The Multiple Failures Of Architecture Education

If urban areas are to improve, the public must become a more savvy consumer of good architecture.

"Not since the 1970s, in fact, has corporate America built stunning works of large-scale architecture such as Eero Saarinen's CBS Building, in New York City, or I.M. Pei's John Hancock Tower, in Boston. The last planning projects to gain widespread public recognition were the tony Seaside, Fla., and the Disney Company's white-bread new town, Celebration. Those projects, however, are both exemplars of the suburbanizing movement propagandistically misnamed the "New Urbanism."... The general public's lack of even the most basic education in architecture and urbanism makes for ill-informed, ill-prepared clients, be they developers such as Larry A. Silverstein (who holds a 99-year lease on the trade-center site), public servants such as the Port Authority, or advisers such as the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. With admittedly a few exceptions, asking members of those groups to judge inspired architecture is akin to asking people with a third-grade education to select the next winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature... We cannot ignore that postmodern theorists have profoundly influenced how many of our best-educated designers think about making architecture and urbanism, if in sometimes unexpected ways (although postmodernism's complexity and heterogeneity make it impossible to detail all those effects in one article). The impact that postmodern theory has had on design is, in some ways, providential. Creative designers approach their environment and their commissions with a sociocritical frame of mind."

Thanks to

Full Story: Our Degraded Public Realm: the Multiple Failures of Architecture Education


Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month