Rearticulating the Pedagogoic agendas
A collection of academic practices:
The repositioning of SEA as a collection of academic practices aims at reclaiming the idea of ‘academic space’. Under this agenda, teachers are seen and nurtured as active academic practitioners. Academic practice here involves activities that add to the existing knowledge and practices (in the areas of design). These may include artisanal, artistic, reflective and projective experimentations and explorations. These practices may produce research papers, courses, academic presentations, artworks, built-form experiments, design experiments, thinking and analytical models, theoretical frameworks, etc. SEA aims at providing resources and time for the faculty members to explore and experiment in their areas of practice and contribute in the production of new knowledge. These practices are expected to become core generators of courses. Another aspect to this idea has been that the teaching-learning process is made collaborative (with students), conversational (instead of unidirectional), agile (responding to the contemporary) and generative (of new knowledge, instead of consumptive of existing knowledge). Here the students accompany academic practitioners in their pursuits instead of only learning from them.
Focus on ‘designing of life’:
The discipline of architecture has capabilities of interrogating life and making interventions towards changing it. SEA intends to develop a pedagogy that focuses on designing life including the self along with designing of built environments. Here the practices of life through experiences, behaviour, and actions are critical and space is seen in relation to all of these. The key dimension here is to shift from thinking of/through buildings to thinking of/through space. All decisions that the staff and students make regarding living their lives, the kinds of attitudes they develop towards the world, and the way they engage with the world are all important concerns for SEA along with capacities of making built-environments.
Rethink architecture beyond exclusivities and permanence:
The conventional frameworks of architecture are embedded in the discourses that promote exclusivity of functions, where every function has its own demarcated space; This exclusivity in turn creates exclusivity of people. For example, a kitchen space in a house is separated because it creates noises and smells and activities that are not considered appropriate to be mixed with living and sleeping spaces. This separation creates exclusive spaces for people who work in the kitchen and who do not work. The kitchen usually becomes a domain of women and the househelp. The conventional frameworks also seek durability of architecture. This is usually made through resisting external forces - of environment and culture. This durability is not only expensive, but brings about a permanence that survives beyond human life making itself irrelevant. For example, apartments are designed for a certain standard idea of a family. But family structures are different or change over time and cannot be held in these apartments. The advent of digital retail has made bookshops and other shopping complexes obsolete.
Relevance in content and methodologies:
SEA aims at developing localised and relevant knowledge that is capable of engaging with the world. Here articulations on theories of space, language and ethics are important. Students are capacitated with design vocabulary, tools, and methods that are developed at SEA. Contemporary questions are taken upfront and engaged with and specific courses are developed for this purpose. Towards this end, completely new courses on culture and built-form focusing on the histories and theories of space making in South Asia, repair and retrofitting of builtform as well as habitation, projections on the future, ethics, questions of language, emerging urbanization and its spatial demands, etc. are formulated. All of these new courses are informed through rigorous internal research that is conducted in the school.
SEA currently offers a full-time 5-year B. Arch programme.
(The programme is approved by Council of Architecture, New Delhi with the institutional code of MH 76. SEA is affliated to the UNIVERSITY OF MUMBAI. The School of Environment & Architecture is registered with the DTE with the code 3488.)
As an affiliated institution under the University of Mumbai, SEA follows the syllabus prescribed by the University. The B-Arch programme is a full-time 5-year programme with 10 semesters. Each semester has about 540-570 contact hours for teaching and learning and spread across 18 weeks. In the 8th semester students undergo professional training with different architectural practices.
Mumbai University Syllabus: SEA Course Book - 2021-22