Tuesday, 31 August 2010

No more dreaming spires

There's an interesting piece on university architecture here, which certainly speaks to me: my building could be Wernham Hogg's HQ, a council office or any other building.

It certainly wasn't designed by architects, but by a computer with no regard for education or art, which definitely impacts on the way we conceptualise the educational experience. For example, square rooms with the desks set out facing a notional teacher's place enforces a model of education which implies the one-way transmission of fact and of power, but students and some staff like it because it's familiar and reduces education from a complex and unsettling transaction to a simple and neat affair.

What are the inspiring buildings you'd like to model a university on? Interestingly, The Hegemon's New Technology Centre was a case study in the report: it's a fairly successful building, with some flaws, but the assessment is, well, rather dependent on what the university claims for itself. To put it very, very mildly.

The research project on university design is here.

1 comment:

Benjamin Judge said...

Spires shmires. You want the bloody moon on a stick don't you Vole? Groundbreaking architecture costs money that your university does not have.

I quite like your building. I have certainly seen a lot worse buildings in universities and I have definitely worked in at least a dozen far more depressing workplaces (factories, office buildings, warehouses etc). I sometimes wonder if you realise just how lucky you are.

If you have a browse through http://bit.ly/akzFqk you can see who designed your building.

Admittedly that link risks blowing your anonymity, but as you are so fascinatingly bad at hiding your identity I won't lose too much sleep.