learning architecture


a PhD in live projects and architectural education

250 words

It may be hard to believe, but a three year PhD in architectural pedagogy can begin with a 250 word application.

Interdisciplinary learning and collaborative practice: towards a sustainable pedagogy that learns from alternative architectural practice

This investigation seeks to question the tangible and lasting value – to all stakeholders, participants and facilitators – of community-based “live” projects in an architectural education that is no longer exclusive of other disciplines. By mapping and collating a comprehensive history of alternative practice in architectural education (which would appear to be missing from current discourse in this field) the project would seek to critically interpret the skill sets developed therein, questioning the definition and expectations of projects deemed to be successful by their stakeholders.

Acknowledging the shifting dynamic of architectural education in this and other countries in the last two decades, the project would address whether a formal architectural education that employs tactics from alternative creative practice teaches or nurtures the skills for a more versatile student (quantatively, in terms of career path and employability, qualitatively in terms of personal development). Considering the rising costs and extensive time commitment demanded by a formal architecture education, how can educational institutions ensure that they are providing the necessary skills for students to develop their careers, especially in uncertain economic conditions?

Particular interest will be paid to those institutions which seek to nurture interdisciplinary teaching and research. Do these unions benefit taught and research students, and what actions can be made to develop genuinely interdisciplinary praxis in the higher education environment?

The author will contextualise his research with an acknowledgement of his education thus far at the University of Sheffield, an established centre of “live” project activity, critically assessing the established texts of Sara, Chiles, Petrescu and Blundell-Jones with consideration for the next moves in our understanding of successful interdisciplinary praxis.


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2 Responses

  1. Good luck with this blog. My intention with Sesqui was to document the PhD process, but it all went pear shaped very quickly. I still reckon it’s a great idea if you can commit to it. So I look forward to seeing it regularly updated.

  2. Oh, and I still reckon a good aim for first year is to get your research question twitterable.

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