Architecture Education Declares

Responses

"The Spatial Practices Programme at Central Saint Martins understand and applaud the urgency and leadership demonstrated in this student-led initiative, and firmly support the acute concerns for the ecological crisis expressed. First and foremost, therefore, we wish to express solidarity and commitment toward this as a collective project for architectural educators, institutions and their students.

As a Programme, we see the production of space as fundamentally social and political. We seek to expand our educational mission beyond educating for design of physical spaces and places alone, but also engaging more critically and actively in the problematic processes of urban and architectural production. However, notwithstanding this, we agree that we need to address core ethical and ecological values more emphatically and with more conviction. This is also specifically in respect to influencing and demonstrating leadership in the wider built environment and construction industries, whose performance in relation to resources and environment is so dire. Fundamentally, we need to do more - both as a community of educators, as an institution, and more widely as a profession - taking action more intensively, more disruptively - and with more commitment.

In conclusion, we wholeheartedly agree with the actions you outline. We look forward to a collaborative and collective engagement - both with our own staff and students, and with your wider initiative in the year ahead."

Dr Melanie Dodd,
Programme Director, Spatial Practices, Central Saint Martins, UAL

"This is a very welcome and inspiring initiative that goes to the heart of higher education’s purpose, particularly for our subject(s) and discipline(s). I’d be very happy to meet with students from our school and from other schools to discuss this further, and invite The Bartlett School of Architecture Student Forum to look into how we could host and support such a vital conversation. I suggest such a gathering also involves practitioners, RIBA Education and the ARB, and indeed includes voices from neighbouring disciplines and areas of expertise such as climate change, engineering, global prosperity, innovation and public purpose. I’m sure we will agree on many of the points this campaign is raising, and could use this momentum to collaboratively forge change and dissolve the barriers that are thought to exist between us."

Bob Sheil,
Director, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

"As Head of Programme for Architecture at the Royal College of Art, I am very proud to see students from the RCA contributing to Architecture Education Declares. With ecological collapse perhaps the most pressing issue we face today, we must all be engaged and understand the role that architectural pedagogy plays in addressing this. At the RCA these issues are central to many of the discussions within MA Architecture and intrinsic to other master programmes such as MA Environmental Architecture. We work hard in understanding questions of climate change, climate justice, ecology and environment beyond the traditional examinations of building envelopes and building performance and believe that architects have far greater agency and strategic potential in relation to the built environment. However, we can and must do better, everyone must, which is why this movement is much welcomed."

Beth Hughes,
Head of Programme for Architecture, Royal College of Art

Designing Landscapes and the Green New Deal (GND)

"Given the climate and ecological emergency the world is facing, this is a necessary and welcome initiative. It opens a remarkable opportunity to be part of a socially just reimagining and remaking of the world we inhabit, intrinsically dependent on the health of earth systems, (climate change, biodiversity, ocean acidification, pollution, etc.). It can trigger, along the way, a radical transformation of the role designers play in developing design proposals, mitigation strategies, advocacy initiatives and activism."

Read the full response

Dr Jose Alfredo Ramirez, Co-Director Landscape Urbanism Programme, Architectural Association
Lindsay Bremner, Monsoon Assemblages, University of Westminster
Ed Wall, Academic Leader, Landscape Department, University of Greenwich
Tim Waterman, Senior Lecturer, Landscape Architecture History and Theory, Bartlett School of Architecture