URP 537– Architecture of Public Education
Course No.: 22632
Department: Urban and Regional Planning
Semester: 2015 Spring
Location: Diefendorf – 205
Meeting Day(s): Monday
Meeting Time: 6:00PM - 8:40PM
Essential participants in the education debate during the post-World War II era, architects have all but lost their agency in the conception of public education today. As opposed to the multi-scalar research agenda developed in the 1950’s and 60’s, contemporary design research on education has regressed to building-scale inquiry for the most part, despite the increasingly indeterminate externalities complicating the planning, sizing, and programming of schools. All of these parameters require sophisticated spatial thinking abilities in order to effectively account for issues ranging from shrinking enrollment numbers to changing pedagogical priorities, and from increased educational alternatives to advances in learning technologies.
This research seminar will allow the students to imagine the future environments of public education by addressing such urban, social, and procedural uncertainties. Through case studies,
the students will compose an account of public education’s spatial and procedural transformations, a snapshot of contemporary debates and practices, and finally, hypothesize on its future. Working in groups, students will conduct research focusing on distinct and specific facets of this complex system, from urban distribution models to concepts of sustainability.
Robust design research and effective interdisciplinary collaboration are increasingly crucial parts of contemporary architectural practice. Far from being a sole theoretical exercise, this seminar intends to expose the students to advanced research and critical content creation in order to support their development of practice tools. The students must possess excellent graphic skills and a willingness to conduct extensive research. Students with an Urban Design concentration are highly encouraged to register.