Economies of School-Building: the Selling of Architectural and Educational Futures


  • Adam Wood University of Firenze, Department of of political and social sciences



school architecture, school construction, educational futures, neoliberalism


To access more capital, more quickly, governments seek new sources of finance to fund school-building including loans and Public Private Partnerships. The paper uses examples principally from England and Italy to argue that architecture is now central in this process through its selling of reductive, human resource-based educational futures. By colonizing imaginaries of tomorrow, school design therefore helps to secure the legitimacy of new financial demands, creating a virtuous circle (at least for financial purposes). However, with education moved beyond current experience, the present and the space it offers for contestation is deleted and only architectural-educational futures already part-defined by a technical élite are offered in its place. New forms and extents of financial and architectural tie-in energise the rate at which people can be excluded from the production of their own futures.





Solicited Manuscript