Archive of European Projects

Confronting Wicked Problems: Adapting Architectural Education to the New Situation in Europe
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Architecture as an education, a discipline and a profession has to redefine and release its potential for problem-solving and innovation within a new economic and societal context. This new normal implies that the knowledge basis, teaching methods and role models transferred in architectural education have to be adapted to a new reality. There is a strong demand for diversification both in architectural education and in practice. This is most clearly demonstrated in the challenges of sustainable development of the European habitat, cities and buildings. The process of redesigning and reusing the huge European architectural heritage is equally challenging. The main objectives of the project are (1) to strengthen the architectural graduate’s ´ability to face the wicked problems, and thus improve the graduate´s social impact and their employability. In order to achieve this, the content and methods of architectural education have to be reconsidered and developed. The project will test and develop innovative practices in local “teaching laboratories”, and provide a platform for making the results available to relevant schools. (2) The educational institutions will through the new knowledge gained also be able to develop their systems and curriculum for Life-long learning involving post-graduate target groups. In this way the project also will give input to systems for Continuous professional development (CPD) and reach other target groups disseminating knowledge to young professionals and practice through chambers and professional organizations. -The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is heading the project. -The European Association of Architectural Education (EAAE) is a main strategic partner with an important role in disseminating and evaluating the result. -The Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) is also a strategic partner with the specific role of bridging the project to the profession. -Escuela d´Archiitectura de Barcelona, ETSAB, UPC, Spain -The Oslo School of of Architecture and Design, Norway -The Faculty of Architecture and Arts, Hasselt University, Belgium -The Department DSA of Sciences for Architecture (Polytechnic School) at the University of Genoa, Italy. -The CTU Faculty of Architecture in Prague, Czech Republic -The Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands -The Faculty of Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, -The Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucuresti, Romania The project is organized in three different think tanks each dealing with aspects of the new situation: (1) Architectural design and professional knowledge, (2) Heritage and (3) Sustainability. The activities in the different Think tanks will be managed through two yearly transnational project meetings. In addition to this the project involves different kinds of events for pilot projects and discussions: -The sustainability think tank will arrange three Sustainability Charettes. -The Architectural design and professional knowledge think tank, and the Heritage think tank will also arrange three short term staff training events held in turns by the schools participating in the think tank. Dissemination will happen through yearly reports to representatives of most European schools of architecture at the yearly EAAE-ACE Academy-event. All written material as well as major lectures will be published open source at the EAAE-website. The expected outcome for the participating schools is the successful development of innovative curricula and teaching methods within the fields covered by the think tanks. The project is expected to make the participating schools epicenters and ambassadors of good practice respectively within architectural design and professional knowledge, sustainability and heritage. The project is also important for extending and strengthening the schools international networks, and as an arena for conducting and publishing international studies on architectural education. For EAAE the project will strengthen further European cooperation within architectural education. Through the dissemination of intellectual outputs the project will also contribute to establishing EAAE as a hub of resources for its member institutions. For ACE and EAAE an important impact is to establish closer through opening up several areas of cooperation and exchanging experience, expertise and networks. For ACE the impact in CDP for young professionals is of particular interest. Generally the project raises the question of how to teach architecture today in Europe, and especially how curriculum and teaching should be adapted to the new societal and professional situation, in this document termed the new normal. The context of the project involving European organizations participating in global networks, as well as local universities, gives a potential for this discussion and possible improved education from European to local level.
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