Free School of Architecture Toolkit

Images from the Free School of Architecture, 2018, Los Angeles, California

Images from the Free School of Architecture, Los Angeles, 2018

I’ve been participating at the Free School of Architecture (FSA) for 2 weeks now, and with 2 more weeks to go, I’ve been thinking about a project I’d like to work on in this time.

Architecture, Art, Education

It might be an Architecture, Urban Planning, Social Spaces, or Homelessness project. Or, with the flexibility of FSA, I could work on an Art project like Letters to Skynet or Love Beach. But what I’m particularly feeling at this moment is the power of FSA’s uncollege take on architecture education.

I think I’d like to create an Open Source FSA Toolkit that would help people at other locations create their own versions of FSA. Or perhaps like “TEDx”, their own “FSAx”.

Open Source

For me, Free Culture, Open Source Software, and Open Education all connect. They all help move past models of owning knowledge and empower individuals to find their own paths regardless of money, privilege, or access to special materials, people, or experiences. I feel this sensibility powerfully in FSA, although I, in fact, need to discuss this with the FSA organizers, since I don’t specifically know their position on sharing the paradigm they’ve created.

Free School of Architecture 2018 learners on a bicycle expedition of the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach with Roundhouse.

What’s in the toolkit?

As someone who’s never organized The Free School of Architecture, I don’t even know what I don’t know. Some things that could be in the toolkit include

  • Philosophy / Guiding Principles
  • Your Call for Participants
  • Selecting Participants
  • Location (City)
  • Location (Facilities)
  • Guest Speakers
  • Session Planning
  • Length of Term
  • Scheduling
  • Budget
  • Online Tools: Website,, Slack, Instagram

Additionally, it might be enriching to include short videos from current participants commenting on:

  1. What drew them to FSA
  2. How their experience has been
  3. What should be kept
  4. Potential Improvements

Free School of Architecture 2018 in Los Angeles. FSA Learners sitting in a circle at their home base at Woodbury University Hollywood (WUHO) discussing a design project

Toolkit Delivery

Potential Toolkit media:

  • Web Pages
  • PDF
  • Print on Demand Book

The web version might be easiest both to make and distribute. It should serve most users needs. It shouldn’t be too hard to also repurpose that content into a freely downloadable PDF, and the PDF could also be placed at a print-on-demand repository if anyone wanted a physical copy to work with.

Free School of Architecture (FSA) Learners visiting the MAK  Center/Schildler House in West Hollywood


FSA Links

Human Centered Design

Glenn’s Links

FSA Event Photo Documentation on Metro

Or, to see everything:

Free School of Architecture (FSA) Learners in conversation at the NOH/WAVE Gallery in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California

Images from the Free School of Architecture, 2018, Los Angeles, California