As an architect you may realise how important is to become what is known as a reflective practitioner. This concept, as envisaged by Donald Schön, assumes that as professionals we should develop the capacity to reflect in action so as to engage in a process of continuous learning.
As human beings we can willingly engage in constant learning but as professional in a discipline we are ethically committed to keep always pursuing the best possible practice.
Therefore, in order for you to critically validate how your performance as an architect takes place
you need to reflect about and analyse the foundations behind your philosophy of architecture. The purpose of this brief is to offer you an opportunity to put forward what the role of the architecture profession should be from your personal perspective in the form of a manifesto. Your views must be framed explicitly within specific philosophical, psychological, sociological, economical, and/or ideological perspectives. Your reflections should be summarised in the form of architectural principles, motives and/or intentions, grounded on your own ethos or belief system. In order to avoid your manifesto to become purely dogmatic, you are required to explain what your theoretical and philosophical contexts are and articulate them with the principles you will propose.
You will write an essay/manifesto (4000 words) properly referenced and underpinned by substantial scholarship. The essay/manifesto should explain how your praxis aims to take on board ethical, technical and/or aesthetic positions developed through your understanding of wider contemporary critical considerations. Once you have reflected about the principles of your practice you should be in a position to complete your manifesto for submission. It is a requirement to include your principles in the form of a series of explicit statements.
The essay/manifesto you aim to produce will be in the form of a digital PDF or Word document that you will submit through Blackboard according with the faculty requirements by 28 April 2022.
Your manifesto must include the following issues:
• A substantiated theoretical framework for your own philosophy of architecture discussing your
own psychological, sociological, economical, philosophical and/or ideological perspective(s)
• A series of principles rationally deduced from the latter framework in the form of statements
that express the grounds on which you suggest architectural practice should be based. You may want to briefly expand after each principle how it is articulated with or deduced from your theoretical framework
• A personal foreseeing critical conclusion where you state how the architectural profession
driven by the principles of your manifesto would positively transform society in the future. In
this conclusion reference to examples of architecture already in that direction could be made.
Through this essay/manifesto you should:
• Demonstrate an ability to form an argument using robust critical reference to appropriate
current scholarship and praxis
• Reflect on your own current or intended praxis
• Demonstrate an ability to structure this argument into a coherent written form
• Demonstrate an ability to make appropriate design decisions in the presentation of the submission
After the briefing, you can start reflecting, reading and researching for your theoretical framework as soon as possible. Your theoretical framework may be based on more than one sources of theory or authors that may require sophisticated articulations. Find strategies to conceptually deal with this.
The reflective process may require you to develop additional material such as graphs, diagrams,
maps, illustrations, collages, infographics, visual synthesis, aphorisms, poems, songs, etc.
Remember to keep record of your sources since you will need a reference list for your submission.
Question yourself what principles could guide your practice, and potentially the one of others, in a
way that in the performance of architecture social, economic, cultural and/or environmental benefits can be brought to society. Question your position as practitioner considering the culture, needs, values and demands of the society in which you perform. Work introspectively and respond: what are the personal and collective narratives that give context to your architectural attitudes? How your way of performing and perceiving architecture is also a reflection of (or a reaction to) your own personal social, economic and political context? How do all these factors contribute to explain your approach? Reflect, categorise and order your ideas. In your essay/manifesto you should make explicit links to the sources you have used.
For your submission you should deliver:
• A clear essay/manifesto presented in correct academic form that includes:
o The theoretical framework
o The manifesto itself in the form of explicit principles
o A personal foreseeing critical conclusion
o An A2 poster that expresses and summarises your manifesto
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