In the September Issue of Architect Magazine, L.A. Times critic Christopher Hawthorne explored what a new generation of architecture school deans, the rise of the Free School in Los Angeles, and online courses by Gehry and Hays reveal about the democratization of the profession. In his article, Hawthorne highlights Woodbury University and how it represents a renewed focus on ethics and alternative practice in the shifting demographics of architectural education. He recalled a previous interview with Dean Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter this summer:
“There are times when I wish there were a little more activism,” Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, AIA, the ambitious and energetic new architecture dean at Woodbury University in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, told me over the summer. “And yet I have also realized that students today, they’re raising families, and they’re supporting their parents, or they’re far from home and coming from places of conflict. They’re here very specifically seeking a professional degree, and they’re very focused on that.” This is particularly true at Woodbury, where many students (reflecting the L.A. population as a whole) are the children of immigrants.
Woodbury School of Architecture engages practice, scholarship, critical thinking, and making to create a balanced pedagogy that cultivates unique design voices. Students are equally committed to practice, theoretical discourse, formal and technological inquiry, and social equity. In doing so, they design for urgent contemporary issues and are committed to creative professionalism. Find out more about Christopher Hawthorne’s thoughts on architectural education in his full article online.