“Radical Pedagogies” is an ongoing multi-year collaborative research project led by Beatriz Colomina with a team of Ph.D. students of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. It has so far involved three years of seminars, interviews, archival research, guest lectures and almost 80 contributors from more than two dozen countries. In this, and similar research projects conducted by the Ph.D. program at Princeton, architecture history and theory are taught and practiced as an experiment in and of themselves, exploring the potential for collaboration — in what is often taught to be a field of individual endeavor.
7th WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION FESTIVAL (Oct 12—Nov 10, 2015)
The exhibition Radical Pedagogies: RECONSTRUCTING ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION presents an atlas of intense but short-lived experiments in architectural education that profoundly transformed the landscape, methods and politics of the discipline in the post-WWII years. As challenge to normative thinking, they questioned, redefined, and reshaped the postwar field of architecture.
This is the third edition of “Radical Pedagogies” exhibition. Earlier versions of this show were presented at the 3rd Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2013) and the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, curated by Rem Koolhaas (2014), where it was awarded a Special Mention. For the occasion of its presentation in Warsaw, the exhibition opens up new directions and a new density of global interconnections. Eastern Europe, Africa, East Asia and Australasia become the protagonists, opening new insights into pedagogical experimentation after 1945.
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Warsaw Faculty of Architecture, the installation in the exhibition pavilion of the school presents an “open archive” of 74 case studies that encourages debate regarding the history and future of architectural pedagogy. Conceived as an interactive platform, the exhibition incorporates take-away texts, facsimiles, original publications and teaching documents, archival films, and implements interactive features through augmented reality. A 32-page dossier was published by Archis to accompany the exhibition, and is additionally featured as an insert in Volume #45: Learning.
Exhibition duration: Oct 12—Nov 10, 2015
Hours: Tue-Sun, 12:00–8:00 PM
Location: Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology, ul. Koszykowa 55, Warsaw.
Public lecture and exhibition opening, October 12, 2015.
Exhibition info and colophon at WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION 7 website.
14th VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE (Jun 7—Nov 23, 2014)
Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION explores a series of pedagogical experiments that played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the twentieth century. As a challenge to normative thinking, they questioned, redefined, and reshaped the postwar field of architecture. They are radical in the literal meaning stemming from the Latin radix (root), as they question the basis of architecture. These new modes of teaching shook foundations and disturbed assumptions, rather than reinforcing and disseminating them. They operated as small endeavors, sometimes on the fringes of institutions, but had long-lasting impact. Much of architectural teaching today still rests on the paradigms they introduced.
This installation zooms in on the Italian situation. Multiple case studies are explored to expand the geographical and conceptual map—reconstructing the pedagogical shift in Italy in the late 1960s and 1970s. The notions of “Italian” architecture, design, pedagogy and radicality were complicated during those years by the constant circulation of people, books and concepts out of and into the country. Diasporas of Italian thinking were formed in schools around the world, manifested, for example, in Superstudio’s influence at the Architectural Association in London and in Manfredo Tafuri’s books, read and misread throughout Europe and the Americas. But also, in reverse, pedagogical immigrants like Tomas Maldonado shaped Italian education and design. The myths of “Italian” design and thought were constructed in a global flux.
Radical Pedagogies at Monditalia draws a new kind of cartographic network of the contested spaces of pedagogical transformation: spaces of ACTION (the radical questioning and reformulation of the discipline), REACTION (the pedagogical and political friction created by the urgency of these reformulations) and INTERACTION (the constant fluctuation of this information by the movement of ideas and people). A series of original documents, including syllabus and studio briefs, photographs, films and publications, will act as samples of how radical ideas are enacted as actual pedagogies.
The Weekend Specials Event Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION constructs a forum of exchange, inviting protagonists from different generations and countries to reflect on the experiments of radical architectural pedagogy and even revise them. Manifestos and conversations will include the search for new sites of contestation against governing structures; experimental responses to increasingly professionalized tools of the trade; alternative modes of power to the politics of pedagogy; reformulation of the architects’ relationship to history.
Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION is awarded a Special Mention.
LISBON ARCHITECTURE TRIENNALE (Sep 12—Dec 15, 2013)
Radical Pedagogies: A [PROVISIONAL] CARTOGRAPHY at the Lisbon Triennale brings together a selection of 33 projects that reframed architecture, its teaching, and its engagement with society. Tracing those radical moments together, these seemingly short-lived, widely dispersed experiments do not remain insular incidents: ideas, people, and methods traveled, were spread, and caught on in a shrinking world. Despite their distant locations, the different case studies can be connected to form a spatial epidemiology, with each of them acting as hubs of contagion. We continue to look for these hubs and their experiments, “failures,” and dispersal.
The central element of the exhibition is an oversize Dymaxion Map, which brings together a global array of 33 experiments in architectural education in the postwar period. The experiments are grouped together on display boards either geographically, such as the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis at Harvard (1965-91) with Negroponte’s Architecture Machine Group at MIT in Cambridge (1967-85), or superimposed sequentially, such as the “Texas Rangers” at the School of Architecture in Austin (1951-57) with its legacy at The Cooper Union in New York (especially 1964–85).
Radical Pedagogies: A [PROVISIONAL] CARTOGRAPHY on the Princeton SoA website.