The Architecture Lobby is gearing up to launch a free, six-week virtual summer school program that, per the Brooklyn-headquartered nonprofit organization, “stems from a desire within the Lobby to critically interrogate the structures and systems of power that have made change difficult within design professions and institutions, as well as from a belief that architecture schools do not teach what and how they could.”
Titled the Architecture Beyond Capitalism School (or ABC School for short), the initiative will kick off on June 19 with the first of three thematic sessions—Capitalism, Labor, and Collective Practice—and conclude July 31 with a virtual “think-in.” All 2-hour sessions will be held in the late afternoon/early evening every other Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST with “salons of shared imaginaries” held on alternate Saturdays. As noted by the ABC School organizers, the salons are “meant to challenge typical ‘studio’ output; the assignments/imaginaries to be shared and discussed are not describing buildings.”
As for the three thematic core sessions, a program overview notes that they will “address inequity and inaccess to architectural education, burdens of debt on students, the precarious labor of students, faculty, and staff, and it will prepare participants for a post-developer-driven mode of practice.”
Registration is, as mentioned, free and open to students, faculty, practitioners, and other interested parties. Enrollment, however, is limited and commitment is compulsory. (Yes, there is indeed “homework” with bi-weekly assignments taking roughly an hour each to complete.) Enrollment is open now and will close on May 15. Participants will be notified on May 22 and the inaugural ABC School cohort will be finalized on June 5.
After emerging from six weeks of debate and discussion, ABC School participants, who will engage as both “teachers” and “students,” will be better able to:
- Understand the discipline of architecture in the context of capitalism
- Debate the intersection of capitalism with racism, decolonization, climate change justice, and the participation of architecture in those intersections
- Rethink “design”/studio outputs
- Investigate modes of representation that map power, material chains, and/or organizational structures
- Move from passive learning to active knowledge production
More particulars about the ABC School and a full enrollment template can be found here. AN will have more on the ABC School once classes are underway.