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心理状况差?各种花式熬夜?建筑学院说这个锅我们不背!第1张图片


“建筑学院是这个行业的沙包。”
"Architecture schools are the punching bags of the industry"

由专筑网李韧,HYC编译

Phineas Harper认为,人们应该停止将建筑界出现的缺乏多样性,精神状况危机等问题归咎于建筑学院的系统 。

建筑协会(Architectural Association)近期结束了新会长的内部投票工作,Eva Franch i Gilabert获得了587票的支持,共1077人参与投票。

在其宣言中,Franch认为建筑领域狭隘的可怕,“建筑师与建筑机构对于其公式化的可持续性、共同参与性、全民实践性过分自信 。”她说道。

她尤其批评了建筑教育,并且认为这是一种“危机”,她写道,建筑师协会有义务重新定义“建筑的教育理念”。

这为她赢得了许多选票,而现在,建筑协会正处在变革时期,对于许多导师来说,这也许是对陷入困境的建筑教育的一次打击,建筑师们似乎都在抱怨建筑学术的现状。

“建筑师们似乎都在抱怨建筑学术的现状。”

建筑学院似乎是这个行业的沙包,承受了来自各方的压力,因为当前的教育有些脱离实际,不仅过于天马行空,也太过保守。高昂的费用、有限的设施,这一切让建筑教育看起来有些无药可救。

作为《建筑评论(Architectural Review)》的初级编辑,是曾经写过一篇关于建筑教育的文章,标题是“在开始学习建筑之前需要了解的11件事(Eleven Things to Know Before Starting Architecture School)”,这篇文章结合了建筑实践的多种建议,并且也蜻蜓点水般地对大学教育进行了批评,而后来,它也成为了《建筑评论》阅读量最高的文章,到目前为止点击量已超过193205次。在2012年,《建筑评论》发表了一篇关于教育的特刊,这个月的读者数量则翻了一倍,任何对建筑教育存在质疑的人都会进行阅读。

对于学生与老师的批评声已经让我们习以为常,这些负面的批评有的却是毫无根据。许多人指责建筑教育在专业上没有明确的分支,但事实却是我们的教育已经集合了多种元素,许多人也认为建筑学院的男生太多,但事实是我们的男女比例几乎持平,甚至女生的通过率要高于男生。因此,建筑教育似乎在为整个行业背了黑锅。

这当然也不是什么新鲜事,因为老一辈的人对于年轻人总是充满怨言。甚至Socrates都抱怨过年轻人的“不懂礼貌”。虽然这种对于建筑教育者的批评已经逐渐减少, 但是超时工作,拿着底薪令重要传播文化的教育者逐渐减少。

高校部分工作人员的辞职也强调了建筑体系的脆弱,这样的问题在高校中几乎没有例外。在这个看重经济效益的年代,建筑学子的不平凡、工作室的空间教育方式、年底的展览、最终的成果是否能让建筑知识的传播在校园中变得愈发广发呢?

建筑教育和心理健康之间的关系已经成为受人瞩目的区域。由于拿不到学位而产生抑郁症的状况并不少见,可是,人们常常贬低建筑教育,而这些未经证实的说法也许会对学生和老师造成一定的伤害。

“教育界正在承担着许多不该承担的指责,这些错误有的来源于现有的行业状况。”

在夏季建筑协会的教育会议上,有人发言说建筑学子的心里状况非常差,笔者问说具体是指哪个学校?统计数字来源于哪里?她无法给出明确的答案,只是说在2016年的《Architects' Journal》中对于这个问题有过报道,上面说大约52%的受访者都担心他们的心理健康。

这是一个简单的网络调查,并没有经过严谨的科学分析,但是却被拿出来作为实际状况。许多评论员都使用过52%这个数据来指责建筑教育的问题及其急速的变化。

英国皇家建筑师协会(RIBA)近期推出了自我选择样本的学术界心理状况研究调查,其中没有经过质量的检测,也没有设置对照组、没有方法说明和出版方式。人们能够关注到心理健康危机其实是一件值得称赞的事,但糟糕的是许多人并没有经过科学的调查与分析。

即使《Architects' Journal》的调查具有代表意义,52%这个数据也许是个好消息,因为全国学生联合会(National Union of Students)经过调查研究,发现大概有78%的学生都经历过亚健康的心理状况。有人说,建筑教育不利于我们的心理健康,如果事实真是如此,那么这个数据表达的含义应该是建筑学习也许能够避免心理问题,我们应该钻研的是心理健康和建筑之间的关系,但这要有严格的科学依据,不要妄下结论。

当然建筑学自身也有一定的问题,当刚入学时,我记得大家都认为这是个需要辛苦熬夜的专业,有人说:“大一的生活是不断吸取知识的过程,你要努力把自己喂饱。”另外就像熬夜者们总是认为自己的效率不高,但是同时也反应了对建筑教育之中所存在的问题,只是其中肯定也有着值得保留的闪光点。

在大学中,你也许很幸运每个星期能够享受到6个小时的讲座,还有时常发生的小组学术讨论和典藏的书籍供你阅读。在大多数建筑院校中,还有着许多手工制作、阅读、辩论,以及头脑风暴等活动,让教育方式变得更加广泛。

“在我们真正失去它之前,我们应当为建筑教育站出来说话。”

上个星期,建筑基金会(Architecture Foundation)面向所有建筑院校发布了关于设计与项目搜索的研究数据库,也许这样能够让建筑工作室跨越各种机制的障碍,从而强调建筑教育的重要性。目前为止,已经有122个简讯反应了该主题的多样作用。建筑教育当前所为人们呈现出的是一副生机勃勃的动态景象。

总结Franch的发言可以发现,她认为建筑教育既严格又疯狂。事实正是如此,正是这种矛盾的平衡点让建筑学院变得如此具有吸引力,反对的声音出现得太多,但是在我们真正失去建筑教育之前,我们应该站出来为它说话。停止抱怨-建筑学院本就应该严谨又疯狂。

作者简介:

Phineas Harper是Oslo Triennale的主要负责人,也是建筑基金会的副主任。他也是于2015年发表的《Architecture Sketchbook》、于2016年发表的《People's History of Woodcraft Folk》的作者。在2015年,他与合伙人共同创作了“Turncoats”,这是一个以设计为主的辩论团体。

It's time to stop blaming architecture schools for systemic problems like poor diversity and the mental health crisis, says Phineas Harper.
The Architectural Association recently concluded its long search for a new director with an internal election. Eva Franch i Gilabert emerged triumphant with 587 of a possible 1,077 votes.
In her manifesto, Franch painted a picture of an architectural profession in dire straits. "Architects and architecture institutions have become too satisfied with commonplace formulations such as sustainability, participation and bottom-up practices," she argued.
In particular she criticised architectural education, describing it as "in crisis". The AA, she wrote, has the responsibility "to redefine what the education of an architect should be and can be."
It won her the election and the AA is now looking forward to an exciting period of change. But for many tutors elsewhere, it may have felt like yet another swipe at beleaguered architectural teaching. There are few things architects seem to enjoy more than complaining about the state of architectural academia.

“There are few things architects seem to enjoy more than complaining about the state of architectural academia.”
Our schools are the punching bags of the industry, taking a pummelling from all sides: Out of touch with practice. Simultaneously too fantastical and too conservative. Fees too high, facilities too few. Nothing seems to set the pulse of the profession racing like pawing over poor old pedagogy.
As a junior editor at the Architectural Review, I once wrote a small critique of architectural education titled Eleven Things to Know Before Starting Architecture School. The piece was mix of practical advice and lighthearted snipes at the absurdities of university. It was parsecs beneath the calibre of heavyweight AR contributors, yet that modest story became the magazine's most read article ever – currently clocking 193,205 hits (the secondmost popular piece has over eight times fewer). When in 2012, the AR published a special issue on education, it doubled their readership that month. Architecture school, especially clobbering it, gets clicks.
Like tinnitus, the constant belittling of our students and teachers has become background noise, spreading negativity that is unfair and unfounded. We blame education for sowing the seeds of poor racial representation in the profession, when in fact intake is massively more diverse in Part-I architecture degrees than across the board nationally (32 per cent versus 13 per cent). We justify the gender disparities of practice by arguing schools are too male, when actually intake is near bang on 50:50 and women are constantly more likely to pass the course than men. Education is taking the heat for failings that are firmly at fault in the wider workplace.
This is of course nothing new – the old always complain about the young. Even Socrates was grumbling about "bad mannered and disrespectful" youth in 400BC. But the scale of admonishment now levelled at architectural educators is getting out of hand, grinding down an already over-worked and under-paid community of tutors who are critical to nourishing wider architectural culture.
Ongoing strikes at many universities over staff working rights highlight the vulnerability of architecture faculties, which with few exceptions are deeply embedded in a marketised higher education system. How long will our unusual, space-hungry method of studio teaching, end-of-year exhibitions and performative crits survive in universities increasingly focused on economic growth above intellectual flourishing?
The relationship between architectural education and mental health has become a particularly charged battleground. I am no stranger to the toxic mix of spiralling depression and unsympathetic university degrees but, in our eagerness to denigrate architectural teaching, we chance making unsubstantiated claims which hurt tutors and put students at risk.

“Education is taking the heat for failings that are firmly at fault in the wider workplace.”
At summer's Association of Architectural Educators conference, one speaker stated that architecture was "the worst degree for mental health". Incredulous, I asked where the stat came from. She couldn't give me an answer, but referred to a 2016 survey of architecture students by The Architects' Journal (AJ), which reported that 52 per cent of respondents had concerns about their mental health.
The survey was a simple online poll, never intended as rigorous scientific research, but was picked up by the Guardian and has since been repeated numerous times as hard fact. Leading commentators have used the 52 per cent figure to berate architectural education and demand dramatic change.
The RIBA has now launched its own survey of mental health in academia with a self-selecting sample, no data quality checks, no control group, no method statement and no clear publication strategy. The mental health crisis is profound and the impulse to investigate is commendable, but bad science is never good news – at worst complicit in spreading hearsay and mental health myths.
Even if the AJ survey were truly representative, 52 per cent should be seen as positive news when compared to National Union of Students' research across all degrees which found 78 per cent of students experienced mental health issues in the last year. We are told architectural education is making us ill when, if anything, the data suggests the opposite – that studying architecture might help prevent mental health problems. We should certainly investigate the intersection of mental health and architecture, but with a robust scientific process that does not speculate with questionable foregone conclusions.
Of course architecture school has its problems. As a dewy eyed fresher, I remember my head of year gleefully predicting that many of us would drop out. "First years are like foie gras" she declared, "you stuff them until they die". Such macho banter, like all-nighters are as embarrassing as they are unproductive but even the most trenchant critics of architectural teaching must concede it has some precious characteristics worth defending.
On many other university courses you might be lucky to get six hours of lectures a week, the occasional group seminar and a library card. In most architecture schools by contrast, a potent cocktail of making, reading, arguing and imagining adds up to a surprising and expansive education.

“It's time to stick up for architectural education before we risk losing it.”
Last week the Architecture Foundation launched a searchable database of design and research projects at all architecture schools. It's an ambitious crowd-sourced attempt to highlight and connect studios across institutional barriers. Already 122 unit briefs reflect the astonishing variety of themes under investigation nationally. A picture is emerging of architectural education that is dynamic and buccaneering.
Concluding her manifesto, Franch praised "rigour and madness". Right on! It's this paradoxical balance that makes architecture school richly productive. The naysayers have had the spotlight for too long. It's time to stick up for architectural education before we risk losing it. Quit grumbling – here's to rigour and madness!

Phineas Harper is chief curator of the Oslo Triennale, with Interrobang, and deputy director of the Architecture Foundation. He is author of the Architecture Sketchbook (2015) and People's History of Woodcraft Folk (2016). In 2015 he co-created Turncoats, a design-based debating society, which now has chapters in four continents.


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