learning architecture


a PhD in live projects and architectural education

CFP: the Association of Architectural Educators – (un)common currency

Updated: to include a newer CFP attachment (below)

This just in. The emergent Association of Architectural Educators (AAE) has issued a call for participation for its inaugural conference, to be hosted at Nottingham Trent University on 4 & 5 April 2013. The CFP closes in December.

I’ve been loosely engaged in the development of this new organisation over the last year or so, and hope to be more so in the future. I strongly recommend you consider submitting an abstract or attending. The AAE is setting out to become the pre-eminent forum for the discussion of architectural education in the UK.

Click to download the (updated) AAECFP2013 call for participation


(Un) common currency

currency (ˈkʌrənsɪ) — n , pl –cies

  1. a metal or paper medium of exchange that is in current use in a particular country
  2. general acceptance or circulation; prevalence: the currency of ideas
  3. the period of time during which something is valid, accepted, or in force

The inaugural AAE conference interrogates the status of architectural studio and its scope of enquiry pedagogically, professionally and culturally. It looks to illuminate the How, What and Why of studio teaching, and its application and impact on architectural design research and practice.

 Design Studio, with its central role to architectural education, looks to mimic the role of design within the architectural production process. It is often described as the place where skills and understanding are synthesised in ac creative process, where dots are joined, connections made and where architecture finds its voice within culture and society. However, this somewhat romantic view is challenged in two ways: for one, a gradual shift in the roles and responsibilities of architects in the process of building production, and with it a shift in the architects status within society; and, the less gradual but catastrophic post-Lehman collapse of value systems all around us, and subsequent attacks on the perception of worth and value assigned to the arts, culture, and generally speaking all symbolic capital around us.

In response to this, we call for papers addressing questions of CURRENCY, in both applications of the word.         

1.WHAT is, and how does one determine, the value of design, in society in general, and within architectural teaching in particular.

 and if design and design quality are architects’ primary medium of exchange, and again, by extension, if the quality of design studio output determines the value of architectural education

 2. Is it current, valid and prevalent as a model for the creative process within architectural practice?

 Papers will address questions of value, relevance and legitimacy, and will loosely fit in one of the following categories:


  • Studio Content
  • Site
  • Programme
  • Integrating technology
  • Integrating humanities
  • Environment
  • Live projects


  • Studio Context
  • Studio in Practice
  • Fees Demographics


  • Studio Method
  • Design Research
  • Design Representation
  • Studio Culture
  • Design tools
  • Technique
  • Collaboration

Filed under: blog

About the project

learning architecture is an academic blog of James Benedict Brown, previously a doctoral candidate in architectural pedagogy at the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. James passed his viva in September 2012 and graduated the following December.

About the author

James Benedict Brown has worked and studied in England, Northern Ireland, France and Canada. Following the completion of his PhD at QUB, he was appointed Lecturer in Architecture at Norwich University of the Arts. A short bio is here.

About the supervisors

The project is supervised by Prof. Ruth Morrow and Keith McAllister. Prior to his appointment at Qatar University in 2009, Prof. Ashraf Salama also supervised the project.


Click here for the bibliography to date.


Click here for a selection of peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed writing.


Click here for a glossary-in-progress of key terms used in the project.

Conference diary

Conferences and seminars of interest to the project.


All images are used for illustrative purposes only, and the copyright remains with the artist and/or creator. Please contact me if I have misappropriated an image or incorrectly credited it.


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