Forecasts: Perspectives on the Prospective

Forecasts: Perspectives on the Prospective

2-06

As undergraduate architecture majors, our lives overlap many spheres on campus. On one hand, we co-inhabit the space of YSoA. On the other, we are tied to the undergraduate community and all the diverse people and interests represented there. Informed by these broad perspectives, we are uniquely capable of forecasting architecture’s future in a way that sees a Yale beyond 180 York Street.

Forecasts holds many meanings for us. We seek to look away from the architectural past – a past that inadequately represents individuals and ideologies that we identify with – in order to envision an emerging architecture that (quite literally) holds space for us. Prompted by changes such as the new residential colleges and the new Dean, we attempt to use this issue as a platform to talk about the ideas and issues that are important to us moving forward. In order to reflect the breadth and depth of discourse we hope to see, Forecasts is about hearing voices and ideas that are too often silenced at YSoA,Yale in general, and academic and professional communities.

The question of inclusivity in architecture was brought up by Wes Hiatt in the most recent Paprika!. We found his conclusion–that the lack of enrollment in a single course reveals a lack of true investment in inclusivity– to be reductive, but it does raise a few fair questions, such as why “Expanding the Canon” was only offered to grad students, and how its position as an elective might point to its content being considered extraneous by the institution. Amra Saric’s piece and Maddy Sembler’s interview with Professor James-Chakraborty provide more perspectives in this debate.

In order to talk about change at YSoA, we cannot be limited to the student body.  As editors of Forecasts, we have made an effort to include the voices of the administration and teaching staff. Recently, the undergraduate architecture majors had a conversation with Dean Deborah Berke, during which she answered questions on topics ranging from the future of the architecture major to the pedagogy at YSoA (see Charlotte Smith’s write-up) . Emily Golding and Emily Hsee interviewed Rosalyne Shieh, interested in the perspective of an educator who influences future architects and non-architects at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Five thousands words is not nearly enough to allow the voices of all students to be heard. But unlike weather forecasters, who can only predict the near future, the students of YSoA have power and influence over the topics that are discussed and direction of the discipline for years to come.