Architectural Education in 2025
Date: Friday 29 May 2020
The world as we knew it just a few months ago has radically changed. This crisis, as with all of those that preceded it, demands that we reimagine the world anew and break with inherited histories, legacies and traditions. It forces us to identify a new set of priorities, new forms of action and new expertise.
It is in moments of crisis that opportunities for redefinition emerge. Overnight, issues that have historically been important in the education of an architect have become anachronistic, and have lost some if not all of their intellectual and operational currency. Other research and design areas that were once peripheral and disregarded have now become indispensable and urgent. New design problems, constraints, desires and solutions have emerged at a range of scales, from the nanometric to the planetary.
In myriad ways, from the poetic to the political and from the profitable to the equitable, architecture is changing. The challenge of our time is to re-envision how we want to live together, beginning with our social and digital interactions, passing by our domestic spaces and moving to our cities and territories within a global context that is multiple in its identities, ecologies, economies, technologies and politics.
Throughout its history, the Architectural Association has produced relevant forms of inquiry, discourse and practice that have responded to the urgent questions of the time. The events currently unfolding around the world are undeniably urgent and historical, and the challenges that we all face today as global citizens and as architects are multiple and monumental; we are living through an environmental, social, medical and political crisis at a planetary scale. All schools of architecture today, including the Architectural Association, have the opportunity and the responsibility to articulate what our discipline can contribute to the world we live in, and to redefine what the education of an architect both can and should be.
This symposium invites different individuals teaching at the Architectural Association to propose new referents for the social, political, technological and material agency that architects have in affecting the designed environment, and to reflect on the fundamental aspects of architectural education – from the History and Theory curriculum to the making of buildings – while encountering new forms of design and speculation about the near and urgent future.
All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.