T-H-I-N-K—I-N — Architecture Beyond Capitalism school (ABC) 2021


The culminating “Think-In,” on July 31 from 4-6pm, is intended to provide space for reflection, revision, and provocation. As we collectively reflect on the past six weeks, we hope to together identify and debate the institutional nature of an ideal architectural education and/or the ABC Summer School’s role in that. Since the intent of the ABC School was to examine and undo the underlying structures that have restricted change in the academy and the professions, the final session is meant to identify changes–or reconstruction–that may be possible, and the steps necessary to achieve them. 

Preceding the Saturday July 31 Think-In session (4-6pm), participants should respond to the prompts that have been identified as areas of interest. The prompts are below, and they are motivated by the following overarching concern: What is necessary for architecture schools to stop producing complicit industry workers and instead produce critically engaged designers, scholars, and activists? 

Your responses to these prompts are meant to be provocations. Provocations are short, direct expressions of a “solution.” It is basically a chance to say, “to achieve this [fill in blank] you have to do that.” They are not lectures and they shouldn’t be more than 300 words.

PROVOCATIONS ARE DUE THURSDAY NIGHT, JULY 29, 9PM ET, please submit through this form.

The 2-hour Think-In will be divided into brief 30-minute sessions, which will include discussion and select readings of your provocations. The prompts are divided into three categories. The final session will be open discussion and debate. During the Think-In, there will not be any breakout rooms.

As references, for now and the future, we recommend the following resources:

Prompts for your provocations (to be answered through this form):


  1. If we agree that the majority of neoliberal academies are not structurally capable of fundamental change, then what incremental steps or deliberate actions (campaigns, etc.) may be necessary to encourage incremental change from within? Alternatively, what might entirely new models of architectural education look like?
  2. Are degrees, especially those that are accredited for state-codified professionalization and licensure, essential? Why? What may alternatives look like, and what might their value be? 
  3. What is the role of design in transforming / reimagining architectural education and pedagogy? Is design an important part of architectural education, or are there more fitting locations or ways for “design” to be taught (ie: apprentice models)? 
  4. Do the advantages of global online architecture learning (the multiplicity of voices) outweigh the disadvantages (not having a tactile/experiential relationship to our products)? What might a truly “global” architecture academy look like in the 21st century–one that is not tethered to one locale? Or, might such a school be problematic?


  1. Should architectural education adapt to contemporary conditions and the local contexts in which it is embedded? If so, how much? Are there components of education that might not adapt? 
  2. If we agree that architects should be trained to consider current crises and injustices (eg: racial, environmental, socio-economic, and housing), then what are some specific aspects of current education systems that could most fundamentally change or adapt?


  1. What are some of the most pressing issues in architectural education where you live/work/study, and what efforts or actions might be required to prompt change? What plans might you have to organize? What help might you need from others nearby or across the world?
  2. What are some of the key takeaways from the ABC School, and what sorts of educational experiments, revisions, or thematics might be useful in the future? Could you imagine the ABC School as a beta test for a new type of academy, or more as a supplement to existing educational models?
  3. Over the next year, what actions can we collectively take, or might you individually be planning to take within your academy or professional community? 
  4. How might we build coalitions with other organizations (such as Dark-Matter University, Design as Protest, Office Hours)? What might our/your role be?


  1. What questions, prompts or provocations should we as a group discuss during the culminating Think-In?