The last post was an excerpted a history of SCI-arc as an example of how small and seemingly impossible movements can become very successful. No hubris here, no expectation that No Master would become such a great success. The example was offered up to demonstrate that the status quo does change and does so by increments and from outside the established practice.
SCI-arc started with the intention to “narrow the gap between student and teacher.” Similarly, No Master’s concept is for a peer driven process, students must be not just students but must also take on the role of teacher. That’s not going to be easy, but it is an approach born not just from necessity, but out of an ideal that echoes the idealism of the SCI-arc origins.
SCI-arc, at its start, was an example of the “college without walls” approach, moving education out of the university and into the city itself. No Master also looks to pull education out of the university. But rather than going into the common space of the city, No Master inhabits the common space of the Internet.
SCI-arc originally used a flexible curriculum allowing students to select their own coursework and enlarged the scope to include the humanities and social sciences.
No Master also will use a flexible curriculum that better aligns with our current education opportunities including MOOC’s, web sources, and modern opportunities for online interaction. No Master also acknowledges that learning is a life long act not a brief period in an architect’s early career.
SCI-arc started with the exodus of the majority of staff and some students from an accredited architectural program. It started not as a school but just as a suggestion by the younger staff members that the group continue to meet as an independent program for studio space and discussions.
No Master also starts first and foremost as a place for like-minded architects to work and study together. That it may grow into something greater is interesting to consider but not it’s initial primary function.
(SCI-arc’s current director) “Eric Owen Moss suggested that perhaps it was not that the school’s initial format was unique or revolutionary, but that its openness and energy were what allowed unconventional ideas about what might constitute “architecture” to flourish in the space. “
This insightful assessment is also applicable to No Master. The online approach, the peer review or the open structure, are not, in themselves, revolutionary or magic pills for opening up a new venue for learning and creativity. No Master can only provide a possible avenue to channel an energy and drive searching for a new educational approach. If that energy and drive does not already exist then no novel system or thinking will generate it.
The medium is not the most important message.
No Master is a concept for a peer driven study program aiming to capture the benefits of an accredited master’s program without the school. Aimed at working architects and design professionals who wish to develop their professional growth. No Master - play on words: 1 Architects (master builders) without a master’s degree. 2 No school or teachers but but a peer review process, no masters just students 3 Ronin - masterless samurai, term for a secondary school graduate not admitted to university.