Context-free pragmatism in Danish campus architecture

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The idea of new pragmatism has inspired a new Danish wave in architecture that since 2012 has had enormous influence on the design of campus buildings in the professional education sector in Denmark. In arguing for a no-nonsense approach to architecture representatives of new pragmatism refers to the philosophies of James Williams, John Dewey, and Richard Rorty. Danish architects such as Bjarke Ingels and Henning Larsen Architects are playing key roles in the Danish wave and are enjoying a status as superheroes by making architecture relevant to the media and politicians again. On the other hand critics argue that the new pragmatists are lacking a sense of context by insisting on a visually strong design. In this paper I use the case of Campus Roskilde that was the first of many university college campuses to be designed and inargurated. My point is that the establishment of the campus reflects an educational ideal that also seem to lack a sense of context, and hence both the architecture and the educational structuring in Campus Roskilde can be understood as a context free pragmatism. I analyze this tendency with references to Dewey’s own work on the meaning of the educational environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateSept 2016
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
EventECER: ECER 2016 Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers - University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 23 Sept 201626 Sept 2016


LocationUniversity College Dublin
Internet address

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