learning architecture


a PhD in live projects and architectural education

Video: Ken Robinson – Changing Educational Paradigms

By now you will, of course, have seen one of Ken Robinson’s TED talks on education and creativity. You might not, however, have seen this one, delivered to the RSA last year, and beautifully animated by Cognitive Media.

It’s good to have people like Ken Robinson out there talking about the things he talks about. I never thought I would become interested in education, but I am. It’s too important and fascinating for me not to be.

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Detroit gets growing

Last month I shared with you a cheekily YouTube’d video of BBC 4’s documentary Requiem for Detroit. Perhaps Observer journalist Paul Harris also saw that film when it was broadcast earlier this year, because he reports today (with video) from just one of the nine hundred urban gardens established in Detroit last year.

If you think that number is impressive, then consider this: there still remain approximately 33,000 vacant residential plots of land in Detroit.

Being a novice allotment gardner with more than a few ties to the mid-western United States, a trip to Detroit has never been so tempting.

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Video: Dr. Jonathan Charley for the 2009 RIBA Research Symposium

A few weeks ago I blogged about some of the more memorable and provocative papers delivered at the 2009 RIBA Research Symposium. A highlight for me was the video offered by an absent Dr. Jonathan Charley of Strathclyde University, who couldn’t attend in person. It’s good to now see it up on Youtube, and I’ve also shared it on the blog of a fifth year elective module I’m involved with. You can find out more on ARC8014: ‘Examining Architectural Practice through the lens of Architectural Education’ on that module’s blog: archedlens.wordpress.com

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Ken Robinson: schools kill creativity

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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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