Saturday, 2 April 2011

So You Think...

So will the future of our education be some kind of 'So You Think You Can Be an Architect?' reality show, with star judges and utterly formularized, with immediate golden tickets? (Errr.... a bit like the Bartlett)
If so, it would be in complete implosion of any kind of 'real' education. I never became an architect registered with the RIBA, but I have never stopped studying architecture. All the people I have learnt from taught me precisely that; that it takes time to develop judgement. Judgement demands values, any kind of 'criticism' demands the critic has values to divest, those values can only be learnt over time with considerably diverse inputs, often long after something like a degree or diploma has been achieved.
The value of architectural education is it asks you to know a little about a lot of things. You don't necessarily know how to build a brick wall, but you must be able to appreciate how it might be done well. In this sense it not specialized in a professional way as demonstrated in such an imaginary but none the less hideous 'So you think you can be an architect?' show. Rather on the contrary, I know 'architects' who've become journalists, editors, film makers, set designers, pornographers, shop fitters, painters, rock musicians, lap dancers, web entrepreneurs etc etc ad nauseum.
I hope students will continue to want to study architecture, even if the powers that be will find less use for architects (just think about it- perhaps because we should and ought to need less buildings) and even if it becomes more expensive. If this scenario played itself out in any rational way, it would not be the schools of architecture that should suffer, but the RIBA itself, simply down to irrelevance.

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