Students designing for Sangatte Refugee Camp, July 2016. © Dr Harriet Harriss Students designing for Sangatte Refugee Camp, July 2016. © Dr Harriet Harriss

The campus of the citizen is the community

Education’s purpose is to produce citizens, not merely certified-as-employable graduates, immutably convinced of their (untested) career trajectories, aged only twenty-one. Instead, it should enable young people to lead lives made meaningful by the contribution they will make and not the big data blueprint of their consumption patterns. A career is by definition, not only a pathway through industry but also the experience of moving swiftly, on the edge of control. “Careering” therefore requires risk-taking and bravery, a departure from an established route and a willingness to harness the opportunities that emerge from unforeseen outcomes. It compels students’ to work with the ambiguities that real people and live circumstances bring, to share expertise and not just impose it, and to test whose knowledge really matters, as well as co-author new forms of it. It is only through collaboratively enacting an epistemological paradigm shift that citizens can disrupt the established discourses and exclusive and privileged practices that have been shaping social relations in architecture and by implication, the environments and spaces we inhabit. Educating citizens requires pedagogies that prioritize civic over commercial outcomes and that demonstrate a comprehensive commitment to ensuring education remains as accessible, inclusive, and as richly representative of the society it is intended to serve.

Harriet Harriss

Dr Harriet Harriss’ research concerns innovative architectural pedagogies comprehensively, and it’s intersection with feminist theory specifically. These overlapping themes are exemplified within her most recent books; Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education & the British Tradition, A Gendered Profession, her papers including Gendered, Non-Gendered, Re-Gendered Tools for Spatial Production, and within the Women Write Architecture project: intended to address the gender imbalance in architecture school reading lists. rca.ac.uk/more/staff/dr-harriet-harriss/