Inherently, the discipline of architecture seeks to respond to changing demands and societal concerns. Historically, the need to respond has typically been self-declared.
Even in times of disciplinary crisis, architecture has self-confidently declared the problem and prescribed the solution. Recent decades however, have seen an erosion of confidence, turning the discipline into one which could be seen to suffer, simultaneously, from external attack and internal doubt. Key shifts and turns within the construction industry, architectural discourse, and higher education have converged to set forth a trajectory that will be – for better or worse – transformative.
With the potential to either entrench or subvert the marginalisation of the architect, this trajectory will add fuel to the now familiar debate on the role and value of the architect. Given its importance in this debate, how should architectural education respond? How accurately can we value the range and possible applications of an architect’s skills? How can we articulate and constitute alternative roles for architects? How can design, as an architect’s core skill, be understood and practiced in a manner which deepens its value?
This inaugural MArch Education Symposium brings MArch staff, students, and invited friends together to explore the nebulous (yet contested) concept of value.
The discussions will inform evolving ideas on how the MArch might respond to the questions above.