INTERVIEW WITH NIC CLEAR

INTERVIEW

  1. Ideology:

Inclusion; the school broadens its appeal through balance of making sure that courses have a wide spectrum of abilities. Not mediocre or too demanding. Opening architectural education but demanding the high standards that can be received anywhere else.

There is a small staff-student ratio, 18-20 students are taught by 2 members of staff. This helps in working out a feedback appropriate to students using clear means of communication. Honesty is a key factor.

Nic Clear believes that coming to architecture school should be fun so that the students can enjoy what they are doing.

  1. Context:

An architect should not see himself as separate from the cultures around him that he is engaged in.

Frederick Jameson “Architecture is closely related to Economics”.

Architects need to be politically aware. It is an essential part of our discipline.

  1. Content:

Design Unit system with vertical studios running in the 2nd and 3rd years in the undergraduate program. The university is a non-monocultural school. There is a broad spectrum of teaching positions in the school. The teachers respect each other even when they do not agree.

Each unit needs to declare their position and the student’s work is judged based on that position. There are 7 units in the undergraduate level and 6 in the postgraduate level. Some of the units are more practice based, others are speculative units.

They work with local groups in London believing that a university needs to look outwards instead of always looking inwards. International connections are also important.

  1. Output:

It does not matter what the student’s output is as long as they are fantastic. They encourage the students to try to work at the highest level. They are advised to work with an idea and find the best way of communicating it and who they want to communicate it to.

School should never become only about the ego of a few people. It is all about being the best school of architecture you can ever be.

Things are always changing, so having a particular method or brand is dangerous. Values have to constantly change. Create a space for everyone as opposed to one size fits all. School has to be pragmatic instead of dogmatic. Maintain a set of standards and engagement.

  1. Space:

Nic has no belief in ideals but believes in “playing the game in front of you”. Do not stick to particular tactics when they are not working.

Even if there was no space a school can be run on the “Circle Lines”. Obsessions about the things we require are not always necessary.

Big facilities are mostly to substantiate the high fees. The building gives a set of opportunities. The most important thing is the human resource, so it is not all about equipment.

  1. School Fees:

It is not all about buying an education but also about buying a badge. High fees do not reflect the quality of the work. The fees do not equal the quality of education received. It is all about trying to build up a network.

  1. Important to Know on Graduation:

Know that you do not know everything but you need to find out a lot of things. Know that you should never be afraid to ask for help or admit you do not know something. Have a willingness and openness to learn. Be open to get things wrong and learn from them.

What an architect needs to learn from college should be what allows you to learn when you graduate. You need the ability to acquire the skills you need.

 

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INTERVIEW WITH NIC CLEAR