and named one of the 2019 Emerging Voices by the Architectural League of New York among other awards. Their work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Art Prize in Grand Rapids, the Storefront For Art and Architecture, and the Center For Architecture in New York. He is also the editor of Totalization: Speculative Practice in Architectural Education, (Park Books 2019) whose contributors explore the status of expertise in the formulation of contemporary practice.
David Dewane (Rice Architecture alumnus) is an architect, entrepreneur, publisher, journalist, and educator. David has a background in ecologically and socially equitable design, having trained under Pliny Fisk III at the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems in Austin, Texas. His current research focuses on global population dynamics, workplace design, and spaces of hyper-creativity. David is a Halcyon Fellow, has been honored as an Emerging Leader by the Design Futures Council, and has been certified as an EVOKE Agent by the World Bank Institute.
Daniel Roche has a background in urban design, architecture, and journalism, working now for ReThink Studio, a planning and design firm that specializes in transportation. Daniel graduated from an intensive Masters in Advanced Urban Design program at the Strelka Institute in Moscow, Russia. As a student, Daniel contributed to several publications, including Princeton University’s Pidgin Journal and Rice University’s PLAT, and worked as an editor for non-profit journalism outfits including Archeworks in Chicago.
Ana Miljački x Sarah Hirschman
Ana Miljački is a critic, curator and Associate Professor of Architecture at MIT, where she teaches history, theory and design. Her research interests range from the role of architecture and architects in the Cold War era Eastern Europe, through the theories of postmodernism in late socialism to politics of contemporary architectural production. She was part of the three-member curatorial team, with Eva Franch i Gilabert and Ashley Schafer, of the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, where their project OfficeUS, critically examined the last century of US architects' global contribution. In 2018 Miljački launched the Critical Broadcasting Lab at MIT, whose work, "Sharing Trainers" was included in the São Paulo Architecture Biennales in the fall of 2019. The lab also presented the work of the option studio it hosted — Collective Architecture Studio — at the Seoul Architecture Biennale in the fall of 2019, and it curated and produced "Play Room" for MIT's Keller Gallery in the spring of 2020.
Sarah Hirschman is an architect and founder of the Oakland, CA practice Object Projects. She is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley and was the 2017−18 LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at the Knowlton School of Architecture, where she explored the expression of linguistic figures of humor through objects, patterns, and shifts of scale. Sarah's research has also focused on legal interpretations of architectural originality. Exhibitions on these topics, "Un/Fair Use" (with Ana Miljački) and "Paranomasiac", have been presented at the Center for Architecture in New York, MIT's Keller Gallery, Berkeley's Wurster Gallery, and the Knowlton School's Banvard Gallery.
Lucy Bullivant х Alexander Eriksson Furunes
July 2, 19:00 GMT+3
Zoom-вебинар
Applying pedagogical processes as part of ongoing architectural and cultural practice transcends the traditionally contained model of an academic environment. Instead of an 'ivory towers' approach, intensive applied educational activities in specific local contexts serves to enlarge a combined practical and conceptual awareness of real sites, as part of an ethos of lifelong learning.

Norwegian architect Alex Furunes brings students into most of his international projects, in Vietnam, Hunan and Shenzhen, engaging them with citizens to design and build. British place strategist, curator and author Lucy Bullivant engages in educational processes through projects using a range of media which serve to draw out new, hybridised relationships between teacher and taught, transcend disciplinary boundaries and localise impacts through participation. This can be seen in a few of their collaborations with communities and students on Biennale projects: one, a collaboration with Shenzhen university students and a knitted garment factory in the urban village of Baishizhou for the UABB Biennale, Shenzhen, 2016; the other, a close collaboration with CAMI migrants support centre and students of FAU Mackenzie to design banners in the Sao Paulo Metro as part of the São Paulo Biennale, 2017. A third and ongoing project is the building of a community centre in Oslo, initiated as part of the Oslo Architecture Triennale, 2019.
Lucy Bullivant is a place strategist, curatorial director and award-winning author of books about adaptive planning and architecture. She has a PhD by Prior Output in adaptive planning from the Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University and a Masters degree in Cultural History, Royal College of Art. She has created and delivered over 100 projects of social value, many self-initiated — exhibitions, conferences, seminars, videos, books and magazines, including her webzine, Urbanista.org, dedicated to liveable urbanism, for clients in the public and private sectors internationally, and the new Urban Manifesto webinar series with Prathima Manohar. The 2nd edition of her book, Masterplanning Futures, will be published by Routledge in 2021. Formerly a professor of urban design history and theory at Syracuse University London, Lucy has given keynotes and lectures at leading institutions globally.

lucybullivantandassociates.net
Alexander Eriksson Furunes studied at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, before receiving his Masters in Architecture at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). He has spearheaded and completed a series of collaborative projects with communities in the UK, India, Brazil, Vietnam, China, and the Philippines through his studio Eriksson Furunes. He is currently doing an Artistic PhD entitled Learning from Bayanihan/Dugnad (NTNU, 2016−2021) which explores the role of these traditions in participative planning, design and building processes. Together with Sudarshan V. Khadka Jr. he is the curator of the Philippine Pavilion, Structures of Mutual Support, at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2021.
The talks will be held till July, check this page for the regular updates of the timetable.
MARCH Architecture School is a unique educational centre specialising in an international educational programme in the field of architecture and urbanism. The School was developed in partnership with the School of Art, Architecture and Design of London Metropolitan University (LMU), our students receive a British MA or BA (Hons) award in Architecture and Urbanism, while studying in Moscow. MARCH strives to create a new model of architectural education in Russia, focused on generating thinking, competent and responsible individuals, educated to the highest international level and integrated into the global architecture community.
Salomon Frausto x Léa-Catherine Szacka
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David Dewane and Daniel Roche
х Troy Schaum
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Sarah Hirschman x Ana Miljacki
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Lucy Bullivant х Alexander Eriksson Furunes
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This summer MARCH Architecture School invites educators from schools around the world to discuss the past, present and possible future of architectural education. It is a series of online conversations, which will bring together professionals, free to determine the direction of their discussion. They are coming from different countries, schools, generations, bringing their various views, experiences, expectations.

Let us forget for a minute the circumstances associated with the pandemic. Then we could broaden the field of discussion to include the advantages of the ‘homeschooling’ model and other models, an alternative to conventional education.

In the 1970s, Ivan Illich and other ideologists of deschooling, of ‘liberation from schools’, suggested that peer-to-peer education, focused on personal needs for knowledge and skills, rather than on fixed curricula, could better serve individuals and communities. He imagined a ‘network of knowledge’:

 

"The most radical alternative to school would be a network or service which gave each man the same opportunity to share his current concern with others motivated by the same concern. [...] The operation of a peer-matching network would be simple. The user would identify himself by name and address and describe the activity for which he sought a peer. A computer would send him back the names and addresses of all those who had inserted the same description. It is amazing that such a simple utility has never been used on a broad scale for publicly valued activity." (Illich, I. (1971). Deschooling Society, archive.org)

 

The lockdowns and other restrictions caused a massive transfer of education into distant formats. It does seem like Illich’s networks of knowledge growing through the institutional apparatus. Do we want this to stop or to speed up?

The crisis of architectural education has been a subject of discussions for many years now. And not for the first time in the last 100 years. Architecture as a discipline closely related to power, violence, various forms of oppression and segregation. Schools have been accused of supporting and reproducing these realities, willingly or without knowledge; adding some of their own flaws on top of it, being not critical enough of the situation.  

So, we probably do need schools, at least, for some time. But we could also try to change them, by seizing the momentum, by exploiting the acute bizarreness of this academic year ending to put energy in the new round of discussions.