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    ANATOMY OF CUTTING EDGE: SCI-Arc’s Original Curriculum (Pt 1)

    Orhan Ayyüce
    Jul 30, '22 4:17 PM EST


    SCI-ARC was radical. Back then, in 1972 when it all started, when the way of thinking was fresh, revolutionary, and accessible. In a warehouse, now mostly gone industrial part of Santa Monica where forward-thinking people from all walks of life students and educators alike, manifested that the architectural school should teach things that matter.

    This was no art district, no gentrification zone, no marketing, no nothing but everybody showed up. The architecture of important things mattered to people, future communities, and their environments. This was the idea. The school was set, and the curriculum was co-operatively designed and offered by the faculty and the students. It was shaped by its ideals, with a new way of teaching and learning architecture. It was a go. It happened. No ifs and buts, it happened. Full speed and alive. They talked the talk and walked the walk. Even 50 years later, it is up and ahead.

    This is an important glimpse into where SCI Arc came from. Let’s never forget. These are the first course descriptions of the classes fifty years ago. For an architecture school, it was highly caring then and those words are highly caring and urgent now.

    Morphing from one thing to the other is unavoidable, and natural.

    Financial corporatism is not everything.

    The ideals should survive.

    That is what matters.

    *This document was written by Ray Kappe in 1972.

    *Thank you, Ralph Mursinna, inaugural alumni, friend, architect, and keeper of ideals who provided this historical document.

    Part 2: Decision Making, Fees

    Part 3: Names

    Part 4: Evaluations, Degree Requirements, and Classes

    • 1 Comment

    • thanks for posting Orhan. It is interesting to see how tentative and earnest it was at its beginning. Both sure and uncertain at the same time. It reminds of the the London School of Architecture in some ways. Especially for its clear intent to be a response to a very specific circumstance. I guess this is the challenge of being reactionary and then slowly realizing that you are leading. Where do you lead people when the starting point was only "away" from the bullshit.

      In any case a good reminder for our time. We are all reactionaries now and many of us are looking for a way to turn our feet.

      Jul 31, 22 11:58 am  · 
      3  · 

      I agree Will. We are going forward by going backward. As you allude to them, conditions have changed, what I am trying to ask is, can we keep the idealism alive and/or revive it, because they were ahead of their time? I don't really know, but I am putting it out there regardless.

      Jul 31, 22 12:25 pm  · 
      1  · 

      It's a good question. I feel like we will get lost if we don't have that idealism. I have to say the students are carrying a lot of idealism (and vision) with them lately, somehow, in spite of - or maybe because of - all the craziness. It is up to the schools to meet that energy and carry it forward. Just like Sci-Arc did all those years ago...

      Jul 31, 22 3:34 pm  · 
      2  · 

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