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Critical Race Theory as Architectural Pedagogy
Carla Jackson Bell
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The scarcity of non-white architects within architectural practice has been a source of concern for at least five decades, going back to Whitney M. Young, Jr.’s rebuke of the profession at the 1968 annual convention of the American Institute of Architects. While Young’s speech centered on the need to diversify the profession, architectural pedagogy has similarly suffered from a lack of diversity in architecture schools. A “mechanistic” pedagogical model pervades whereby the variety of learning exercises, assignments, and modules are treated as “disconnected components” within a curriculum.1 Teaching within architecture programs is often engaged without a specific architectural pedagogy method, with professors commonly creating singular pedagogical models, often based on their past experiences as architecture students.2 Thus architecture schools reproduce modes of teaching and learning that not only reflect disjointed pedagogies but also often reflect the cultural viewpoint of faculties lacking in diversity. This traditional approach to teaching is full of ambiguity and lacks the exhibition of teaching practices that could engage all students equitably.

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