‘Independent Thought’: Withdrawal Towards Our Self-Rule and Freedom

Tilo Amhoff, Vanessa Nkumbula, Vivian Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is a compilation of the findings of the Independent Thought reading group, a student and staff forum at the School of Architecture and Design (SoAD) at the University of Brighton. The reading group was established as a space for exploring questions of race and coloniality in architecture, the city, and the built environment, the decolonisation of the curriculum, and gradually expanded to examine anti-racist and decolonial attitudes towards academia itself. The topics highlighted in this paper include identity, language, diversity, inclusion, and decolonial pedagogical practices. These were the key discussion points in Independent Thought and are supported by the body of literature, films, and music explored within the reading group. The paper is written predominantly in three voices but is inclusive of the many diverse voices of the reading group itself. These voices stand united in the belief that a more fruitful architectural education can be achieved upon transcending the colonial legacies and inequalities perpetuated across the discipline. We argue that decolonisation is an ever-changing and never-ending process and struggle, that is fluid, dynamic, and seems impossible to achieve in linear fashion, and must be continuous and continued to counter the ongoing recolonisation processes in academia and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


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