The School of Architectural Ignorance
Bartlett School of Architecture (MArch)

In the face of a climate emergency, the project rests upon the idea that sustainability can no longer be a step in the architectural process, but rather should become fundamental to its creation. In order to do so, a fundamental rethink of our relationship to the building, and our methods for creating buildings should happen. In the School of Architectural Ignorance, the curriculum turns academics that are specialised in climate research into teachers and tutors of students of Architecture. Their ignorance of architecture is turned into an advantage, allowing for inventive and unprejudiced thinking. The students are taught in a way that places climate and the environment as bases for their thinking.

However, it is the user’s relationship to the building that is more fundamentally questioned in the school, bringing the surroundings and their condition into the building in an unusual way. For example, the internal climate of the building varies in a manner that relates to the external environment. Wet, humid or cold spaces are encountered in the building which are a result of variations in weather, questioning the artificial isolatory nature of a building that is often energy intensive. The building also uses local materials extensively, even where they may not be appropriate. As a result of this localism, the building gets damaged and breaks more easily forcing a constant cycle of maintenance by its users, proposing a more intense relationship between user and building allowing students to learn about architecture in a different way.

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