Your education is failing you!
The RIBA Journal‘s January edition features ‘a rallying cry’ by Ben Holland ‘to unite with the activism of students and young professionals across the UK and really act on the climate emergency’ .
Starting with the tagline of the Climate Curriculum Campaign – Calling all architecture students, graduates, professionals. Your education is failing you! -, Holland, a student at Central St Martin’s in London, argues that ‘there is no time to lose and architects, designing at the centre of an industry that contributes one third of the UK’s waste, are best placed to take the helm. But what are students doing about it?’ He continues to explain how students across the United Kingdom are organising in climate action groups, often inspired by ACAN, the Architects Climate Action Network, who also initiated the Climate Curriculum Campaign.
ACAN is a network of individuals within architecture and related built environment professions taking action, in their own words, ‘to address the twin crises of climate and ecological breakdown’. It has three bold overarching aims:
1. Decarbonise now! We seek to radically transform the regulatory, economic and cultural landscape in which our built environment is made, operated and renewed in order to facilitate rapid decarbonisation of the built environment.
2. Ecological Regeneration! We advocate the immediate adoption of regenerative & ecological principles in order to green the built environment, prioritise communities and ecosystems at threat and promote the recovery and restoration of natural environments.
3. Cultural Transformation! We call for a complete remodelling of our professional culture. We must challenge and redefine the value systems at the heart of our industry and education system. We seek to create an open network to share resources and knowledge to aid in this transition.
Needless to say that we believe that urban food systems initiatives in general and Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes in particular can be powerful instruments contributing to these aims.
At the University of Brighton, it is our Brighton Interior Architecture and Architecture Society (BIAAS) that has taken action from the student-side, as well as a number of staff who, f.e., became active in the Architecture Education Declares initiative that launched in 2019. BIAAS has and is organising events related to tackling climate change making it, according to Holland, one of the student societies to be visible in the landscape of grassroots activism across the UK.
ACAN, the Architects Climate Action Network, can be found here.
The manifesto by Architecture Education Declares is here.
BIAAS, the Brighton Interior Architecture and Architecture Society, is here.
Image: Grassroots climate activism across UK universities (source: Ben Holland (2021) Grassroots activism will give power to climate action, in: RIBA Journal, 8th January 2021)