Architecture as social innovation: education for new forms of professional practice
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The subject of this paper is a specific pedagogical model for educating architects with the aim of contributing to a change in how the professional role of architects is understood in society. The premise of this model is that an architect’s clients and partners are not just a wide range of investors, but also include people who live in dire conditions caused by natural disasters or human activity in urban slums, poor or distant rural areas, refugee camps, or temporary accommodation. As seen in this model, the main goal of professional activity is to improve the quality of life of these people and communities and empower them to deal with problems in the future. The main objective of the pedagogical model is to empower architects by providing them with the skills and knowledge needed for a shift from the role of service provider to that of community enhancer. Considering social innovation as a process of innovation that results in new forms of cooperation, strategies and conc...epts to meet community needs, as well as this methodology for socially engaged design and planning, we tend to also position architecture as social innovation. The first part of the paper will provide an overview of the modalities of architectural practices of similar values, educational programs, literature and various types of support. The second part of the paper will present the pedagogical model and its basic characteristics: (a) focus on communication and cooperation with local initiatives, public authorities, and the private sector; and (b) development of entrepreneurial spirit and the ability to raise funds for the execution and maintenance of the project. The aim is to contribute to the understanding of the project development process in a real context and support the discovery of different potentials for achieving various types of sustainable solutions that emerge from cooperation with local initiatives. In the third part of the article, student works will be presented to illustrate this pedagogical model. Designed in the context of various developmental problems that Serbia has been dealing with in recent decades, student projects show how social innovations are reflected in architectural practice, as they offer new perspectives on old problems and offer new answers to them.
Keywords:Education of architects / Pedagogical model / Social innovation / Socially responsible practice / Serbia
Source:Conference Proceedings [Elektronski izvor] / 5th international Academic Conference on Places and Technologies, [Belgrade], 2018, 255-261
- Belgrade : University, Faculty of Architecture