‘Vocational schools are populated by people that will shape, maintain and care for much of the world around us.’
This publication investigates the architecture of the vocational school and its role in society. It does so by situating the school within larger cultures of craft and specific networks of people, places and knowledge, in which education forms a crucial link. Based on the notion of architecture as an environment in which social relations are negotiated, it emphasises the importance of the building to create, foster and transmit these cultures.
Departing from the situation of the vocational school in the Netherlands, the book provides a reading of historical and contemporary contexts, examines the notion of cultures of craft, and the various ways in which the school can embody its position within society. Five scenarios present an architectural repertoire to reinforce connections between the vocational school and the neighbourhood, the city and society at large with cultures of making and with the identity of the school.
'At the heart of the publication are twenty-six best practices: historical and contemporary, vocational schools and institutes related to the vocations, built and imagined,, new and reused, Dutch and from abroad.'
Best practices from the Netherlands and northern Europe, complemented by a number of study projects, illustrate what these scenarios might look like. The result is a cross-cultural and cross-historical archive of projects and ideas that serve as models to inspire and to build upon, to create a new chapter in the history of the craft school.
‘In many European countries vocational education is facing difficulties. The digitalisation and robotisation of work predicts the loss of many vocational jobs, and in various fields skilled knowledge is disappearing.’