The London School of Architecture’s new strategy seeks to reframe architectural education for a changed world by embracing school age learners and practicing professionals, writes Ben Flatman

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Source: James Jordan

Neal Shasore, head of the London School of Architecture

The London School of Architecture (LSA) has proposed a new ”Part 0” and “Part 4” as a radical new training strategy to help architectural education address climate change, diversity, and professional competency.

The document, entitled “2024 Vision”, calls for a fundamental rethink about how architects are educated. It proposes expanding the parameters of formal education beyond the traditional RIBA Parts, 1, 2 and 3, to embrace both school age children, and lifelong learning for those in practice.

The LSA, which took its first students in 2015, was established specifically to bridge the gap between academia and the profession. It runs a postgraduate RIBA Part 2 programme, with students spending most of their first year working in an architect’s office, with salaries helping to cover the cost of tuition fees.

Neal Shasore has been head of school since June 2021. He has undertaken extensive research into the history of architectural practice, and the social role of architecture. He also worked as Practice Projects Co-ordinator for the RIBA. Attention to the underlying requirements of professional practice runs through the new strategy, reflecting Shasore’s own preoccupation with both the history and current evolution of how architects work.


The new strategy represents the LSA’s desire to redefine the nature of professional training and practice within a context of wider societal disruption. “This strategy is not just about getting students on the conveyor belt. It’s about what we need – for our community and our planet,” said Shasore.

LSA’s new strategy comes at a time of wider change within the industry. Brexit and the Building Safety Act have given ARB greater freedom and new powers to define the future shape of architectural education.

New diverse routes into the profession, such as apprenticeships, and the potential for shorter, US-style mid-career conversion courses are changing the educational landscape. “We want LSA to be at the vanguard of those changes”, says Shasore.

To help articulate this change, the LSA has coined the terms “Part 0” and “Part 4”, indicating a new focus on what happens both before and after architects begin their formal training.

“We want to talk about Grenfell”

Shasore believes that “ever stronger demands for social justice” require schools of architecture to intervene at a much earlier stage with young learners. Part 0 addresses the education of 13 to 19 year olds, seeking to bring engagement with the built environment to school age children. A key objective of this approach is to help deliver greater diversity in architecture and other built environment professions.

Part 4 represents the LSA’s response to the discussion around professional competence post Grenfell. “We want to talk about Grenfell,” Shasore says. “The only serious way to memorialise this tragedy is in a progressive way”. Shasore sees Part 4 as catering to a new market in high quality post-qualification learning.

Shasore sets the changes in the context of the 2019 Augar Review into post-18 education, which identified the need to reduce the cost of tertiary education for far more modular life-long learning. It also coincides with ARB’s plans to introduce compulsory CPD for architects from 2024.

The LSA rents its current studio space and seeks to make a virtue of having no permanent home, instead using London as its “campus”. Shasore says that part of the school’s future vision is to continue to keep fees low by embracing online learning and the wider digital space.

“LSA is a critique as much as an institution”, says Shasore. “This is why LSA’s new strategy reflects what is happening more broadly in education and training. We are talking about the radical ground either side of the established status quo.”