unitednationsplaza Mexico DF


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Nicholaus Hirsch: The architecture of education

The seminar explored the spatial parameters of knowledge production, hence reflecting the model of unitednationsplaza as such. Since this model proposes an “exhibition as school” we have to ask: What and how do we display? Can we transcend the traditional boundaries between research, education and display? What are the spatial formats that determine the school?
Unitednationsplaza was contextualized in a short history of school models: a critical survey from ancient symposia, over modernist schools such as the Bauhaus and the Blackmountain College, to new sites of knowledge production such as the Cybermohalla Hub in Delhi. What had started more than two thousand years ago as an informal symposium of intellectuals joining for drinks, food and talk has evolved into a highly differentiated structure of lectures, conferences, round tables, workshops, reading groups, desk crits, pin-ups and tutorials. Its spatial equivalent is the heavy luggage of architecture: the conference room, auditorium, dormitory, laboratory, library, gallery and studio.

Those architectural components and their walls, ceilings and floors are more than just inert material but a trigger for a spatial practice as a form of knowledge production. Speculating on a situation in which the learning environment and knowledge production become interdependent, the seminar investigates the potentials and limits for the creation of a critical collective space.

Nikolaus Hirsch

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