Is the honeymoon at Architecture over? Has all that ‘all for one, one for all’ goodwill in aftermath of the faculty building fire gone down the drain? A group of 30 architecture faculty staff members (‘The Architecture 30’ we’ll call them) took the drastic step - less than a month into the new academic year - of penning an open letter, published in Delta, bemoaning the fact that they are unhappy! To recap for new TU arrivals: last May the TU’s Faculty of Architecture building was destroyed by fire.
With three months to go before the new academic year started in August, the TU and Faculty of Architecture leaders scrambled to find a new home for the faculty: the process already underway to convert the TU’s former Main Building into private luxury apartments was stopped and the building quickly transformed into the temporary (for 2 or 3 years) Faculty of Architecture, until a new faculty building can be built. Space is a problem in the new building – there’s not enough of it. A flexible office solution was instituted, in which staffers must share space (offices, desks, etc). But ‘The Architecture 30’ aren’t happy about this. “We like to be consulted,” they wrote in their open letter. So what’s their problem? They “really miss seeing colleagues around in a building...and to have one’s ‘own space’ where we can work quietly.... This is impossible with the proposed flexible office solution!” So what do they want? “Many of us want to sit in an office with a table reserved for a particular person (to pile up our books and papers), our own chair set to our needs.... Our own bookshelves (not only one meter but at least ten!), a wall to put on one’s own pictures (maybe one with a text saying “office sweet office”…), a window to look out to see some daylight, one or two nice colleagues in the same or adjoining office space (to share jokes and ideas with).” What will they do if they don’t get what they want? A sit-in (in their “own chairs set to our needs”)? A hunger strike? Who knows, but keep watching this space for the latest breaking news!