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“[W]hat Michael Walzer calls ‘connected social critics’ [are those who,] unlike the armchair philosopher, disavow a posture of theoretical detachment, preferring instead to identify with and engage the historical experience and culture of his or her time. Occupying the contested terrain of social life, avoiding the temptations of both pious, Archimedean detachment and boorish, blind loyalty to the status quo, the social critic sees political argument as a way of resolving pressing practical problems of human beings.” –Jeffrey Isaac, ARENDT, CAMUS, AND THE MODERN REBELLION

Isaac, Jeffrey C., “Arendt, Camus, and Modern Rebellion,” (Yale University, 1992.)

One of the missions of higher education is to cultivate a critical eye in students. A commonly cited problem of the academy is the gap between theory and practice. The Building Institute through its hands-on service-learning program seeks to counter “theoretical detachment” and in doing so, nurture “social critics.”

Why should the academy ask architecture students to build? The Building Institute provides an opportunity for students to act. The Building Institute is founded upon the belief that the act of making meaningful architecture requires our students to take responsibility for their designs: cultural, social, political, fiscal and technical responsibilities, to name a few.

The Building Institute sees design and building as inseparable. The Building Institute is founded upon the belief that the act of designing and making meaningful architecture requires rigor and tolerance- from both faculty and students.

Document last revised Tuesday, October 24, 2006 1:17 PM

Copyright 2003 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Building Institute, PO Box 43850, Lafayette LA 70504-3850
Phone: 337/482-5175 · E-Mail: gjertson@louisiana.edu