“Liquid Pedagogy” is a critical reflection on pedagogy and the discipline of architecture, which historically is shaped by, but also has shaped, the learning spaces in architecture schools. The thesis is materialized in a design project: a new graduate school of architecture in a dense urban fabric in Baltimore, Maryland.
Zygmunt Bauman, in Liquid Modernity, characterizes the transformations of today’s global societies from hard modernity to liquid modernity, where we believe there is no certainty and stability in the world, and everything is in constant flux. Consequently, the discipline of architecture is in turmoil. On the one hand, the sheer plurality of design trends fueled by technological developments has contributed to what we call today “disciplinary dilemma.” On the other hand, design pedagogy as an institutionalaffair is resistant to rapid transformations, and it has lost control. In such circumstances, and in order to gain their agency back,architecture schools need to deinstitutionalize pedagogy.
The thesis attempts to develop a model for the future of the design pedagogy by proposing a decentralized curriculum as intellectual support, reflected in an open and adaptive architecture. As a critique of the contemporary model of architecture schools as big-box production factories disconnected and isolated from society, the school becomes more amalgamated and connected to the city, offering public resources to Baltimore residents as a part of its deinstitutionalization. “Liquid Pedagogy” is exploring a new model that sponsors the transformation of social relations, where the environment is constantly reinvented through community engagement and the potentials of architectural imagination.