1

According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language: Pupil: 1. m. and f. Follower, of a teacher, of the subject matter he or she is learning at the school, college or university at which he or she is studying. // Student: 1adj. One who studies. 2com. Person studying at a learning institution.

We preferred to refer to pupils, since true teaching is only possible if there is a teacher, whether it be a professor, another student, or even a text.

2

In an attempt to re-establish these hierarchies, new tools are being offered daily to measure “influence” on the Internet: rankings, indicators, number of followers, number of “likes.” Quantity is being confused with quality, making professorial critique ever more necessary to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

3

NEUFERT, Ernst: Arte de proyectar en Arquitectura. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2006. / LE CORBUSIER: Hacia una arquitectura. Madrid: Apóstrofe, 1998.

4

Striking images come to replace the intricate diagrams that required long explanations; rendering is perceived as a shortcut to success (passing grade) in an exercise in trivialising the process of architecture as well as its teaching architecture.

5

On the problem generated by the reduction in classroom time based on the application of the EHEA (European HIgher Education Area), see http://www.stepienybarno.es/blog/2014/04/07/arquitectura-y-educacion-110-_-con-blanca-espigares/

 

I want a million students…

Mies van der Rohe

Mies van der Rohe teaching at the IIT, published in Life Magazine; found in the blog jesarquit.wordpress.com.

I want a million students … 1

Authors of text: Raquel Martinez and Alberto Ruiz

What Klout would Mies van der Rohe, or Le Corbusier had had today?

The internet has changed our habits, our relationships, how we work and how we play.

The Internet has blurred hierarchies, erasing the boundaries between experts and neophytes and establishing horizontal relationships where all opinions have the same initial value.2

The internet has shortened distances and made face-to-face relationships possible with people who are a physical, social and/or cultural distance away.

The internet is right now the feature that best defines the 21st century. In contrast, schools of architecture are in many ways still stuck back in the 19th century, with obsolete structures, outdated approaches, and outmoded methodologies serving neither society nor their own students.

Students are entering schools today with much more information at their disposal than their predecessors had. The choice to study architecture, while still fundamentally a matter of calling, now involves much more than just the cut-off grade. We can discuss whether the information students have is correct, or interpreted correctly, but the truth is that it is right there, just a click of the mouse or a swipe of the fingertip away.

In the late 1990s, Josep Quetglás exhorted architecture students to leave the classrooms and learn from books, like the great masters. Would a statement like that be possible today about the internet?

As professors of Architecture, we find ourselves in front of students whose main source of information is no longer the Neufert  or Toward an Architecture,3 but rather Architizer. Architecture is often reduced to an image attachment on WhatsApp or posted on a constantly refreshed shared Tuenti account.4

Faced with immediacy and over-information, professors can make themselves valid if they are able to become conductors of knowledge gained from many sources other than their own discourse.

Perhaps the key verb to describe this process in need of renewal that is the teaching architecture is TO ACCOMPANY.  The Internet gives us the opportunity to expand schools beyond weekly classroom appointments.5 Beyond scheduled class time, websites, blogs, virtual campuses, Facebook groups and the like, are all platforms enabling continuous interaction between students and professors (the latter not necessarily the prime component).

Perhaps out of fear of losing that predominant role in teaching, the use of the Internet and its tools is still very low amongst teaching staff and always takes place as a personal contribution to teaching, one that is not regulated or even considered by schools. Many question marks arise – at least in our minds. From a pragmatic point of view, who pays for the extra work hours? To more important issues concerning how to manage this para-academic relationship with students, should I “friend” the student on Facebook, or follow him or her on Twitter if he or she follows me? Is it normal to send a WhatsApp message at 11:00 p.m. to announce that I cannot attend class the next day?

There is no doubt that, in the words of Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin’ “, and only if we are able to fully understand the potential of this change will we be able to create the architecture schools our students and our society need.


Text translated by Beth Gelb
Notas de página
1

According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language: Pupil: 1. m. and f. Follower, of a teacher, of the subject matter he or she is learning at the school, college or university at which he or she is studying. // Student: 1adj. One who studies. 2com. Person studying at a learning institution.

We preferred to refer to pupils, since true teaching is only possible if there is a teacher, whether it be a professor, another student, or even a text.

2

In an attempt to re-establish these hierarchies, new tools are being offered daily to measure “influence” on the Internet: rankings, indicators, number of followers, number of “likes.” Quantity is being confused with quality, making professorial critique ever more necessary to help separate the wheat from the chaff.

3

NEUFERT, Ernst: Arte de proyectar en Arquitectura. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2006. / LE CORBUSIER: Hacia una arquitectura. Madrid: Apóstrofe, 1998.

4

Striking images come to replace the intricate diagrams that required long explanations; rendering is perceived as a shortcut to success (passing grade) in an exercise in trivialising the process of architecture as well as its teaching architecture.

5

On the problem generated by the reduction in classroom time based on the application of the EHEA (European HIgher Education Area), see http://www.stepienybarno.es/blog/2014/04/07/arquitectura-y-educacion-110-_-con-blanca-espigares/

 

Autor:
Raquel Martínez, Arquitecto por la ETSAM (2000), y Alberto Ruiz, arquitecto por la ETSAM (2001) y Máster en Teoría, Historia y Análisis de la Arquitectura (2014); son amigos y residentes en Madrid. Desde el año 2009 están involucrados en el Grado en Fundamentos de la Arquitectura de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) en el que son profesores. Comparten interés por la arquitectura de mediados del siglo XX y el dibujo a mano, algunos proyectos profesionales y un espacio de reflexión en el blog arquitectura con minúsculas.

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