Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Architectural Education (again)

One of the funny things about architectural education is that presently you can sit in a room for hours with it (in the shape of student portfolios, teaching staff, directors and doctors of architecture and so on, the whole enchilada) and realize there is little tangible to the endeavour at all. This is more funny than annoying or anything worse, it has to do with some notion that architecture might embody cultivated, or more cultivated sensitivities than say, the design of an efficient or even beautiful kitchen. This is, essentially, a parlour game, it's all a bit Viennese c1910 if you are a subscriber to the theory that history repeats itself.
I am not a subscriber to such a notion but I do see that in order to protect their worth, to add value, architects have to see themselves, and more importantly have to be seen, as more elevated types, and in a sense we have been pushed toward a curiosity. When thought for the straightforwardly decent exhausted itself in the western world, and consumerism took over, it was the death of Le Corbusier and all that. Historically speaking the project of modernism should have extended to give everybody a decent lunch, not just a brand new IKEA kitchen.
Designing a good kitchen is now seen as a bit austere, a bit ordinary. I think Karl Marx would have been most interested in this almost total distance of todays young architects from their essential subject.

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