I Know What You Did Last Summer… 45 Years Ago – Irene Sunwoo

Lunchtime Lectures – Conversations on Education
Organised by Mark Morris and Mark Cousins
12 October 2017

I Know What You Did Last Summer… 45 Years Ago
Irene Sunwoo

Irene Sunwoo is Curator of the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia University. Previously Irene was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Associate Curator of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial. She is the author of In Progress: IID Summer Sessions (AA Publications, Fall 2016), and is preparing a book on the history of the AA. She holds a PhD from Princeton University, MA degrees from the Architectural Association and the Bard Graduate Center, and a BA from New York University.

“Two major systems have within the past fifty years enjoyed a conspicuous success – those of the École des Beaux-Arts and of the Bauhaus. This simple statement is by no means to commend the results of either but merely to observe that both have possessed to a high degree a generating power, and that both have to some extent been able to endow their techniques with universal significance. Neither in the light of the present day appears completely adequate for our requirements.” So wrote Colin Rowe of the dominant types architectural education about fifty years ago.

Could it be said that since that time a third system arose that has had a generating power and ability to endow its own techniques and methods of teaching across the globe? If that is so, how might the AA as a model of architectural education formulate its future in the midst of seeking taught degree-awarding powers and a new director? What potential trajectories should we consider? A series of lunchtime discussions will address the state of architectural education, the challenges and opportunities at hand, and the onus on the AA to lead the way in terms of innovation.


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