3 hours per week

June 19 - July 31

limited space


The Architecture Beyond Capitalism School (ABC School) is a six-week-long virtual summer school launching in June 2021 by The Architecture Lobby. The school stems from a desire within the Lobby to critically interrogate the structures and systems of power that have made change difficult within design professions and institutions, as well as from a belief that architecture schools do not teach what and how they could. The ABC School is open to anyone wanting to better understand how architecture is part of larger class, race, gender, and extraction-based capitalist economies. Sessions will address inequity and inaccess to architectural education, burdens of debt on students, the precarious labor of students, faculty, and staff, and it will prepare participants for a post-developer-driven mode of practice. 

The Lobby is committed to long-term structural change, including the prototyping of new curricular structures and content, developing new modes of co-producing, and sharing knowledge equitably. More specific than comprehensive, the ABC School represents a small first step toward larger change.

The virtual summer program is open to students, faculty, practitioners, and members of various publics in all parts of the world, and it will span six weeks beginning Saturday June 19, 2021 with a culminating think-in session on July 31. The content will be presented and discussed in three thematic sections: Capitalism, Labor, and Collective Practice. Each theme has two components: debates stimulated by lessons from people whose work is central to the week’s theme and salons for discussing the outcomes of design assignments pertinent to that theme.


Important Dates

Saturday April 10 — Sign-up opens
Saturday May 15 — Sign-up closes
Saturday May 22 — Participants notified
Saturday June 5 — Cohort finalized


Saturday June 19 — Session 1, Capitalism
Saturday June 26 — Salon 1

Saturday July 3 — Session 2, Labor
Saturday July 10 — Salon 2

Saturday July 17 — Session 3, Collective Practice
Saturday July 24 — Salon 3

Saturday July 31 — Think-In


All events to be held from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (ET).



Register for free.
While the school has no financial cost, commitment is essential.
Enrollment is limited due to technological capacity.
Collective discussions necessitate 2 to 3 hours of weekly participation.
Assignments prompts are given every other week, requiring about 1 hour to complete.  


The course

  • 2-hour live sessions every Saturday for 6 weeks - every other week featuring discussions prompted by international experts and alternate every other week featuring salons of shared imaginaries. Optional “office hours” available as well.
  • Each session will be interactive; all participants are both “students” and “teachers”.
  • 3 themes: Capitalism; Labor; Practice
  • Discussion groups emphasize linkages to contemporary conditions of capitalism, not academic or abstract theory
  • Salons are meant to challenge typical “studio” output; the assignments/imaginaries to be shared and discussed are not describing buildings

What will I learn?

In 6 weeks, participants will gain better capacity to:

  • Understand the discipline of architecture in the context of capitalism
  • Debate the intersection of capitalism with racism, decolonization, climate change justice and the participation of architecture in those intersections
  • Rethink “design”/studio outputs
  • Investigate modes of representation that map power, material chains, and/or organizational structures
  • Move from passive learning to active knowledge production


Join an online school that involves both discussions and shared imaginaries (salons). Fill out the form below and click the submit button.

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