Interview: Stephen Bates on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture

Interview: Stephen Bates on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture

In this interview by Jan Schevers and Esther Schevers, Stephen Bates of Sergison Bates architects discusses how education is tied to exploration and research. As a professor at TU Munich, each semester offers an opportunity to take on new themes in architecture that allow him to break conventions that come up in practice and are oftentimes associated with the ways in which his students have been taught. More discussion after the break.

The emphasis throughout this interview is on the role of education and Bates’ experiences in particular – bringing the details of architectural practice into the concepts of the design studio, collaborating with other practitioners and inspiring architecture students.  Bates discusses the values of thinking in three-dimensional space, along with building study and sketch models to understand how spaces function and the flexibility of spatial planning.   Although we tend to associate architecture school with being liberated and conceptual, Bates mentions how strikingly conventional many students feel when approaching new projects.  He stresses the importance of defying these conventions, whether they are in drawing, representation or spatial planning.  He also notes the distinction of expectations between student projects and his own.  Within the semester’s sixteen weeks, he does not expect a complete project but the intentions, processes and concepts are what are of value.

The interview was conducted by Jan Schevers, who is a professor at Eindhoven University of Technology, and Esther Schevers. Stay tuned for more interviews regarding the relationships of education, research and practice in architecture.

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About this author
Cite: Irina Vinnitskaya. "Interview: Stephen Bates on Education, Research and Practice in Architecture" 07 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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