The environment of architecture education is a receptive platform for knowledge production and exchange, since it is located at the confluence of theory and practice and the attendant modes of inquiry that contribute to space-related design and research. One of the emergent fields of inquiry and debate surrounding architecture as both an academic subject and profession is that concerning the interface between theory and design. In his highly polemical essay, After Theory, Michael Speaks suggests that theory is not only irrelevant but actually impedes creative culture and, as such, necessitates a fundamental restructuring to occur to enable innovation in architecture schools. The proliferation of digital networks as temporal infrastructures of contemporary cityscapes reveals a connectivity of latent information and public concerns that is at best discreet if not completely invisible in the physical urban landscape. The potential inclusion of this data into the design protocols of architecture and urbanism, both pedagogic and professional, may afford greater discourse as it has the capacity for us to consider societal issues that are not necessarily explicitly manifest. Understanding the everyday integration of actual and digital space may inform and expand the transactional discourse in architecture and the implications of such practice may provide a shared creative space that enhances collaboration and facilitates agency. This paper therefore attempts to address this situation and outlines new modes of inquiry that may be adopted within the design studio to respond to the changing character of urban landscapes in society.
|Keywords:||Architecture Pedagogy, Agency, Society, Theory, Urbanism, Digital Networks|
Principal Lecturer, Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture, Manchester, Lancashire, UK
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