(Note: This post has been updated (2) as of 5:57 PM Eastern on 15 Sep. See below)
Confusion and despair as modernists 'moved in' to faculty positions
There have been conflicting reports this week from Portugal where an apparently modernist professor and faculty have been installed in the acclaimed Viseu New School of Architecture and Urbanism. There is now widespread concern that the work of the tradition-oriented faculty under José Cornélio da Silva will be lost. Reports from a wide range of sources suggest that the President of the Catholic University of Portugal at Viseu, Professor Passos Morgado and his colleague Antonio Carvalho had "orchestrate[d] a take over", without consulting existing teaching staff and in the face of the excellent work that has been done in the last 3 years.
At the first meeting of the new academic year, faculty report that they were "surprised" to find that they had a new Director of the Architecture school in the person of well-known Portuguese modernist Antonio Reis Cabrita, and a group of 13 new professors all reportedly drawn from Portugal's modernist architectural establishment.
The group reportedly arrived with a new curriculum, schedules, and all the bureaucratic work in place. When the new curriculum was rejected by indignant members of the existing faculty, a faculty member reported that the group became "confrontational and argumentative". A faculty member reports that, "They told us that they had instructions to change the school in every aspects, from the practical to the philosophical".
(Thanks to City Comforts who thinks the coup less than encouraging for the link.)
Update (3:35 PM Eastern on 15 Sep): BTW, if you're curious to know why I titled this post as I did, read the manifesto entitled, The Declaration of Viseu (it's short). It's the pre-coup declaration of purpose and principles adopted by this self-styled "school of architecture." What a horror.
Update (5:57 PM Eastern on 15 Sep): Just to give you a sense of why in the prior update I enclosed "school of architecture" within scare quotes, here are the required courses for the professional degree program at Viseu New School of Architecture and Urbanism, and at Princeton University School of Architecture (click on Master of Architecture). Understand now?