Futures in the Making: Tools of the Trade – Building from Uncertainties

Tues 5 November 2013, 7pm

  • Adrienne Lau, (Dis)Assembly of Suburbia. Courtesy Adrienne Lau
  • ADA school Space. Photo by Nina Shen-Poblete

Tools of the Trade: A two part conversation exploring the state of architectural education today and what alternative paths there are to follow.

With the recent introduction of increased university fees the issues surrounding access to higher education have heightened and debates surrounding the necessity, relevance and value of an academic degree have been sparked. In the realms of architectural education, where the system demands a minimum of five years study, the question is begged whether such a steep investment is justifiable in relation to the opportunities available to those graduating in this subject.

The frequent disconnection between ambition and the actual career choices available to graduates suggest that perhaps a new way of thinking about architectural education and practice are called for, along with alternative sources of knowledge that better prepare students for present challenges.

This two-part series will bring together a range of practitioners, educators, theorists and students to discuss the notion of the ‘portfolio’, the toolbox by means of which a graduate gains access to the professional world. Parallel to the exhibition Futures in the Making, this conversation will focus on the values and methods that need to be protected in an increasingly product-driven education system.

Part 2: Building from Uncertainties 

Situated in the workshop/cinema space of ADA, this discussion explores the possibilities and impact of new nomadic forms of architectural learning and practice.  What other modes are there for teaching architecture? What do these new schools bring and who are they for?  A public audience are invited to join in the discussion of exploring potential new models for architecture education.


Harriet Harris, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University and subject coordinator for the MArchD in Applied Architectural Design.
Tim Ivison, artist, writer and PhD researcher on biopolitics and the origins of British town planning at The London Consortium.
Tom Keeley, writer, educator, researcher and founder and director of Range Editions currently working in the project Learning from Kilburn

Chaired by Stephanie Farmer


The events are organised in collaboration with BlackGrout – an independent ‘little’ magazine that focuses on the fringes of architecture and raises questions to our current culture, education and practice. Using conversation as the primary medium of production and dissemination, the content of the publication is constantly evolving, drawing conclusions from diverse angles of questioning. The project is initiated by Nina Shen-Poblete.


In collaboration with BlackGrout