9. A305: looking back to look forward

Joaquim Moreno (Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto)


This article takes a ‘rear-view-mirror’ look at the iconic third level Open University course A305: History of Architecture and Design 1890–1939. It asks what we can learn from this course, which was first presented in 1975, ran for eight years and was freely available to the general population since its 24 television and 32 radio programmes were broadcast by the BBC. It considers the contribution that A305 made to the field of architecture and pedagogy in view of the rise of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), the current global pandemic, as well as the supposition that the future of education and learning requires a careful blend of presence and distance. It posits that at a time when remote education gains new currency and urgency, the openness of A305 can be a valuable lesson to explore new scales and new architectures for the learning collective we are trying to reconstitute.

Keywords: learning, collective, remote, broadcast, media, A305: History of Architecture and Design 1890–1939, CCA, Venice Biennale 1976 and 2014, MOOCs, Open University

Full text: OAJ_Issue9_Moreno_Final (PDF 1.5 MB).

DOI:  http://dx.doi.org/10.5456/issn.2050-3679/2020w09

Biographical note 

Joaquim Moreno is an architect, historian and curator and teaches at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto (FAUP). He holds a doctorate in Architectural History and Theory from Princeton University, a master’s degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and a professional degree in architecture from Porto University. He has curated numerous exhibitions for the Venice Biennale, the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA), or Garagem Sul Gallery at Lisbon’s Belém Cultural Center (CCB) and is currently working on an exhibition on the intersections between Portuguese architects and the Venice Biennale.