Using free space at universities for creativity, just like Plato

Using free space at universities, just like Plato

What does Plato’s Academy have in common with the design of contemporary universities?

Did the ancient philosopher’s students engage in heated debates in common spaces in universities much like the ones of today?

The curators of the Greek Pavilion at the 2018 International Architecture Bienniale, architects Xristina Argyros and Ryan Neiheiser, present an inspiring learning “free space”. “The School of Athens”, as they have named the project, adopts the architectural trope of the stepped landscape.

“Although we typically think of learning taking place in the classroom, educators and architects have recognized for thousands of years that learning also takes place in the space between; in the hallways, on the stairs, at the café, in the quad”, says the New York-based architectural duo.

“Socrates taught in the Agora. Plato founded his Academy in the olive grove outside of Athens and often taught while walking. Medieval colleges were organized around a communal courtyard. 20th-century universities are filled with informal learning spaces often associated with circulation”.

La Biennale Architettura di Venezia is the 16th International Architecture Exhibition to take place in Venice, Italy. Under the general theme “Freespace,” commissioned by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, architects from 65 countries are representing their homelands.

The exhibition will take place from May 26th to November 25th, 2018, in the Giardini, Venice, Italy.