Universities as common space?

Zuddas, Francesco ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1618-2964 (2019) Universities as common space? C3 Magazine.

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Fifty years after 1968, reaching consensus as to what a university should be, and how it should position itself towards the construction of democratic, liberal societies is still a difficult task. Trapped between praise for its potential of nurturing a knowledge-based economy, and accusations of complicity with the logics of commodification that have turned also education into a monetised service, already in the mid-1990s the university was declared an institution in ruins. Yet this does not necessarily implies catastrophe, as higher education remains a crucial moment in the formation of individuals at a time when the latter – the students, but also the academic community at large - are increasingly diversified than in the past in terms of age, class and gender. Universities should thus be hailed as important places where to live collectively, with the production of new projects for higher education spaces providing opportunities to test variations on such collectiveness. This is not an easy and a-critical task, especially at a moment in history when dissociating higher education from a pervasive market mentality is becoming increasingly difficult, and when clichés might too easily reproduced as unquestioned trends in the design of universities - with social learning being the leitmotif celebrated in the vast ‘learning landscapes’ of recent architectural production. A warning must be sent to avoid that these trends be treated, paradoxically, as the neutralised and normalised version of ideas originally elaborated to disrupt of the status quo of authoritarian, paternalistic education fifty years ago.

Item Type: Other
Additional Information: C3 Magazine no.405. ISSN 2092-5190
Keywords: University design, Learning Landscapes
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2020 09:29
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2022 02:02
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/705613

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