Mark Morris Participates in Educating Architects Book Launch and Symposium

book cover

Educating Architects. The cover image is from Morris's chapter, "School of Thought." photo / provided

October 31, 2014

Visiting Associate Professor Mark Morris recently returned from a book launch and two-day symposium in London celebrating the release of Educating Architects: How Tomorrow's Practitioners Will Learn Today published by Thames and Hudson.

Morris's chapter, "School of Thought," focuses on the post-war phase of curricular reform, the creation of unique identities of individual architecture schools, and growth of studio culture as their defining characteristic. An image from Morris's essay was selected for the book's cover.

At the launch, commissioning editor Lucas Dietrich described the significance of the project: "This is the first volume to comprehensively consider the role of architectural education in the 21st century. Many students come to architecture relatively late in their education, so it is in college where they come into contact with those who will influence their entire careers. The wide range of pedagogical philosophies and practical lessons, set out in specially commissioned essays, creates a fascinating picture of how our ideas and practices of architecture are formed, nurtured, and ultimately built for the world to see."

The book launch coincided with an exhibition featuring projects illustrated in Educating Architects, and took place in the newly opened University of Greenwich architecture building designed by Shih-Fu Peng (B.Arch. '89) and Róisín Heneghan of Heneghan Peng Architects headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

"It's rare that this many speakers get together to talk about teaching as opposed to their own research or practice," says Morris of his experience at the symposium. "This conference brought out the best in all of us and launched some good discussions about what makes architecture education like nothing else in the academy. A hybrid of humanities, environmental and material science, as well as professional training . . . it truly stands apart."

Other authors featured in the volume include Will Alsop, Nic Clear, Sir Peter Cook, Neil Denari, Hernan Diaz Alonzo, Evan Douglis, Zaha Hadid, C. J. Lim, Greg Lynn, Eric Owen Moss, Mohsen Mostafavi, Ben Nicholson, OMA, Hani Rashid, Michael Sorkin, Neil Spiller, Brett Steele, Wolfgang Tschapeller (M.Arch. '87), Anthony Vidler, Mark Wigley, and Li Xiaodong, among others.

By Rebecca Bowes

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