Editorial & News
Stay architecturally enlightened!
Like Archinect on Facebook.
Sign up to our mailing list.
Ben Nicholson - 7 Lampless Questions
Apr 18 '05
Apr 18, 05 7:46 pm
This page is one part of the feature : "
Redefining Education in the 21st Century
Ben Nicholson offered three models for thinking about architectural education: 'taking ', 'giving and taking ' and 'giving '. First the model of 'taking 'was discussed in the context of his personal experience as a student in a one-room school. As Nicholson explained, in such a school younger students learn through interaction with older students, who pass on the knowledge and experience they have gained. The effect is a collective educational environment, in which it is not individual teachers who mobilise an educational programme, but rather a body of individuals who make the educational experience an inherently social affair. Characterising it as the epitome of universal pluralism, Nicholson aligned this experience in a one-room school with his education at the AA, Cooper Union and Cranbrook. To elaborate the value of 'taking 'from one's peers, he noted that what was also important during his own time at these institutions was not necessarily what was taught, but rather what was not taught Ã¢â‚¬“what 'slipped between the cracks '. In short, he encouraged a paradoxical educational model whose objective is to foster exploration outside itself.
Nicholson then turned to the Alabama Studio projects in the United States as an example of an education based on 'giving and taking '. Here he suggested that architectural education need not limit itself to its own institutional boundaries, but could integrate immediate social contributions. Indeed, the application of the learning experience ('taking ') to actual built work for communities ('giving ') is, in his view, a type of social responsibility neglected at many architecture schools.
Finally, Nicholson suggested that architects and architecture students reevaluate their speculative and experimental capacities as a way to combat a 'shortened spectrum of what architecture has to offer 'and to reconsider the extent to which architectural education can give .He continued by discussing a perceived contrast between existing types of architecture: some invest in 'practical 'knowledge, with accreditation as a goal, while others value 'useless ' knowledge, or experimental work. Insinuating that the former currently dominates, Nicholson welcomed a return to fundamentally 'useless ' knowledge. What contemporary architectural education neglects, excludes and ignores, he contended, must be the catalyst for change at the AA. As examples, Nicholson challenged the unit system and its insularity, as well as the mechanics of architecture offices, which he suggested are lamentably lacking in research initiatives. In sum, Nicholson contended that if the AA wants to rethink its identity, it must focus n that which it is not.
Back to Top ↑
Back to Discussion List...
All of Archinect
Last Commented Threads
Does Architecture prepare you well for real world architecture work?
favorite artists who paint architecture...?
Freshly licensed-- what to expect for a raise?
First Time Home Builder: Educate Me Please
Last Created Threads
Looking for internship in Singapore
My definition of architecture
Regarding financial award from the university
Best firms in USA
Zaha Hadid and New York Review of Books/Martin Filler resolve legal dispute
Quo vadis, Charleston architecture?
Indiana Ponders Abolishing Licensing for Architects
Obama budget to require states to analyze the costs and benefits of their job-licensing requirements
Clinton's keynote, Boston's Olympics, and California's bullet train groundbreaking: Weekly News Round-Up for January 5, 2015
The State of Debt and the Price of Architecture #2
Architecture of the Anthropocene, Pt. 2: Haunted Houses, Living Buildings, and Other Horror Stories
White Space: The Architecture of the Art Fair
Showcase: A’ House by Wiel Arets Architects
Showcase: Óbidos Technological Park Main Building by Jorge Mealha