Radical Pedagogies: Reconstructing Architectural Education
The exhibition “Radical Pedagogies: Reconstructing Architectural Education” presents an atlas of intense but short-lived experiments in architectural education that profoundly transformed the landscape, methods and politics of the discipline in the post-WWII years. As challenge to normative thinking, they questioned, redefined, and reshaped the postwar field of architecture.
These experiments are radical in the literal meaning from the Latin radix (root), the basis or foundation of something. These new modes of teaching shook foundations and disturbed assumptions, rather than reinforce and disseminate them. They operated as small endeavors on the fringes of institutions but had long-lasting impact. Much of architectural teaching today still rests on the paradigms they introduced.
This is the third edition of “Radical Pedagogies” exhibition. Earlier versions of this show were presented at the 3rd Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2013) and the 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture, curated by Rem Koolhaas (2014), where it was awarded a Special Mention. For the occasion of its presentation in Warsaw, the exhibition opens up new directions and a new density of global interconnections. Eastern Europe, Africa, East Asia and Australasia become the protagonists, opening new insights into pedagogical experimentation after 1945.
“Radical Pedagogies” is an ongoing multi-year collaborative research project led by Beatriz Colomina with a team of Ph.D. students of the School of Architecture at Princeton University. It has so far involved three years of seminars, interviews, archival research, guest lectures and almost 80 contributors from more than two dozen countries. In this, and similar research projects conducted by the Ph.D. program at Princeton, architecture history and theory are taught and practiced as an experiment in and of themselves, exploring the potential for collaboration — in what is often taught to be a field of individual endeavor.
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Warsaw Faculty of Architecture, the installation in the exhibition pavilion of the school presents an “open archive” of 74 case studies that encourages debate regarding the history and future of architectural pedagogy. Conceived as an interactive platform, the exhibition incorporates take-away texts, facsimiles, original publications and teaching documents, archival films, and implements interactive features through augmented reality.