Are evaluation and measuring a form of rhetorics? A political art of obscuring the political? What’s Post-Occupancy Evaluation got to do with it?
I’m struggling to write a chapter about the measurement and evaluation of school buildings in use, what’s called “Post-Occupancy Evaluation”. Writing this is an attempt to clarify some thoughts about how the selection and measurement of values in a process of evaluating buildings is necessarily political and involves the communication and projection of particular values (rather than a mere recording of them). I argue that evaluation, what is valued and their promulgation can be thought of as a form of rhetorics. Continue reading “Measuring and Evaluating as Rhetorical Management”
After 1968, James Ackerman, Giancarlo De Carlo and others questioned school design: why? why like this? This post revisits their questions.
“In the Middle Ages, colleges like those at Oxford looked like monasteries because the Establishment was theocratic; today , our high schools look like factories and regiment students like the labor force because the Establishment is commercial and industrial.” (James S. Ackerman)
Ackerman is generalising and knows it. He wants to skip past instances of particular schools in particular places and think about why they tend to look as they do: it’s a question that’s often ignored.
For OECD and UNICEF, the well-being of UK young people is not good. Is it time to rethink the aim of school architecture?
Earlier this week, the OECD published its findings on student well-being [PDF, 6MB]. When 15-year-olds across the world sat the 2015 PISA reading, writing and science tests, they also responded to a questionnaire that sought to explore their satisfaction with life in general, and, in more specific terms, their self-reported social, cognitive, psychological and physical well-being (as defined by the OECD). 
Ruth Taylor was born in London, England and attended schools in Surrey and Buckinghamshire. Prior to studying Architecture at University of Westminster she studied English Literature and Language at University of Liverpool followed by four years working for an investment bank. Before joining SCABAL, as a Senior architect in 2008, she worked with Cottrell & Vermuelen Architecture, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Dinwiddie MacLaren Architects gaining particular experience of Education projects as well as working on community, arts, conservation and residential buildings. Continue reading “The spaces have to really want to change: an interview with architect Ruth Taylor”
Over the past three years, an innovative collaborative research partnership, funded by the AHRC has been established between the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge and SCABAL architecture studio, London.
The partnership is entitled ‘Creative Discipline: exploring the value of design in building high quality schools supporting excellence in teaching and learning.’
Three doctoral researchers, Emma Dyer, Karolina Szynalska and Tom Bellfield, are currently conducting PhD studies, jointly supervised by Dr Cathy Burke at the Faculty of Education and Dominic Cullinan at SCABAL. Their research questions and subsequent studies have been generated through this bipedular partnership, with one foot in academia and the other foot in practice.
Helen Taylor is Practice Director at Scott Brownrigg, responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of programmes to enhance technical competence and expertise across the whole company. As well as specialising in education design, Helen is committed to sustainability, diversity and inclusive design. She is well-recognised through her collaboration with industry bodies and is a founder member and co-chair of Architects for Change, the RIBA’s Equality & Diversity Forum; Chair of the RIBA Inclusive Design Committee; and Convenor of the RIBA Schools Client Forum; Co-chair of the Construction Industry Council Green Construction Panel; a mentor for the Construction Industry Council Fluid Mentoring Programme.
Tell me about your own early experiences of school.
In 1811, Joseph Lancaster publishes his Hints and Directions for Building, Fitting Up, and Arranging School Rooms, one of the key triggers for the idea of a modern school building and a legacy-leaving document that affects how we think of schools today and perhaps even the fact that we can think of schools today. Just four years later in the Paris of 1815, Charles de Lasteyrie writes this Continue reading “When School Architecture Meant System Architecture”
Ola Uduku (Edinburgh University) speaks about the historical influence of Western pedagogies and architectural traditions and their local adaptation in school design.
Ola Uduku is Reader in Architecture and Dean International for Africa at Edinburgh University’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA). Her research specialisms are the history of educational architecture in Africa and contemporary issues related to social infrastructure provision for minority communities in cities in the ‘West’ and ‘South’. She is also involved in research into environmental analysis, and measurement tools and apps for educational and third sector uses.Continue reading “Schools and School Design in Africa: An Interview with Ola Uduku”
Treetops Primary is to be sited on the edge of a small town in the South of England on a large site with plenty of room for a large school playing field. The school will be two-form entry (420 pupils) with a 56 place fte.nursery, which may be separate or linked to the school.
As a student of architecture and education you have all the fun and none of the responsibilities of the professional architect/educator. In June I was given the opportunity by SCABAL to write a brief for their architectural studio’s open day to design a primary school in a day.
Dominic Cullinan is an architect and founding partner of SCABAL (Studio Cullinan & Buck Architects Ltd.) based in Hatton Garden. Dominic met Jon Buck at Ian Richie architects in 1989 and they have worked together ever since, forming a partnership as Cullinan & Buck Architects in 1996.