For young creatives, curious explorers, or simply multitaskers, The Midnight Charette's weekly podcasts provide a provocative and entertaining take on design and architectural discourse. Hosted by David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, the segments aim to explore ideas beyond everyday conversation and engage with a multitude of individuals in the design field.
In their recent discussion featuring Marc Neveu, the Executive Editor of the Journal of Architectural Education (JAE) and head of the Architecture Program at Arizona State University (ASU), the duo covers a broad range of topics related to professional practice and architectural pedagogies.
With the responsibility of publishing the JAE biannually, Neveu shares his opinions on the need for print scholarship in an increasingly digitized world:
“The number of outlets that are not peer-reviewed has certainly increased. For a design faculty member in architecture to get tenure and promotion is really difficult because a building or project is not considered to be scholarship; it's not understood by a large university in the same way. That being said, if the project is published or peer-reviewed, it does have some merit.
I always use the example: if you’re a painter and have a hundred paintings in your house, and you want to go for tenure, it doesn’t matter. If those hundred paintings, however, were in a solo exhibition and was reviewed in the New York Times, it matters. That’s the whole problem with tenure - or at least creative practice, in tenure. So for architecture, what we’ve done with JAE is given designers an outlet to get peer-reviewed and that’s really important.”
As the new Head of the Architecture Program at ASU, Neveu expands upon his plans and goals for this new position and city.
“There's a sense that maybe ASU isn't where it should be and that the relationship with practice is not great. There is a really interesting scene [in Phoenix], that’s very much local but also contemporary. I'm really looking forward to establishing those connections, and getting some of the people who are in practice to teach in those studios, and figuring out how to make that a more reciprocal relationship. My first year is going to be a lot about outreach, looking to the community, trying to get to know people - so teaching is not the first priority.”
Relating both the blind peer-review process used by JAE and the issues of diversity within the field, Neveu discusses the significance of fostering environments where students and designers can look up to individuals like themselves instead of being limited to the same schools of thought. He states:
"I think the question of gender and equity and diversity, for me, is much more about students having a face to look at that is something like theirs. I don’t know what it is to be a black eighteen-year-old kid and walk into a classroom full of white kids and having the faculty every year, be a white guy. That can’t be a good thing. To have somebody who is in a position of power who looks like you or who comes from where you came from is already important. [It's] more about the ability of the student to empathize and see themselves in a position of power - see themselves through somebody who is in a position of power.”
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