Institute For Architecture
Like architectural practice before it, architectural education has become seduced by serving global capital. As such, the education has been solely focused on producing staff (via ‘professional’ course requirements for accreditation, revising curriculum to chase dubious rankings, and a post-graduation intern ‘development’ program) to serve the private interest. As both practitioners and educators, The Institute for Architecture (IA) have focused on developing a methodology tested in practice and teaching. We wish to refrain from collaborating with other disciplines; instead, we collapse geography, political science, architecture, urbanism, and philosophy into a new definition of what architecture can be, providing an alternative to the existing ideological order. Contextual positioning, whether situational or ideological, has always defined the relevance of architecture. Utilizing types of critique and analysis derived from Hermeneutics, as well as traditional architectural techniques, e.g. fabrication, drafting, and most critically, the collapsing of multiple disciplines into a unified architectural method, IA attempts to develop a cohesive understanding of the built environment by broadening the concept of context. Design, geography, political science and philosophy are integrated to identify and expose physical, economic, and sociopolitical situations. The pedagogy operates at multiple scales and mediums, relates physical form to social construct, and produces content through an inquisition into the relationship between observation, speculation, and critique in the design process. Through a methodology of ‘unpacking’ – exposing the multiple layers, ‘hard’ and ‘soft’, physical and critical, to identify new hierarchies or hidden actors – the work demands an intense examination of the local, an abject surrender to the existing and the rejection of any singular “vision”. We describe this process of investigating Architecture as Territory.