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The Death and Life of UK Universities and the Cultural Spaces They Consume

Troiani, I; Carless, T; (2021) The Death and Life of UK Universities and the Cultural Spaces They Consume. Architecture_MPS , 19 (1) , Article 2. 10.14324/111.444.amps.2021v19i1.002.. Green open access

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Abstract

The shift in focus in UK higher education since Thatcherism from the production of knowledge for civic betterment to the production and consumption of knowledge by the university for revenue generation can be read through the social rearrangement of space in the university town or city. A key spatial reconfiguration emerging from the shift in economic conditions is the collapse of the modern university as a singular, ideological construct. Like ‘the city’ before it, the modern university has, at its interior, been reformed into a newly defined, fragmented public–private social space, and, at its exterior, into a devourer of the space of the local community. This article showcases excerpts from a film made by the authors entitled The Death and Life of UK Universities – a title inspired by Jane Jacobs’s critique of great American cities. Our film is a cinematic database survey of the changing space of all British universities which considers this systematic spatial reprogramming of space within the city. The two-year research project is an audio-visual critique of the way in which neoliberalism, corporatization and commercial interests have co-opted the space of the British university. Referencing the films of Charlie Chaplin and Gordon Matta-Clark and the writings of Henri Lefebvre, the film focuses on university cities, critically observing the rise of university marketing material and the consumption of the city and of local community life for university student accommodation. We ask: How are UK universities being spatially reconfigured and what are the consequences?

Type: Article
Title: The Death and Life of UK Universities and the Cultural Spaces They Consume
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/111.444.amps.2021v19i1.002.
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.amps.2021v19i1.00...
Language: English
Keywords: higher education, university, architecture
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123367
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