London Study Abroad Seminar: Architecture after Neoliberalism

Half a century ago, it was still possible to believe that architecture was made for the greater good of all. This conviction became eroded by the awareness that architecture, like other industrial objects, is a consumer product: architecture must sell. From the late 1970s onwards, the conviction was further undermined by the realisation that architecture may be ultimately driven by the market, by developers and speculation in real estate, more than by consumer satisfaction. Eight years after the onset of the recession in 2008, no clear answers have been found to justify the existence of the profession and to explain its vocation to the public. Possibilities will be explored under broad thematic headings including market, language, experience, ornament, craft, nature and society. The course will draw principally from material from London. It will be structured around seven sets of lectures. Themes include Market, Language, Experience, Ornament, Craft, Nature, and Society. Schedules permitting, guests including Robert Harbison, Peter St John (Caruso St John), Tom Emerson (6a), James Binning (Assemble) and others will be adding their voice in the latter part of seminar sessions.

Enrollment in this course was pre-selected as part of the lottery for the London Study Abroad Program at the GSD.