Transprogramming as social emancipation: A medical magnet school for Dallas, Texas
Magee Jr., Larry Edward
A prominent sociological perspective asserts that a diminished tax base leads to poor education and job skills training; poor job skills creates a population that cannot participate in the New Economy, forcing it to settle I instead for less -skilled, lower-paying jobs; the result is a lesser influx of capital into the area, which again leads to a diminished tax base, and the cycle is repeated ad infinitum. The poverty cycle in south Dallas and East Oak Cliff is alive and thriving ... For decades, major businesses have left the area to ruin, crippling a new and growing economy at its very beginning. Wealth and privilege fled to the suburban oases to the north, east , and west of the downtown core. As tax revenue and land values plummeted, so did the funding for the schools in the area, creating conditions that make the Dallas Independent School District one of the most notoriously inept urban school districts in the nation . Social welfare programs have created a local population that exemplifies urban decay: dependent on federal (and other, less glorious) means of income , mired in a cycle that offers no opportunity for escape . This can change . . .. the cycle can be broken ... The social reform model has failed. Conversely, the economic model of social betterment lies stagnant and immobile . Economic investment in South Dallas and East Oak Cliff must take on a new direction: that of an investment in social infrastructure. In stead of the traditional injection point in the poverty cycle (direct private sector investment and commercial growth), investment in the area must begin with the education system. Bettering the educational infrastructure creates a new breed of local citizen : one prepared and educated to deal with and excel at higher -paying, higher-skilled jobs . The Veterans Administration Hospital in south Dallas / East Oak Cliff provides a unique opportunity: the creation of a high school adjacent to its campus that serves as both a medical education magnet school and a physical rehabilitation clinic for the hospital. Instead of drawing its population from other areas of the city, this magnet school will instead have a student body drawn from surrounding neighborhoods. Contemporary architect and theorist Bernard Tschumi asserts that the application of transprogramming, disprogramming, and crossprogramming allows architects to come to grips with and control the paradoxes that are inherent in the conceptualization of space and function. Paradoxes are not the intended effect of transprogramming in South Dallas: progress is. Transprogramming is not merely an exercise in playfulness, but rather a tool to facilitate and justify a physical and social intervention.