Originally posted by FIN
There is often a weight of information heaped on students without any form of coherent evaluation. This may hinder the development of some or most. Speaking from personal experience and I have to go back and finish off yet. They are then reduced to thinking of a building in isolation or near isolation, with only the surrounding buildings as a guide instead of taking the whole area/city into context as well. This may seem to involve too much thought but I think it helps to at least consider it when designing. The language of the whole city then comes into play. This is where the item of clothing fits into the suit perfectly and one becomes trendy.
Yeah, I lament the way that computers for instance are taught to young architects. I mean, you start off doing a small object, you might say model up or draw something like a door, a window and a roof. But you always get the impression that you are 'too close' to buildings and not thinking about environments. I mention the Total War series of PC games here and there, which are a great help at understanding how a computer visual can show dynamically moving people, across vast
expanses. The mere fact, that you cannot just press a button and say 'attack'. That the 'units of soldiers, cavalry, infantry, spearmen, pikemen, archers and what not' have to be organised, moved and ordered what to do in both space and time.
When you look at battles in Brave Heart or The Patriot etc, you realise that it is not as easy as it looks - having played a game like Medieval Total war.
On the subject of clothing
What about the opposite to what you describe, the different native styles becoming replaced by a global Beneton look? I mean, Eskimos are not longer born in Igloos, except in Encyclopedias for kids and Walt Disney movies. It would seem that everyone wants to have a certain image nowadays. I noticed on the news though, that Arab womenfolk were protesting about not wearing their garments - so perhaps that 'ethnic' argument could creep into architecture too.
But on the topic of something like a message boards, institutions and architecture in general. I have been observing this dynamic for a while now, how people behave online, and how it might even help them to behave or even relate in the real world. There is something missing in today's Universities, even though they are real buildings as opposed to web sites, they have real people as opposed to Avitars, your time is strictly regulated and you always have someplace 'you need to be' at a certain time. But still the content seems like substituted food in ways.
I find that family dinner table conversation have also become a poor substitute for what once was. A bit like having a fake leg having lost one in an accident - family conversations are in that same league. Communities, even if they are just online ones about a common interest - teach people a little bit about the value of discussion, in the absence of anything like that in today's modern society. Real communication and discussion is a really healthy thing, and not valued enough anymore.
Then take institutions, like Universities for instance, or families, marriages etc - it is cool to run down all these things nowadays and one asks the question what were they for in the first place. Well, as someone pointed out only recently, it is natural that the younger generations always help out the older ones. Institutions at their very best facilitate this to happen - at their worst, you just witness the breakdown of this synergetic relationship between older people getting slower and less able, and young people with all the enthuasiasm to be of service to the older community or profession.
Funny, because I had grown up with that all backways. I did imagine that in some strange fashion, that older people in Universities were meant to do everything for the young people. But that runs contrary to how nature has been working for centuries. I think the role of 'mentor' and 'undergrad or understudy' needs to be properly defined once again, in a way which is respectful to everyone.
I find, that after spending a full year visiting one about Information Technology, that a lot of really bad misconceptions I had about that whole area have been worked out properly. By the mere fact, I was able to access experts who really knew what they were talking about, and I could listen. That is, like Kahn says about schools - they started originally with some guy under a tree talking to young kids and evolved from that point.
I have linked an article somewhere in the past, which tended to suggest the future for the 'brighter' young people in America, would be online learning and access to information. So this E-learning thing isn't just pie in the sky either.
That is, the policy of 'leaving noone behind' in current educational policies, has resulted unintendedly in 'working at the pace of the slowest student'. This of course, has led to certain young people becoming very bored indeed.
But my understand of higher level education in America, is that there is literally a phone box full of courses you can do. It is all about finding the correct one for your chosen direction - i.e. the fast lane and the slow lane - and not all youngsters have the advantage of choosing the right one.