2019, Sat, Nov 30 and 2019, Sun, Dec 01

Education Shock

Learning, Politics and Architecture in the Global 1960s and 70s

Published in Architectural Forum, December 1971 | Photo: Leon Kunstenaar

Published in Architectural Forum, December 1971 | Photo: Leon Kunstenaar

Where does knowledge originate? How is learning socio-spatially distributed and segregated? Why is a school building political? Prior to the exhibition of the same name opening in September 2020, the conference is dedicated to these and related questions. International experts from various disciplines and the audience will discuss the spatial and educational policies of an era that also contains resources for the necessary renewal of today’s schools and universities.

Education made historically unparalleled strides in the 1960s and 1970s. Far-reaching reforms were implemented to respond to demographic and economic developments in the transition from industrial to post-industrial society. This huge, also spatial expansion of the educational sector provoked radical resistance. While new school, university and research buildings were being erected worldwide, “learning factories” – and with them the institutions of education, architecture and science – were vehemently called into question.

In retrospect, the 1960s and 1970s exhibit a conflict-laden, but immensely productive concentration of innovation and criticism, which was reflected in the theory and practice of education and its architectures. It’s time we revisited these astonishingly relevant conflicts over space, learning and politics.

With Elke Beyer, Catherine Burke, Evan Calder Williams, Dina Dorothea Falbe, Gregor Harbusch, Tom Holert, Monika Mattes, Oliver Sukrow, Mark Terkessidis, Ola Uduku, Sónia Vaz Borges, Francesco Zuddas

Curated by Tom Holert