Architecture students deserve better than toxic cultures and sleepless nights | Rowan Moore

Revelations about the renowned Bartlett school reflect a wider and longstanding problem with the profession The Bartlett, one of the most esteemed schools of architecture in the country, a part of University College London, is the subject of a damning report. Produced by the investigation firm Howlett Brown, it found evidence of bullying, racism, sexual harassment and a “boys’ club” of staff who protected one another from complaints. It reported allegations that a “senior leader” mocked, demeaned and verbally attacked female students and made sexist comments to them. The Bartlett, said the report, suffered from “a toxic culture spanning decades”. There may be lessons for the teaching and practice of architecture more widely. For years, both have been susceptible to a hero complex where the cause of great architecture is so exalted that almost no sacrifice is too much to be made in its name. Students are encouraged to work impossible hours, enduring nights without sleep. They then have to present their work in sessions known as “crits”, in front of fellow students, to be praised or dismembered by their teachers and eminent visiting critics. Continue reading...

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