Over the past year or so, we have witnessed a reckoning in the world of higher education — both in architecture programs and in universities more generally. Top-echelon schools including SCI-Arc in Los Angeles and The Bartlett in London, U.K., have had to answer for the behaviour of some of their staff members, who have been called out for promoting (and employing) unfair labour practices and for treating students inequitably when it comes to race and gender. To their credit, both institutions have responded to the call for action by making immediate moves in a progressive direction and promising meaningful longterm change.
In Canada, Ryerson University was renamed after protests brought to the fore the prominent role that Egerton Ryerson, the school’s namesake, had in championing the genocidal residential school system in this country. The institution is now called Toronto Metropolitan University.
This brings us to our revamped Schools sections. In updating the listings of architecture and design schools, we came across many mission statements recently refined to speak to the ways in which the profession must change — in light of both the environmental crisis and the social movements, including Black Lives Matter, that have arisen over the past few years. There has also been a renewed sensitivity to the toxic culture of architectural work itself, from the all-nighters that start in school to the exploitation that continues in the field. The universities seem to be newly galvanized to think of architecture and design school as the place where a paradigm shift must occur.
Our school listings have been updated to take account of these changes, as well as to update the prospective students on all the other great stuff about pursuing A&D education: access to state-of-the-art facilities for designing and making, mentorship from the top practitioners in the field, the ability to take part in research think tanks and, ultimately, the opportunity to bring their visions to fruition.
We also recognized that a few notable schools had long been left out of our listings, namely Yale, Rice, Laurentian, McGill, Konstfack, Dalhousie, and yes, The Bartlett. The addition of these top institutions reflects our goal to keep evolving the Schools section with new developments in the schools themselves and in the world of education more broadly.
We’ve updated our listings – and included new ones – as part of our evolving Schools section and journalism dedicated to A&D education.