News 09.05.21

About the 2021 Provocation: (Un)Learning

Our theme for the 2021 Architecture Fringe festival is (Un)Learning.

‘It is imperative that we maintain hope even when the harshness of reality may suggest the opposite.’ —Paulo Freire

The majority of systems and structures that we have built to bring order to our lives are destroying us and life on Earth.

Architecture is uncritically complicit in its reliance on these systems and structures for its very creation, with little resistance or defiance in its making or deployment. We have arrived at the intersection of a climate emergency, global pandemic and racialised capitalist economy and the ground on which we stand is shifting at speed. We are in transition, from one world to another. Things are changing, and in order to make that change positive and transformative we need to engage in a process of unlearning and learning anew. To (un)learn. There is hope.

‘Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.’ —Arundhati Roy

In a complex and interconnected world, with systems large and small, fast and slow, how can architecture as a process, a way of thinking, help us (un)learn in order to firstly navigate this complexity, then to reimagine and create a much better way of doing things? How can we radically rethink, through (un)learning, architecture’s environmental impact on the Earth? How can we refocus architectural education away from a whitewashed Western lens? How can we redefine our relationship to the land, from ownership to stewardship? How can our dwellings, neighbourhoods and cities achieve greater equality for those who live there? We have much to unpack, reflect upon and make anew with architecture realigned as a progressive force for a wider common good.

For the Architecture Fringe 2021 we invite you to (un)learn with us, to interrogate your own behaviours, beliefs and biases in order to acknowledge how the world really is to then reimagine how it could be.

Across a diverse range of Open Programme activities, Core Programme events and a community of grassroots designers, architects, artists and activists, we invite you to explore, interrogate and (un)learn about the world of architecture, as it could be.

As always, and most importantly, many thanks to the many, many contributors, participants, volunteers and audiences who make Architecture Fringe what it is. The Architecture Fringe 2021 will run 04-20 June 2021, across Scotland, and online. See you there!