Things that you can’t learn in a classroom

Schools can not teach us everything. Five practices, with a very different approach, reveal us a fragment of what their education is.

Fala Atelier (Porto)
Copying is usually considered to be a negative act. But there is an intelligent copy and there is a stupid copy. References can be both helpful and dangerous. There is a risk of losing oneself behind all the quotations and borrowed fragments. But copying can also be a way of learning. “It is only through the hard work of copying, of systematically reproducing something as in traditional pedagogy, that one can fully digest and comprehend the fullness of what came before, understand it in all its complexity, failures and triumphs, and therefore be able to eventually move beyond it”. We are trying to establish our own identity, our very own discourse by questioning those who came before. Engaging with the history of architecture, with the tradition is crucial. Selecting carefully our heroes, constructing our universe of references, copies and quotations. It’s an endless ongoing research. This way we are setting the foundation of our own work multiplying this layers of references, manipulating fragments of other buildings and spaces. And it helps us to find things that are entirely our own. Architecture becomes an act of curation.

Andrew Kovacs (Los Angeles)
1) How to get a project
2) How to convince a client
3) How to manage money
4) How to run an office
5) How to get a building permit
6) How to work with contractors
7) How to work with the city
8) How to deal with delinquent clients
9) How to make money
10) How to get press
11) How to think independently
12) How to be adventurous
13) How to take risks
14) How to be economical
15) How to seek out new opportunities
16) How to be difficult when necessary
17) How to accept chance
18) How to adjust to unpredictable situations
19) How to make it beautiful
20) How to discover the unknown

Marginal Studio (Palermo)
Universities are centres of power and as such are also mirroring geopolitical imbalances and inequalities; besides their accessibility, it’s important to note that in the global north Universities are better equipped, and better funded, a situation that makes easy to reproduce a global knowledge monopoly, and makes the relevance of the knowledge produced in those universities limited to western contexts. This situation, undebated until most of the 20th century, is today being recognized through topics of decolonizing and unlearning practices. Many western alumni have experienced the limit of institutional education once the context change, as well as the innovative potential of re-inventing tools and practices. We invite creatives and digital nomads to challenge their profession by humbly engaging in projects developing countries and underdeveloped territories, to produce works which take into account non-western perspectives, cosmologies and aesthetics.

Odd Matter (Rotterdam)
Something I think we learned, and are still learning, independently is how to make mistakes well. A controlled failure. It is probably something that is hard to teach as making mistakes as a student or making mistakes as a starting design studio feels very different. Whilst studying it is not strange to hear that you should make mistakes, that it is part of the process and that often in the mistakes you find the opportunities. But the university is a ‘safe’ place, the mistakes don’t necessarily carry big consequences. As a starting design studio the consequences of a mistake can be scary. Mistakes suddenly involve contracts, opinions, people, finances, insurance etc. Fear of getting things wrong can influence how you work, become a guiding factor. This is not only no fun moreover it is numbing, slow and at the end you still make mistakes. So to learn how to mess up well in the ‘real’ world.

Maio (Barcelona)
Here is a visual quote to use for the text. It is a diagram by George Perec (from The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise).

Georges Perec
Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram