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Architecture Beyond Capitalism (ABC) School 2022


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The Academia Working Group of The Architecture Lobby ran a Summer 2022 workshop as part of its annual Architecture Beyond Capitalism (ABC) School. The ABC 2022 workshop built on the 2021 session, which focused on Capitalism, Labor, and Collectives, by concentrating on studio educational practices.

As the pedagogical setting in which most of an architecture student’s and teacher’s time and resources are focused, studio was explored as a key site in which to test how organizing and action for change can become foundational in architectural practice and posit other roles for the architect beyond the ‘designer.’  As a beginning prompt, the ABC asked: how do we understand studio to support and encourage activist organization? How might design be taught in ways that do not perpetuate and reproduce capitalist exploitation? 

We coordinated a workshop to call forth action-based approaches to changing architecture education by bringing together students, educators, practitioners, constructors – anyone interested in rethinking the architectural studio across different settings and scales. This workshop acted as an open platform to build a cohort committed to the present and future work necessary for change in “design” education/practice. Any person who is reconsidering or wants to reconsider what studio means and how it can create relevant architectural workers with the skills to instigate, organize, and work for change, was encouraged to participate in, contribute to, or lead these virtual conversations.

The 2022 session of T-A-L ABC School, focusing on “studio”, was organised as a workshop where concerned participants developed strategies for replacing traditional studio with empowering models for effecting change in the built environment.  Our goal was to a) disseminate revised studio practices in existing schools and/or governing institutions, and b) create a handbook for changing studio pedagogy.

The 2023 session of T-A-L ABC School is currently in the works – if you would like to be involved in its conceptualization and organization, please contact us at abc@architecture-lobby.org or sign up as a member of the architecture lobby here: http://architecture-lobby.org/get-involved/

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IMPORTANT DATES

July 18-23 2022— ABC 2022 hosted
August 2022 onwards — Organization for 2023 session begins
Summer 2023 — next iteration of ABC School

SCHEDULE

All events of the 2022 session were held the week of July 18-23. Please follow this link for the 2022 Schedule.

LOCATION

Virtual

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THE COURSE

ABC School 2022 was a non-hierarchical space for knowledge exchange – believing that all attendees have expertise to bring to each conversation. In this way the sessions were curated around the interests, capacity and questions of the registered participants. The format for the sessions, as well as their content, was open and could be developed in collaboration with the organizational team. Each role was open to anyone, at any stage in their life, who is interested in reconsidering what studio means.

Participation in this year’s workshop required the selection between these three roles:

  • Facilitator: As a facilitator, you can pose a concept for a discussion or workshop in an online format of your choice, or you may be asked to lead a dialogue around a topic or area of inquiry that is of interest to you during a 60 to 120 minute Zoom session, taking place between July 18 and July 23.  However you structure your session – panel discussion, lecture, reading discussions, debate with a sceptic, etc. – there should be a discussion component. ABC Lobby organizers can help facilitators organize and administer their session.
  • Organizer: ABC School 2022 will be free, open to anyone, and organized by volunteer labour. As an organizer, you may be asked to attend up to three 90 minute Zoom meetings per month to coordinate structure and logistics.
  • Participant: As a participant you will have the option to engage in discussions and workshops of your choosing when the schedule is released. Registrations will be limited due to technical capacity so participants can also watch streamed versions of each session.

Facilitators and organizers were also be registered as participants. Once the registration closed the organization committee curated the schedule and curriculum and released it publicly.

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