Space to Learn/Think/Work: The Contested Architectures of Higher Education

Vol. 9, Issue no. 1, March 2021

Igea Troiani and Claudia Dutson, Editors.

Deprived of welfare state support, Higher education has changed markedly since the mid 1960s, mainly due to its privatisation. The neoliberal university has taken hold in many developed countries so that nowadays the imperatives of Higher Education have moved away from a liberal, openly accessible, broadly based education to one that will “commercialise scientific research, launch entrepreneurial degree programs, establish industry partnerships, and build entrepreneurial cultures and ecosystems”.1 This shift manifests itself in an anti-intellectual criticism of the university (often framed in terms of spatial metaphors of ivory towers, echo chambers, halls of mirrors, cloisters, and silos) as well as in ambitious real-estate developments, opening of overseas campuses, and expansion of property portfolios with new buildings in which one finds an excess of ‘spaces for collaboration’, ‘vibrant meeting points’ and multi-coloured, office-style soft furniture. Because the university has been characterised as being cut off from real-world concerns of the office workplace, many Higher Education institutions now use business strategies to incorporate real-world experience within education.

This issue of Architecture and Culture invites critical analysis of the neoliberal university and its spatial practices in the here and now. We invite contributions from academics and practitioners in architecture, cultural theory, interiors, and related spatial practices, in philosophy, and other [disciplinary] areas.

Contributions might address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • -  The architectures of education

  • -  The academic-industrial complex

  • -  Spatial practices of resistance

  • -  The incubator (Entrepreneurs in the University)

  • -  The Live Project (Academics in the Real World)

  • -  Studio practice and the competitive workplace

  • -  Academic labour, administration and performance review

  • -  The Managerial University and the Corporation

  • -  Real estate, the university brand and signature campus buildings

  • -  The new University of Excellence and commercially driven market forces

  • -  The University Establishment, class/gender/race and social mobility

  • -  Picket lines and teach-outs

  • -  The spatial forms of ‘slow scholarship’

    Production schedule

    Call for Papers issued 04 February 2019

    Submissions accepted until 01 July 2019" title="go to the publisher's site">This issue is available here