The Architecture of the Universities

Editorial published in EN BLANCO Revista de Arquitectura (ISSN 1888-5616), 31, pp. 5-7.

Open access: Full text (Spanish and English)
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Fifty years have passed since pedagogy, sociology, urban planning and architecture converged in the same intense debate: that of learning spaces in higher education. The large-scale arrival of students at universities in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in Europe but also in other parts of the world, led to the adoption of policies on teaching models, campus planning and the space that should support learning. The most important architectural magazines of the time described the quest to respond to a social demand with the speed required by the expectations of rapid growth. Today, the university landscape looks very different. Not only have learning spaces been profoundly transformed by new technologies, but institutions are also competing for visibility in a scenario of international competition. Universities are now subject to market rules that shape their policies: brilliant scientific production, fruitful relations with industry, proven knowledge transfer to society, and an attractive range of degrees with promises of high employability, are the factors that build a brand image that is increasingly displaced by an emerging online activity.  This special issue of [EN BLANCO. Revista de Arquitectura] brings together five recent productions that illustrate the evolution of the questions posed half a century ago with new answers that continue to fuel our reflections.