Didactics of Architectural Theory


Symposium, Jade University Oldenburg, Germany, Department of Architecture, 29-30 June 2022.

Deadline: 10 April 2022

Questions about changes and particularities of architectural education have been in the focus of research for quite some time. Comprehensive historizations of the structures and practices of architectural teaching from the 19th century to the present (Ebert/Froschauer/Salge 2019) but also institutional transformations of architectural teaching and pedagogical innovations have attracted scholarly interest. The teaching practices at schools of the modernist avant-gardes such as the Bauhaus or Vkhutemas (Möller 2015; Bokov 2020) as well as the abundance of radical experiments since the postwar period have been the focus of research projects such as the collaborative Radical Pedagogies initiative mapping alternative practices in architectural education since the 1950s. In particular, the social upheavals and student revolts of the 1960s led to reformed approaches and practices in architectural teaching (Gribat/Misselwitz/Görlich 2017) as well as the emergence of new schools, such as the Institut de l’environnent in Paris (Côme 2017).

Architectural theory, as an independent curricular subject and scientific discipline, plays a subordinate role in this body of research on architectural teaching. Existing studies deal with the development of individual institutions that have contributed to the curricular anchoring of architectural theory, such as the History Theory Criticism (HTC) program at MIT or the Institut für Grundlagen der Modernen Architektur (IGMA) at the University of Stuttgart (Fezer 2017; Fischer 2019). Yet, comprehensive and in-depth studies of the didactics of architectural theory in the context of institutional reforms of architectural education is still pending.

The aim of the conference is to contribute to a better understanding of the didactics of architectural theory from the 1960s to the present. In addition to questions of curricular content, the question of forms and intentions of conveying architectural theoretical knowledge will be addressed. By exploring different modes and media of teaching, new approaches to the operativity of theory in architectural education will be opened up. Questions about innovative didactic approaches, methodological models, scientific and social intentions, transdisciplinary teaching, curricular reforms and didactic media are the focus of the conference.

The organizers are interested in concrete case studies dedicated to the topic of the didactics of architectural theory in different historical situations and local contexts. Three research perspectives structure the conference:

  1. Didactic transformations of the teaching of architectural theory since 1968
  2. Contemporary didactic practices of architectural theory
  3. Media of theory: didactic tools for mediating between different fields of knowledge and practice

Abstracts (300 words) and CV are requested by 10/04/2022 via email to: caroline.fafflok@jade-hs.de

The conference languages are German and English. Limited travel support is available.

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