Cultivating architects: the humanities in architectural education

Stara, Alexandra (2010) Cultivating architects: the humanities in architectural education. In: Bandyopadhyay, Soumyen , Lomholt, Jane , Temple, Nicholas and Tobe, Renée, (eds.) The Humanities in Architectural Design: A contemporary and Historical Perspective. Oxford, U.K. : Routledge. pp. 28-35. ISBN 9780415551144


With a major reshaping of architectural education in Britain underway, the reconsideration of the role of the humanities in design practice and training has never been more relevant. This chapter argues that despite gestures towards a balancing of technological and humanist elements in the education of architects, the real issues remain largely ignored and academic provision continues to tend towards fragmentation and specialisation. What is at stake is not a matter of disciplinary pluralism, or even ‘interdisciplinarity’ – that catch-phrase of our times – but instead the very nature of architecture as a creative process and the ways in which it can be meaningfully unraveled and taught. The disciplinary divide which radically separates word, number and image has acute repercussions in architecture, perhaps the most synthetic and situated of cultural phenomena. This separation is especially problematic for education, as the false security of architectural representation and its ‘make-believe’ world is shielded from the complexities of the real. This chapter revists the humanities and the underlying theme of a contemporary humanism, as the medium for communicating fundamental ideas and demonstrating modes of enquiry, without which the teaching of architecture becomes distorted and problematic. The role of history is the chapter's specific focus, arguing that a historical understanding of architecture is inseparable from its proper understanding as a creative act. However, the kind of history relevant here varies greatly from a systematic collection of information or the equation of truth with fact. It reminds us once more of the pressing need to revisit and redefine the common ground between making and thinking, in an era of increasing specialisation and difference.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page