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easyUniversity

Part 2 Project 2023
Freddie Walkden
University of Dundee | UK
In recent decades, an increase in demand for education, along with an ideological shift towards privatisation has led universities to search for new ways to grow their market share, deriving surplus value from what was once a cultural resource – knowledge.

Yet, the dissemination of worldly or ‘public knowledge’ generates no tangible surplus. To compensate, universities align with market institutions, building their property portfolios and securing corporate partnerships that ensure the sale of research. Meanwhile as we, the students, become increasingly ‘entrepreneurial’, universities advertise the ‘student experience’ to remain competitive; becoming reliant on collaborations with powerful city brands. The university in its current form is place-centric – another process captured by the city, the now dominant mode of occupation on the planet.

This project focuses its attention away from the urban centres which have motivated place-based higher education, instead composing through an amalgamation of three pre-existing spatial models, a vision of a placeless institution. The result – easyUniversity – is an absurd projection into the future of higher education under neoliberal ideology. In this future, the university has outgrown its dependence on the city to be promoted to the decentralised space of the global hinterland – the land of Amazon warehouses, IKEAs, airports and easyEverything.

Freddie Walkden

Tutor(s)
Andy Stoane
2023
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