Beyond Precedent, Introduction
JAE Intro Although the National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) requires that students understand historical traditions and global culture, it does not mandate the method of instruction. Still, many schools offer a suite of architectural history lectures that are often perceived as distinct from studio topics. The relegation of history to a supporting role is furthered by the outdated notion that history courses serve primarily to provide a buffet of precedent studies focusing on form and technique. Such an approach, born of historical methods and pedagogies that emphasize stylistic and typological diagnosis, fails to recognize the depth of historical inquiry, changes within the discipline of history itself and increasingly diverse design pedagogies. Is it possible to rethink the ways in which history and theory are integrated into the larger curriculum?Indeed, many architecture faculty—historians and designers alike—are engaged in the project of interrogating and reconceiving history’s significance to design, and vice versa. Historians question the content, role and outcomes of their courses, examining ways in which the discipline can serve as a nexus between theory, criticism and practice, and investigating opportunities for deploying design pedagogies in their classrooms. Design faculty consider ways that historical methods and analysis can inform the design process so that students understand how history’s narratives are literally and figuratively constructed, and that they are not simply a collection of objective truths to react to. As concerns about representation and fabrication become central, the integration of history, theory and criticism can situate design and critique in broader and deeper contexts. That the role of history in architecture curricula is a subject of debate is nothing new; and yet, the shape of that debate appears to be shifting. This theme issue of the JAE takes as its premise the notion that the relationship between history and studio should be activated. The issue invites text based (scholarship of design) and design based (design as scholarship) submissions that propose and analyze progressive methods and goals for integrating architectural history in the professional architecture curriculum.