PRATT Institute

A documentory on a topic of ArchiCulture, composed out of interviews with professors, tutors and students of Pratt Institute, and other American architecture schools.

Developed topics:

  • 3:20 Studio Culture
  • 8:40 The Critique
  • 15:10 The Real World
  • 20:30 The Next Generation
PRATT Institute

Interview with CJ Lim at the Bartlett


Can you describe the ideology of your school (in five sentences?)?

The Bartlett is very much research orientated. We have many part time teachers who work four to five days a week at an office. About 1/3 of the staff is half-time and full-time academic. This brings in a sense of reality in to the academic world. So we give the students a kind of balance between the theoretical academic world and real life practice.

Diversity is very important to us, we want to have a very diverse international outlook, community, teaching faculty and student body. Because that is the thing that makes the school successful. Every single student brings his own cultural background, interest and stories from where they come from. We try our very best to diversify.

How does your work at Studio 8 influence your teaching and vice versa in terms of ideology and methods?

My work at Studio 8 which is research that is based in intellectual thinking has influenced the agenda in the unit at the Bartlett. Continue reading “Interview with CJ Lim at the Bartlett”

Interview with CJ Lim at the Bartlett

Spatial Agency – database



1_Caravans sprayed with insulation serving as site offices (Spatial Agency)

Spatial Agency website:


Spatial Agency: Other Ways of Doing Architecture (a book):

Database collecting examples of different approaches to architecture.

 Spatial Agency is a project that presents a new way of looking at how buildings and space can be produced. Moving away from architecture’s traditional focus on the look and making of buildings, Spatial Agency proposes a much more expansive field of opportunities in which architects and non-architects can operate. It suggests other ways of doing architecture.” (Spatial Agency, 2016)

“In the spirit of Cedric Price the project started with the belief that a building is not necessarily the best solution to a spatial problem. The project attempts to uncover a second history of architecture, one that moves sharply away from the figure of the architect as individual hero, and replaces it with a much more collaborative approach in which agents act with, and on behalf of, others.” (Spatial Agency, 2016)

Spatial Agency. About. Retrieved [04.03.2016] from:

Image list
1_ Caravans sprayed with insulation serving as site offices. [Image] (2016). Retrieved [04.03.2016] from:

Spatial Agency – database

Peter Märkli on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture

Peter Märkli

Interview with Peter Märkli by Jan Schevers and Heleen Herrenberg:
Peter Märkli on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture

This interview is part of the series by the Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.jkhg

Peter Märkli describes his teaching methods as he talks about his own practice and compares his approach as a student with what he is used to see from students today. For students he has two important points: 1_He emphasises the importance of learning the ‘language’ of architecture on the example of learning an alphabet – only then we can understand the whole – because without conventions we would not understand each other. 2_He says that it is crutial for everyone to position him/herself personally withnin a society, because a simple production of beauty, as he says, is not what is needed. It is not possible without being rooted somewhere.
Another topic he stresses is the importance of references outside of architecture – film, painting, literature, sculpture, etc. As he said “Contradiction in art is considered as a positive thing. “I learned that from Goethe and not from the ETH.” (Märkli, 2012)
Last but not least topic is the importance of knowing the context as shown on the palaces of Genoa, which are not there because of the architect’s decision but because of the trade with France and Spain due to which Genoa became rich and could have built such palaces.
His recomendation for school is to teach history of civilization – not history restricted to architecture only.

Other bullet points:

– there is no need to be actual and always ‘new’
– continuous build-up of knowledge during your studies
– importance of being rooted in society, to know one’s place
– emotion is first, knowledge comes next
– painter has a format – a frame within which he places his universe; then in gallery there is multitude of universes next to each other; architecture is outside the frame – context is much wider
– not important if everything fits precisely, awkwardness in house is the best thing
– very little general knowledge now in Switzerland – students do not know about history and they cannot orient themselves in history
– “computer is not a replacement for life or fantasy” (Märkli, 2012); it is not always at hand while pencil is
– people who do not know their ‘alphabet’ tend to call everything original
– to much paper is produced to say so little

Schevers, J., Herrenberg, H. [Jan Schevers]. (2012, January, 31). Peter Märkli on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture. [Video file]. Retrieved from:

Further reading 1:
Märkli, Professur an der ETH Zürich, 2002-2012. Anlässlich der Ausstellung vom 11. Mai-10. Juli 2012 in der Gallery A4 in Tokio, Japan. (On the occasion of the exhibition in Tokio, Japan: 11. May-10. July 2012.)

Imoberdorf, C., Märkli, P. (2012). Märkli, Professur an der ETH Zürich. Kösel GmbH & Co. KG.

– publication with examples of his students’ projects when he was teaching at ETH
– their semester tasks touch topics like: need of continuity of building in existing contexts; lack of expression of today’s architecture

Further reading 2:
Peter Märkli. Zeichnungen/Drawings.

Mion, C., Don, F. (Ed.). (2015). Peter Märkli. Zeichnungen/Drawings. Luzern: Quart Verlag.

Peter Märkli on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture

Krucker&Bates studio, TU München

Studio Prof. Bruno Krucker, Prof. Stephen Bates
Technische Universität München
Department of Architecture, Chair for Urbanism and Housing

Krucker&Bates TUM Studio website:

Interview with Stephen Bates by Jan Schevers and Esther Schevers:
Stephen Bates on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture

This interview is part of the series by the Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.
Stephen Bates talks about his experiance with teaching, about what does he give to students and what does he get from them. He touches the topic of the form of the studio and confronts his approach based on discussion with the established model of teaching in Germany where, as he says, the big professor still says what is right and what is wrong.

In their München studio they follow 3 main themes:

1_3D-only observation of space
This means that students are not asked to produce any 2D material during the semester. The only communication with the teacher is based on physical models. In the end the final result could be drawn in 2D to see what the student really designed.
Like this also the cliché of starting with the scale of the site and linear zooming in until the detail of the facade is broken. Here the students are asked to start e.g. with a scale 1:20.

Certain typologies are explored such as an english terraced house.

Here they go to the detail. For example the construction of the facade is explored; asked are questions like what is the wall. Then big scale bits of the building are designed.

Other bullet points:
– students are extremely conventional today, why?
– importance of exploration over a precise delivery: students with teachers explore particular themes within architecture; they do not force students to provide a complete project in the end of the semester, rather they have for example 7 subtopics that are presented in the course of semester
– huge influence of modern movement on students; as he says he spent 15 years unlearning what he was taught as truth
– functionalist/modernistic approach is not a given – being subjective is allowed, (…) “form and function is rubbish” (…) (Bates, 2011)
– importance of a ‘research’; what is research?
– importance of a ‘teacher-practitioner’

Schevers, J., Schevers, E. [Jan Schevers]. (2011, December, 13). Stephen Bates on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture. [Video file]. Retrieved from:

Practice of Stephen Bates:

Practice of Bruno Krucker:

Krucker&Bates studio, TU München