Pivoting suddenly to online learning in March 2020, we extended Willams et al’s. (2005) theory of the systemic dimension through opening up external relations to new global alliances to share resources and co-author ideas on inclusion, equity and access within our curriculums.
We formulated nine inclusive practices listed in Table 2.
Inclusive Practices within the Systemic Inclusive Context for a Radically Inclusive Studio:
As it was easier to invite and incorporate a more diverse list of global participants within our final architectural presentations and online discussions, we were able to celebrate and bring a diversity of ideas and cultural knowledges (ACSA: Educating in a Rapidly Changing Time, 2020).
Auto-ethnographic conversations by authors during Covid, and architectural education online:
Ashima Yadav (she/her)
New Delhi, India
Interiors and Electrical Engineering
RESEARCHER with THE RADICALLY INCLUSIVE STUDIO
Graduate student at the Parsons School of Design
The New School, New York, New York
Ashima’s reflection on the systemic context:
The breakdown of virtual barriers has readied us as graduates to be nimble, alert, and proficient in digital technologies, capable of working for anyone from any location. In India, the presentation of varied narratives within a firmly established framework, established during the British colonial era, was previously challenging. The examination of societal and racial inequalities within educational and professional settings calls for a thorough appreciation of history in order to challenge and overcome western dominance.
Ashima recommendations on inclusive practices within the systemic context:
The discourse surrounding global exchanges and the implementation of academic excellence is centered around the concept of defining excellence and may be limited by a rigid framework. Instead, I advocate for showcasing the unique ways individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds interpret and apply similar information, showcasing their instincts.
Ashima’s question to the University of Cape Town design students within the systemic context:
How important is historical knowledge in addressing societal and racial disparities in educational and professional settings?
Can you explain the argument for showcasing unique interpretations and applications of similar information by individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and how you have practiced it?
In regards to the suggestion to “address changing context and existing professional barriers”:
HD: “it does seem in retrospect as though education has changed less than professional practice. Bergström: 18 on reflection of Cuff’s book (2000 – reference Bergstrom) prediction that the gap between practice and education will widen
“Perhaps one can blame the numerous, top down university initiatives or committee interferences that based their thinking on abstract theories of learning and standard pedagogical formulas of university education ignoring the reality of architectural professional practice as well as the reality of the built environment and of the desires and aspirations of its users for a good sustainable equitable environment. The presence in several such high level academic committees of prominent architectural practitioners has not facilitated change because most of these illustrious members of the profession were looking into the short term practical conveniences of their firms rather than long term goals of sustainable natural and social quality.In most cases they did not encourage any fundamental rethinking of the structure and operations of schools of architecture in over- coming the gap between the obsolescing institutions and the dynamic real world.” (Tzonis 2014: 477)
[MG] As our education is based on white privilege and disadvantages people of color, once we interrogate this history we can restructure how we think and can make systemic change.