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1 (Manuscript - Draft 1: 15, October 2015) ________________________________________________________________ DESIGN FOR A NEW AGE: Teaching the Social Art of Architecture The Work of the BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellows, 2013-2015 Edited by Benjamin Clavan Foreword by Raymond Lifchez 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS FOREWORD: The Berkeley Perspective 4 Raymond Lifchez (Founder, BERKELEY PRIZE) INTRODUCTION: Embracing the Social Art of Architecture 5 Benjamin Clavan (Coordinator, BERKELEY PRIZE) Part One ACCOMPLISHING EXACTLY WHAT? CHAPTER 1: Architecture as a Service Industry 19 Alex MacLaren (Fellow, 2013-2014) CHAPTER 2: Transferring Power in the Design Process 55 Ruzica Bozovic-Stamenovic (Fellow, 2014-2015) CHAPTER 3: The Glocalization of Social Inclusion: Lessons from India 98 Rachna and Ajay Khare (Fellow, 2013-2014) CHAPTER 4: The Transformation of a Society/The Transformation of 153 a Teacher Allan Birabi (Fellow, 2013-2014) Commentary A “License” to Teach Inclusively 188 Josh Safdie (Fellow, 2013-2014) Towards a Better Architecture: The Challenges of Engaging User/Experts 194 Elaine Ostroff (Fellowship Coordinator) Part Two TOOLS FOR MAKING IT HAPPEN CHAPTER 5: SCIENCE, Meet Architecture; ARCHITECTURE, Meet Science 196 Eve Edelstein (Fellow, 2013-2014) 3 CHAPTER 6: The Social Science of Architecture: Data Collection 242 and Analysis Joseph Wong (Fellow, 2014-2015) CHAPTER 7: Re-Imagining the Teaching of Architecture: A Palestinian 290 Perspective Faiq W. Mari (Associate Fellow, 2013-2014) CHAPTER 8: Visual Methodologies for People-centered Design 321 Gauri Bharat (Fellow, 2014-2015) End Notes General Bibliography 354 Notes on Contributors 355 4 FOREWORD The Berkeley Perspective Raymond Lifchez (Forthcoming) 5 INTRODUCTION Embracing the Social Art of Architecture Benjamin Clavan ____________________________________________________________________ Human-centric/Human-centered Design? People-centered Architecture? Inclusive Design? Universal Design? Design for All? Whatever you call it, good architecture – and a better architecture - starts with a deep understanding of the people who will use a building or a place. If you fail to capture the living patterns of the family for whom you are designing a residence, your design for that house will merely be, and remain, a barren shell, regardless of how elaborate the geometry. If you do not have an idea about how seniors actually lead their lives or want to lead their lives, your design for a nursing home will fail, however handsome the structure. If you do not have an idea about how a town, or a city, or a region can integrate the lessons of environmental sustainability and public health into its building program, your design for that town or city or region will fail, however dramatic or visually astounding. Addressing these demands and responding to their imperatives is the framework of the social art of architecture. There is now a half-century of revealing studies investigating the boundaries of the what of this social art of architecture. This energy has, so far, not resulted in any new lasting architectural pedagogy. This actual how (not to mention the ever-present, why) of applying the findings and lessons of the social sciences to the teaching of architecture remains largely unanswered. There are signs that it is beginning to be addressed in a more systematic way. Whatever the results of these efforts, the over-riding objective must be to discover ways to 6 discharge the false dualism that has emerged in architecture between social concerns and creative design, and between people-driven design and object-driven design. Part of the problem has been that, however committed to the goals of social justice, architects and architecture schools do not know what to do with the ever expanding theoretical, experimental, and/or practical social and behavioral information bubbling up, or more succinctly lying fallow, around them. Accepting the tenants of what is now called “evidence-based design” is one thing; qualifying that evidence and applying it to architectural design is another. Why does it have to be this way? Eighteen years ago, a few of us led by Raymond Lifchez, Professor of Architecture, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, U.S.A., gathered to try to do something about it. Since most of us were academics or practicing architects nurtured in the academic tradition, we decided that first and foremost, the critical issue – and the one we were best prepared to tackle - was how to assist students in enabling them to make decisions about what value means in architecture. Was it just the outward appearance or the technology of its component parts or was it something more? If it was something more, then it made the most sense that it had to be about the people who use the buildings we design. And if it was about the people, then by definition, it had to be about the social art of architecture. The idea was an international essay competition on the subject aimed solely at undergraduate architecture students and conducted entirely online, the Berkeley Undergraduate Prize in Architectural Design Excellence (BERKELEY PRIZE). The format is straightforward. Each year we select a topic integral to the social art of architecture and pose a question, really a prompt, for students to respond to. From the first topic, “The Architect Meets the Nursing Home”, to this year’s topic “Sheltering Those in Need: Architects Confront Homelessness”, we have strived to encourage these young architects to go out into their communities and explore 7 the world in which they live in light of the topic and question.* A very healthy cash award is given for the best essays. It is often a mind-boggling task for the student, made all the more difficult by most schools of architecture reluctance to deal in any concrete way with the realities of the worlds in which their students must work. The idea that you can teach another person anything is a conceit. The idea that you can train another person to mimic your behaviors or the behaviors of another model can appear to be more fruitful, but still, what’s the point unless your goal is rote repetition? The pursuit of any liberal education is to help enable a student to learn and think for themselves. Learning can mean many different things. At its highest level, it is a free-flowing awakening of the brain’s neurons in ways yet unclear to us that allows the individual to make untold mental connections, both old and new, that result in a deep understanding of the world around them and a glimpse of the world that could be. The evolution of professional knowledge is based on exactly this kind of learning. Whether or not it should be “professional” and not the common knowledge shared by everyone is another question for another forum. Medicine, the law, engineering…and, yes, architecture thrive on the system of education that we have developed over the past few hundred years. Too often it is nine parts (or more often, ninety-nine parts) repetition and memorization and one part innovation and creativity. It is, however, that one part that interests us here. As the world’s population explodes exponentially, the number of minds looking at one subject also increases at unfathomable rates. To this ferment of exploration you must also add the super reality of exploding sources of information. In such a hotbed of potential learning, that single portion of creativity suddenly becomes what is known in the trade as something really ______________________ *Students are given a further incentive to compete: each year the selected 25 or more semifinalists are given the opportunity to propose a study trip outside of their home country that is linked to that year’s topic. This trip, the BERKELEY PRIZE Travel Fellowship, is hopefully part of a social service event or conference. Twenty-five students have been awarded Travel Fellowships over the last eleven years. Their travelogues speak to the extent to which on-site, face-to-face investigations transform the landscape of architectural inquiry. 8 important. Important to us as individuals, important to those around us as part of our community, and important to the world at large which will thrive on just such knowledge or backslide without it. Knowledge in architecture has always been highly suspect. Knowledge means that one thing is right and its opposite is wrong. Or, one thing is good and its opposite is bad. Placing a stint in an artery and watching a damaged heart begin pumping blood again is pretty non- controversial proof that what was done was correct and is good. Whether or not a hundred years from now this procedure will be seen as archaic or even medieval is not the point – for now it works. Setting aside issues of building technologies, most people do not believe that architecture ever has, can, or should behave or be evaluated in this manner. We have heard all the excuses. From the side of commodity: Architecture is about providing a specific solution for a specific use. From the side of firmness: Architecture is about harnessing technology to create constructible solutions. From the side of delight: Architecture is about creating pleasure. Depending on the times, depending on the practitioner, depending on the wider real-world context – the product of architecture bends one way or the other against the head winds of these seemingly often conflicting demands. The golden prize: an architecture which succeeds brilliantly when examined from the lofty heights of all three pillars of wisdom. Except, it does not seem to work that way. That shiny amalgam is seen so infrequently and is so difficult to duplicate that it becomes a seemingly unobtainable and excessive goal. The result is a vast majority of poorly conceived and even more poorly executed designs. But worse, the result is not just poor buildings, but whole populations inadequately served in their housing, in their offices, in their public facilities, and in the towns and regions in which they 9 spend their lives. None of the results is based on values. On good and bad. On right or wrong. Or even, more acceptable/less acceptable. And here, we must look back at a little history. The proponents of modern architecture as it developed at the close of the nineteenth century and through the first half of the 20th century looked around them and saw need. Need for basic housing for vast portions of their populations. Need for altogether new and hugely expanded architectural components of public services. Need for re-organization of the urban landscape to facilitate the enormous growth in cities. Need for individuals at whatever social stratum to be able to express and experience pleasure in their built environment. Thus started a vast experiment in re-making architecture: Transforming the artisan basis of architecture into a profession. The supposed harnessing of science and technology to aid the building process. Stripping the visible portions of buildings bare of centuries of accumulated – and to many, useless – ornament and debris. Talking in new ways not just about form, and to some extent function, but about the place of people in architecture. This experiment was, in many ways, a failure. At worst, it was simply an excuse to exercise creativity in the name of a new style. At best, it was a well-intentioned mash-up of dozens of new intellectual currents swirling in the atmosphere of the fin-de-siecle of one stage of human social development and the beginnings of another. People still suffered even in the new(er) built world, perhaps in less outwardly visceral ways, but certainly inwardly, in their minds and their souls. We make the world; the world makes us. And, if the world is damaged, we are damaged. Fast-forward to the worldwide social turmoil of the 1960s. In a combination of a rising tide of prosperity, more thoughtful education leading to new levels of social investigation and awareness, actual new breakthroughs in science and technology, and the overall expansion of human population (more minds looking at more questions producing more answers), every intellectual discipline was re-examined for its relevancy, productivity, and contribution to the 10 human good. Many were found lacking. Re-organization, re-thinking, re-creating was the task of the day and of the time. Experiments in living were matched with experiments in building; architecture reportedly re-found its social roots. This time around, things would be different. Architectural theorists scrambled to apply the lessons and findings of sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and the religious (notably the Buddhists and their special awareness of the power of the thoughtful mind) to the production of building. Evidence-based design – a phrase that actually did not gain traction for another 30 years – was the goal. Learn not only from the lessons of the past, but from the burgeoning data fields being created by armies of social investigators going out into the world, asking questions, recording answers and, yes, stirring up the pot. “Architecture for People” seemed to be not only an actual possibility, but became a mantra for a new generation of students…and faculty wanting to explore the outer dimensions of the new discipline of architecture. To date, there is no new discipline. There are glimpses of such a thing. Students majoring in architecture AND sociology, anthropology, all of the “gy’s”. Professors of Architecture who had never built a building except as a fictional social experiment. Urbanologists shifting their focus to process, rather than product. Joint degree programs: Architecture and religion. Architecture and musicology. Architecture and journalism. Expanded Ph.D. programs and fields of investigation: “Experiential Architecture”; “Architecture and Mysticism”; Fractal Architecture as Applied to the Architecture of Architecture. Much written material. (So much written material…) And lots of fostering of community meetings. Lots. Really, an entire new industry. The public was going to become part of the process, even if many had to be dragged, kicking and screaming (figuratively speaking) into the meeting rooms. Regardless of to whom you talk, the architecture of our new millennium – despite all of the above – is barely different from decades past. The edges have been blurred a bit, there is 11 acknowledgement that there is something else out there that needs to be addressed, but if anything, architecture today is more form-driven and less people-driven then even at the beginning of the 1970s. What makes this state of affairs even more perplexing is the growing list of colleges and universities who sponsor socially-conscious projects outside the campus, whether it be housing for the poor, experiments in sustainable design, or attempts at positing radical changes in traditional building types. These enterprises are matched in the profession by a small, but growing number of those who, as in the titles of the most widely received recent books on the subject, provide their services pro bono, and design as if they give a damn. If they have their way – if we have our way – what comes next in the history of architecture is “Design for a New Age.” Clearly and unfortunately, however, the idea that architecture is open to the application of theory – and testing – is still suspect in many quarters. This also clearly makes the practice of architecture, not to mention the teaching of architecture, both of which are already difficult enough, that much more complex. The fall-back position is that architecture has always been about form, it will always be about form, and anyway, form is fun to manipulate and play with and, since you have to go to school anyway to get your credentials (part of the scheme of professionalism), you might as well learn about it. Study form long enough and you can develop theories about form itself. Architecture is replete with them. So many, in fact, that most of these theories amount to little more than a new or new/old style. Style is usually easy to duplicate and even if it is not, today you can digitize it and create a simulacrum. Theory is for the (suspect) scientists: be gone with them! This was the academic and professional environment we found ourselves facing nearly two decades ago in fostering the study of the social art of architecture. In many ways, it still is. The question then and now is how to interest young architecture students in exploring all of these questions for themselves. It could not be done from within the essentially moribund 12 structure of the schools themselves. And, it could not be done using the same static models of architectural education. Nearly 2000 participating students from 62 countries later and the task is no less difficult and no less fascinating. In 2013 we decided to mount an experiment and expand our focus to those who teach architecture. The primary goal of the BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellowship was to support innovative thinking by architecture faculty as they work to focus their students’ attention on the social, behavioral, and physical characteristics of the users of the buildings and spaces they design. More than this, the Teaching Fellowship presented a unique opportunity to investigate how to teach the social art of architecture and to explore why it is overwhelmingly not taught. A Request for Proposals was sent to a good portion of the world’s architecture schools. The architecture blogs were alerted. Our extensive mailing list was deeply mined. We loudly advertised the opportunity on our extensive, archival website: The response was good for the first year of a prize program: not great, but reasonable. From those proposals we selected a first cohort of five Fellows and an Associate Fellow. The selected Faculty were asked simply to overlay a social art of architecture perspective over one or more of their existing courses for a full year of classes. What this meant and how it was to be accomplished was left mostly to the inventiveness of the individuals. At first, we were mainly interested in seeing only the results. As the year progressed, we realized that the issues of process required more attention and for the second Fellowship year we reduced the number of appointed Fellows and took much more care in discussing the how of what they were doing. As day-to-day Coordinator for the BERKELEY PRIZE, I undertook the administrative and oversight responsibilities for the project. Since the first Teaching Fellowship coincided with the 2013 PRIZE topic of the Architect and the Accessible City, we elicited the help of Elaine Ostroff, a renowned figure in the Universal Design movement and the creator of the term, user/expert, to coordinate the work of the Fellows themselves. We both continued with our roles into the 13 second year of the experiment. Much of what we did was talk – long conversations among ourselves, Ray Lifchez, and other PRIZE Committee members. We also scheduled monthly conference calls with all of the year’s Fellows as a group. Interim and Final reports for the Semester were requested. The Chapters and Commentary in this book are an outgrowth of those initial reports from all nine Fellowship faculty. The Chapters are divided into two sections: the first dealing with the question of what it is we are trying to accomplish; the second deals with the how of achieving those goals. The work of the two years of Fellows crosses over the years. The Chapters are separated by two commentaries. One is by a Fellow who, for personal reasons, could not participate in this book project. That commentary, the Fellow’s Final Report is, nevertheless, a significant addition to the overall theme of this book. The other Commentary is by the Fellowship Coordinator and deals with one of the main issues of transforming the teaching of architecture and the architecture studio: the inclusion of user/experts into the teaching process. The first appointed Fellows agree on one principle: accessibility is first and foremost about an inclusive architecture that does not develop special, code-related responses for one client group or another, but that creates a built environment in which everyone is equal. This is, at heart, a definition for the social art of architecture. As you will see from their writing, within this community of agreement is a great range of perspectives, all of which are informed by the special context in which their specific courses are taught. The second Teaching Fellowship reflected the 2014 PRIZE topic of the Architect and the Healthful Environment. All three Fellows and their students show how, when faced with talking about architecture in non-traditional ways, not only does the process of teaching change, but the interests and motivations of the teachers and students themselves change. The subject of the “Healthful Environment” puts these issues in stark relief, but they point to the same conclusion: the attitudes of students about what is important in design and what is merely style can readily and rightly be changed by faculty who are equally motivated. 14 What was accomplished during the two years is both exemplary in its breadth and its depth. From Hong Kong to India to Palestine to Serbia to Scotland to Singapore to Uganda, and yes, to the United States, faculty from around the world showed identical interest in far more than just form, more than just geometries, but in the exploration of the meaning of architecture itself through its social roots. While doing so, they confronted both larger-scale issues of proving relevance and gaining acceptance from their peers while simultaneously attempting to generate interest among students, to seemingly smaller-scale issues of how exactly, for instance, to identify, utilize, and maintain the services of user/experts. There is much in the writing about “Universal Design.” This is partially a function of both the specific year in which the first Fellowship took place and the curriculum vitae of the people involved in undertaking and running the experiment. There was much discussion about the potential larger misinterpretation of the meaning of the social art of architecture and/or a bias to more prosaic questions of accessibility. In the United States, Universal Design still has a certain stigma of supposedly being reflective of one particular interest group: those with disabilities. In Europe, and Asia particularly, the term has been widely accepted as having a much broader meaning and purpose. My own reaction to this issue was to (re-)stress the idea that what was being implied by the use of any of the collective terms: Universal Design, Human-Centered Design, etc., was actually part of the larger study of the social art of architecture. It is, at heart, about us as people and how we maneuver our way not only through the built world, but through life itself. Creating wonderful architecture is only a (thankful) by-product of this journey. The very fact that we are able to talk about architecture in this way, which is partially a result of all the academic research and studies that have led up to it, is in itself a proud accomplishment. In teaching this “Design for a New Age,” especially interesting is the introspective nature of the faculty that is reflected in these chapters. The focus is not the student work and the student achievement, although that is significant and holds lessons of its own. It is about how 15 the lives of the faculty themselves changes when faced with talking about architecture in non- traditional ways. The specific subject matters puts these issues in more stark relief, but they are the same issues that can be asked in any human-centered design process. By supporting investigations into these teaching changes in diverse settings and situations, the PRIZE both augments other more rigorous academic research efforts, but also opens new avenues of study. Rather than (only) dealing with metrics and three-dimensional form, the new faculty – prominent among them the BERKELEY PRIZE Teaching Fellows - are asking questions about everyday life and its interaction with the buildings we use and inhabit: Where is the entrance and how does it provide a beacon for all those looking for it. Once inside, how does the building greet the owner or visitor. How are the occupant’s everyday activities served and enhanced by the design of the building? Where is the window-seat in which you can retire to quietly read a book? How is a place best designed to accommodate such moments of human life? The two-year experiment of awarding Teaching Fellowships and tracking the progress of the faculty points to the need to more systematically investigate a series of large-scale changes that would be required to fully implement the teaching of the social art of architecture. I have previously reported on five that remain most apparent (Clavan, B. 2014 & 2015). They are: 1. The emphasis must be on place, not studio; 2. User/experts must become an integral part of the learning environment; 3. Different standards must be adopted for course outcomes; 4. Social scientists must be (re-)integrated into the design process; and 5. The idea of empathy must be consciously incorporated into the work of the architecture studio and classroom. . These sorts of responses require a completely different approach to the teaching of architecture and the preparation of teachers of architecture. First and foremost, it opens the door to the question of value, of what works and what does not, of what is good and bad. Inside the academy, it questions the accepted dogma of subjectivity and neutrality in traditional

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