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Student architects voice demands in ‘Charter for Change’

Jeremy Till and Robert Mull were among 100 signatories to a ‘charter for change’ calling for a stronger student voice and demanding the RIBA ‘strike off’ practices failing to pay the minimum wage

The respective deans of architecture at University of Westminster and London Metropolitan University signed the document following a special debate calling for reform of architectural education which took place in the RIBA.

Students attending the debate – organised by the What Now? collaborative and Zap Architecture – also demanded more flexible approaches to study and the incorporating of knowledge from other professions in their courses.

The charter was documented by student architect Daniel Slavinsky who created an A1 ink drawing illustrating the demands. A podcast of the debate – which marked the close of Zap Architecture’s Pavilion of Protest exhibition – can be heard on the What Now? collaborative website.

Close to 100 signatures were added to the document which is in part aimed at catching the attention of industry, architecture schools and the RIBA.

Event organiser Alison Coutinho of the What Now? collaborative said: ‘We were overwhelmed by the number of attendees as it proved that people clearly feel strongly about the changing face of architectural education. 

‘The Charter certainly has broader appeal as it has the power to directly influence the future of the profession, and hence the future of the built environment in Britain.’

Coutinho said the organisation would now take responsibility for ‘championing’ the charter and was planning further ‘exhibitions, debates and built installations’ to raise awareness.

She said What Now? collaborative aimed to have all proposals addressed and a ‘strong dialogue’ established with educational and professional architectural institutions within a year.

‘We fully understand that we will face resistance but through future initiatives, we hope to make the propositions absolutely unavoidable,’ she added.


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