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Too many schools ignore 'central' issue'

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Paul Hyett's weekly column seems to generate more letters than the rest of the aj put together. His latest speculation (AJ 8.7.99) on the centrality of sustainability in architectural education will no doubt upset a few old-style academics. But I don't think sustainability hurts in the way Hyett describes - certainly not in the world of education. Ecological design gives new life and beauty to aging Modernism - a sense of higher purpose which architecture has lacked for a generation.

The tragedy is that few architecture schools have yet to focus upon sustainable design. It remains too often a fringe interest. My visit to recent end- of-year shows from Scotland to the South-east displays a patchy regard for the central agenda of our age.

What I'd like to see is not so much sustainability indicators for building materials but a sustainability index of architecture schools (the 100 or more which the riba validates). Then students would have a real choice of those which face up to what Martin Pawley correctly describes as the challenge of the twenty-first century.

Professor Brian Edwards,

University of Huddersfield

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