Fifty years after 1968, dissatisfaction about universities seems today more widespread than ever. Adapting to the logics of neo-liberalism, higher education has been increasingly absorbed into the commodification of human values that has turned universities into services ranked by students against a value-for-money logic. Besides such commercialisation, or, better, in continuity with it, universities play today a key role in the processes of urban identity, development and regeneration, counting among the key-actors involved in real estate operations that threaten to subsume scholarly priorities and hinder teaching and research.
This discussion aims to investigate the current status of universities also as identity actors by focusing on their spatial and territorial logics and politics, framed by a comparative perspective between Italy and the UK. The starting point will be the book Territori della Conoscenza. Un progetto per Cagliari e la sua università (Quodlibet, 2017), which reflects on the state of an average Italian public university in the 21st century.
The event will consider how university architecture should respond to the new conditions under which higher education operates, as well as how architecture may be conceived as central to a substantial contemporary redefinition of higher education comparable to that of 1968, when Joseph Rykwert described the new universities of the time as archetypes of combined urban and educational values for their age.
Panel: Davide Deriu, University of Westminster; Clare Melhuish, UCL Urban Laboratory; Sabrina Puddu, Leeds Beckett University; Martino Tattara, KU Leuven; Francesco Zuddas, Anglia Ruskin University.
19:00 - 20:30
39 Belgrave Square SW1X 8NX