The Architecture Lobby (T-A-L) 2022 ABC Workshop Output Guide

ABC School
Jul 2, 2022


If the first iteration of T-A-L ABC School in 2021 was about identifying the failures of architecture education and better understanding the capitalist structures that define it, the 2022 version is about proposing strategies that will lead to change.

For the past year, T-A-L Academia Working Group, the team behind the 2022 ABC School, has focused on the work of organizing—activating community momentum—behind methods for teaching and learning architecture beyond capitalism. We are asking all facilitators to think of their workshop as a first step in organizing towards actionable objectives for architecture education.

As the pedagogical setting that absorbs the majority of architecture students’ and teachers’ time and resources, studio is explored as a key site in which to test how organizing and action for change can become foundational in architectural practice and lead to alternate/expanded appreciations of architecture and architects. As a beginning prompt, the ABC School asks: how do we understand studio to support and encourage activist organization? How might design be taught in ways that do not perpetuate and reproduce capitalist exploitation?


We are aiming for workshops that are more than one-offs. We are aspiring to workshops that are generators, charged with producing starting points for ongoing collaboration and development. To encourage this, the Academia Working Group is requesting the following from each session:

  • A One-Sentence Architecture Beyond Capitalism “Learning Objective”

In architectural education, “learning objectives” are typically determined and written into syllabi to describe what is to be learned. Accrediting bodies (such as NAAB, RIBA, etc.) rely on this approach for setting criteria for academic content and student achievement.

In contrast, the Academia Working Group is interested in developing objectives for advancing architecture education in and beyond capitalism. Each facilitator, then, is asked to use their workshop as a collaborative platform for developing an actionable learning objective for architecture education. In other words, what is one thing that architecture education needs to address, convey, or become? Consider, too, how this objective becomes actionable over time—over this summer, a year, multiple years.

The closing plenary of the 2022 ABC School will be a review of all workshop learning objectives. Facilitators will work with their organizer(s) to compose a representative sentence for large group discussion.


T-A-L Academia Working Group sees the learning objectives that come out of the 2022 workshops as the springboards for ongoing development. Facilitators are invited to advance the ideas of their workshop in collaboration with T-A-L in the months/years to come—or, simply, to hand off their one-sentence objective for others to further. We are planning to evolve the objectives into material for the 2023 ABC School, for an open-source library, and more. Possible long-term outcomes include but are not limited to:

  • Architecture Beyond Capitalism Education Tenets

The ethics, principles, or values towards which architecture education might aspire. These push the learning objectives into collective statements. They are the touch points around which architecture education can rally and organize; they set the new standards that architecture education’s participants will work to uphold.

  • Guidelines for Architecture Beyond Capitalism Learning, Teaching, and Organizing

Strategies for retooling coursework, classrooms and campuses, roles and responsibilities, standards and systems, etc. These operationalize the learning objectives, breaking down the ingredients and processes of change for many to employ.

  • Direct Action Architecture Beyond Capitalism Education Proposals

Plans for specific interventions. These identify the actors and subjects of change and develop the substances, structures, and schedules for organizing and motivating.

  • Architecture Beyond Capitalism Education Visioning

Speculative imaginings for alternate architecture education models. These describe the ideals of architecture education futures. What will architecture education be when the organizing achieves its aspirations?