Architecture and Global Curriculum

Universities are grappling with creating an inclusive and global curriculum that will serve the needs of 21st century architecture students.

In terms of architecture, which theories and buildings from which countries and cities should be included, and what are academics doing to address the histories of Indigenous peoples?

“The reason I’m here is only because I basically dedicated 40 years of trying to get rid of the education I had in the past; critique it.”

Professor Mark Jarzombek

Dr Jennifer Ferng speaks with Professor Mark Jarzombek and Professor Jaky Troy about the challenges in creating university curriculum that encompasses the contributions of many countries and peoples. They discuss the importance of first societies and first nations, the role of vernacular examples of architecture, and try to define what the global means for the 21st century. Jarzombek and Troy share some of their experiences from places around the world and explain how they try to bring these sites – archaeological, architectural, and living – to the attention of the public.

“The university sends this strong message of Western scholarship and a kind of dominance of a political and religious ideology that in many ways obviates everything Indigenous”.

Professor Jaky Troy


Mark Jarzombek is Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is one of the founders of the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative (GAHTC). He is a leading advocate of global history and was the first to teach a MOOC on the history of architecture, with thousands of participants worldwide. His most recent book is entitled Digital Stockholm Syndrome in the Post-Ontological Age, published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Professor Jaky Troy is the Director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research at the University of Sydney. Her expertise includes documenting, describing, and reviving Indigenous languages. She is currently working on the indigenous languages of Pakistan. One current project is focused on the history of Aboriginal missions and reserves in eastern Australia and the history of non-institutionalised Aboriginal people. The other is about the practice of ‘corroboree’ by Aboriginal people in the assimilation period of the mid 20th century. She is part of the Ngarigu community from the Snowy Mountains.

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