Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Between the 'Well-Laid Table' and the 'Marketplace': Alvin Boyarsky's Experiments in Architectural Pedagogy
Authors: Sunwoo, Irene
Advisors: Papapetros, Spyros
Contributors: Architecture Department
Keywords: Architectural Association
Architectural Education
Subjects: Architecture
Art history
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines the pedagogical theories and work of the Canadian-born architectural educator Alvin Boyarsky (1928-1990), who is best known for his chairmanship at the Architectural Association (AA) in London between 1971 and 1990. Under Boyarsky's direction, the school operated as the nexus of an international network of avant-garde architects, historians and theorists who reclaimed pedagogy as a medium for architectural experiment. Focusing on an understudied yet absolutely central figure in late twentieth century architectural culture, the dissertation traces the development of Boyarsky's educational methods and ambitions across different institutional contexts and episodes in his career: from his education and teaching in the American university system during the late 1950s and 1960s, to his founding of an international summer school during the early 1970s, to his transformation of design pedagogy and media practices at the AA during his chairmanship. It investigates how Boyarsky promoted the educational models of the "well-laid table" and the "marketplace" as critical alternatives to professionalized architectural curricula. While the "well-laid table" encouraged students to sample from a constantly updated menu of divergent theoretical investigations, the "marketplace" asserted the onus of teachers to continually produce innovative architectural positions. The dissertation does not treat the convivial promise of the former and the economic rationale of the latter as symmetrical or diametrically opposed. Instead, it approaches them as coterminous, symbiotic strategies for grappling with a deeper anxiety over architecture's viability in the wake of heroic modernism's demise and under the forces of late capitalism. The dissertation therefore bridges its historical research on Boyarsky with a theoretical questioning of the agency of education and its institutions in shaping the emerging contours of architectural postmodernism. By demonstrating how Boyarsky's pedagogy developed and operated within a transatlantic network of individuals, discourses, and events, it identifies a broader shift in the relationship between architectural education and architectural production: from a modern system of professional training that codified the architect's responsibility to design and build for the needs of society, to a postmodern system of education that positioned architecture as a critical and intellectual practice that interrogated the very limits of the discipline.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Architecture

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Sunwoo_princeton_0181D_10812.pdf36.07 MBAdobe PDFView/Download

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.