Architecture Education Declares
Our institutions’ pedagogical systems must recognise the intrinsic link between ecological breakdown and social injustice. It is imperative we adopt an intersectional analysis of climate change and acknowledge that the threats of ecological breakdown vary in intensity depending on class, race, gender and geography. We must therefore constantly challenge global inequities of power by re-negotiating our entanglement with high finance, the construction industry, real estate, and the neoliberal state.
Embedded Ecological Understanding
Ecology should not be an afterthought; it must be elevated and wholly integrated into all aspects of the curriculum, and serve as one of the primary tenets through which we understand our roles as responsible members of the Earth’s ecological community.
Articulation of a New Politics
Our capacity to care for our environment has always been constrained by the interests of capital and other economic imperatives that rely on exploitation and dispossession. Our commitment to social justice necessitates new modes of operating within the political economy that promote a local and global redistribution of power and access.
Architecture is inherently political, yet the challenges are too great and too varied for any one unit, department or school to meet. We must specialise and develop deep competency in particular areas, and support the free circulation of knowledge and expertise which are subsequently produced.
This is not a call for unification but a proposal for multiple, plural, and diverse responses. Embracing uncertainty and complexity, we must move intertwine competition and new modes of cooperation, in order to accelerate the enabling of new collaborative modes of learning.
In a spirit of collective endeavour for common ends, cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary dialogues need to be established to ensure that actions are not localised or temporary, but expansive, continual and multiple.
Aesthetic and Canonical re-evaluation
The aesthetic dimension of our practices offers us the capacity to affect meaningful change in the current crisis. If at present, it is dedicated to the fetisation of unsustainable forms, materials and destructive practices, which resonated with a world that existed over a century ago. The aesthetic vestiges we still cling to require urgent revaluation.
Decolonisation and Canonical re-articulation
Our current predicaments find their roots in the concepts we are exposed to and the way in which our histories are organised, which stem from an outmoded, colonial and unrepresentative canon. The task of our generation is to accelerate the decolonisation of our curriculum and discipline, and use our privilege to ensure the voices that were previously suppressed now have the possibility to act.
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