People Department

Textures PurposeAlicia Velazquez1 Comment

When going through different architecture schools - as student in the past, then as teacher, guest or visitor- there is one thing which puzzles me. In the School of Architecture (ETSA) in Madrid, which I will take as my example, there are departments to study: materials, construction, structures, linguistics, mathematics, graphic expression, urban planning, physics and installations. But no People Department.

Social studies are not intrinsic part of architect's education (not yet, not formal, at least not in Spanish Architecture schools). Sociologist Emilio Luque shares that, when invited as guest lecturer to ETSA Madrid, he felt that his input stirred momentary interest, but unlikely his passer-by input will make a dent.

What can People Department teach? Social ethics and behavior, emotional awareness and body consciousness.

While we continue to welcome architectural egos to design our cities, perhaps we reconsider who and why are we designing for, ultimately. Who suffers our design and production everyday. Please, Mr. Deans, get a People Department for your future architect's training. We need them on our side.