The Anthropocene Architecture School
is a developing endeavour to foster a regenerative evolution in architectural education: starting in university and continuing through practice. I initiated its development in the wake of 2018's IPCC Report
giving us now less than 11 years to mitigate catastrophic runaway climate change and to address - now quantified - knowledge gaps in a curriculum, and CPD programs, that do not prepare future architects to practise in the context of ongoing climate breakdown.
On top of this, experiences of my own as both a student and Ambassador for the Architects Benevolent Society
illustrated the effects of architecture's culture upon the mental health of practitioners, and students in particular. So another major aspect of the AAS
is to instigate regenerative cultural practices, building upon the progress made by the ABS
and the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum
in bringing mental and physical wellness into contemporary architectural discourse.
-The Anthropocene Architecture School has been accepted onto the Archifringe
-A Climate Breakdown Reading List
has been compiled for both practitioners and students alike and is in the process of being recommended to each and every school of architecture in the UK, this can be accessed here: https://www.instagram.com/anthropocene.archilibrary/
-A report was compiled after surveying students to quantify gaps in the architectural education system, using Glasgow as its data source - this report was fed into the RIAS Conservation Working Group and can be accessed here:https://issuu.com/scottmcaulay/docs/student_understanding_of_sustainabi
-An article on the endeavour as a whole has been published by Crumble Magazine:https://www.crumblemag.com/2019/05/educating-for-our-future/
Impending work includes:
-A series of blog posts from a variety of contributors.
-Inclusion within Crumble's exhibition to be displayed at the Lighthouse throughout the Architecture Fringe
-A bi-monthly podcast to provide regular content for practitioners and students as well as stockpiling material for written publication(s)
The Anthropocene Architecture School
shall be launched in full as part of 2019's Architecture Fringe and requires funding to:
-Enable the hire of a venue and to cover the expenses that any presenter or workshop leader may require to enable them to attend
-To subsidise attendees for which ticket costs may be a barrier to entry
-To fund future events and excursions - one suggestion is the European Straw Bale Gathering
-To provide stipends for those contributing great amounts of their time, including myself - for example, all work so far was completed alongside the final year of my Masters of Architecture and additional help shall be required going forward.
-To fund the publication of the compiling of the aforementioned blog posts into a collection of non-traditional lessons for the architecture student and practitioner, to both equip and inspire.
Upon presenting on the 30th of March at Custom Lane it became incredibly clear just how crucial a Climate Emergency address in architectural education has become and just how much support exists amongst the community at large. This has been bolstered further by dozens upon dozens of exchanges, and supportive messages through all of the utilised social media channels.
Partnerships - and perhaps even sponsorship from - with architectural practises willing to engage on a regular basis and engagement with schools of architecture is something I intend to set up post-Archifringe as things are kicked up a notch - we are officially in a Climate Emergency
Any support at all would be greatly appreciated: this has been a labour of love, and of optimism for the future of architecture; to leave the system in a more regenerative state than I found it in. This is no economic endeavour and is as much akin to activism, the tone carried throughout its manifesto (https://twitter.com/AnthropoceneAr1/status/1102203570756169728
) may be theatrical but all this is focused upon one thing: equipping those working within the built environment to do more good for human and planetary health than the current system's intent of simply minimising harm.
To give a little background to myself, I am a final years Masters of Architecture student based in Glasgow. I sit on the Glasgow Institute of Architects Sustainability Committee; I actively organise events for the Scottish Ecological Design Association - notably the Materials Night co-hosted with Architecture and Design Scotland; I am a passionate advocate for compassion in architecture and beyond, which led to my ABS Ambassadorship after writing for the Architects Journal on the topic of student mental health; whilst in architecture school I have taken special studies in both Ecology and International Sustainable Development to bolster my speciality in sustainable design - particularly in the field of ecologically appropriate materials; I actively contribute to Extinction Rebellion Glasgow and Scotland, having delivered both a presentation on Creative Responses to Climate Change at the Glasgow School of Art and a workshop for Climate 2050 Group as well as practising what I preach and taking part in actions; and whenever I get the chance I build sustainable buildings, having helped with one hempcrete chalet in the Alps and one straw bale barn office on an organic farm in Exeter so far.