The on-line Inception event held on October 8th 2020 brought together the consortium and external advisory board, discussing the aims, preliminary findings, modes of dissemination and future course of research. It was attended by consortium members Harriet Harriss (Royal College of Art), Johan De Walsche (Universiteit Antwerpen), Dag Boutsen (KU Leuven), Mia Roth Cerina (Sveučilište U Zagrebu), Carla Sentieri Omarrementeria (Universitat Politècnica de València), Michela Barosio (Politecnico di Torino), Federica Vannucchi (Royal College of Art) and external advisory board members Lynne Dearborn (Professor, Chair of Health and Wellbeing Illinois School of Architecture University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; President, Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture), Anna-Maria Meister (Assistant Professor for Architecture History and Theory at TU Darmstadt, Germany), Thomas Vonier (Secretary General of the International Union of Architects), David Gloster (Director of Education of Royal Institute of British Architects), Roberto Cavallo (Associate Professor Chair Architectural Design Crossovers Head of Section Theory & Territories Department of Architecture Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment Delft University of Technology, Holland; EAAE Council member), Hrvoje Njirić (Professor of Architecture at the University of Split, Croatia; Founder of njiric+arhitekti, Zagreb, Croatia); Saverio Mecca (Chair of the Department of Architecture and Full Professor of Building Production at University of Florence, Italy).
2:00-2:20 Welcome and Presentation of Partners and Members of the Advisory Board
2:20-2:35 Harriet Harriss (Royal College of Art): Introduction (15 min)
10 minutes questions
2:45-2:55 Dag Boutsen (KU Leuven) and Michela Barosio (Politecnico di Torino): Aims and Dissemination (10 min)
2:55-3:00 Carla Sentieri Omarrementeria (Universitat Politècnica de València): Bibliography (5 min)
3:10-3:20 Mia Roth Cerina (Sveučilište U Zagrebu): Launch of the Website (10 min)
3:20-3:40 Johan De Walsche (Universiteit Antwerpen) and Haydée De Loof (Universiteit Antwerpen): Launch of the Survey (20 min)
Introduction by project coordinator Harriet Harriss: Architecture’s Afterlife’s principal aim is to identify the multi-sector impact of an architecture degree within the context of Europe and the extent to which skills taught to architecture students are needed in other sectors. It responds to early-stage findings from a pre-application survey entitled “Architectural education: a progression inquiry” that elicited over 2500 responses from architecture graduates across the EU, and identified that on average, 40% of European Architecture graduates choose to work in the creative and cultural professions other than architecture. This study seeks to understand why this is. It will identify the push and pull factors facing graduates, the sectors to where its target group - architecture graduates - are gravitating, the skills that are lacking in these sectors and how this deficit is impacting upon sector growth. The External Advisory Board members have been chosen because we think that you are either part of a very critical conversation about the future of architectural education already so that you have a sphere of influence and impact within your communities. We also recognize that you have what we would consider to be a vital understanding of what research can do in terms of the feedback loop to the architecture industry. You understand the implications of the study: if students are “architecting” but in other sectors should they not still be called architects? Should we don't allow them to attain that title, just because they're architects of something other than buildings? These are all questions, we will be asking ourselves, and will extrapolate from the data, as we start to accumulate more and more evidence. And we will involve you in these discussions and in order to frame what we will need to identify as the major ways that the study can impact both across industry—in terms of providing us with really important data about what architecture degrees can do as a value generator for economies both regional and international—and also how we define our qualifications and our titles across the regions and into what extent we should potentially reconsider and almost redefine what the value of an architectural education is if it's no longer just a vocational degree, which is how it's been categorized before that can only prepare people for one form of career. The project's principal aims were then presented by Dag Boutsen and Michela Barosio, concluding the main questions: The study is about: Where are the “architects”? What are they doing now? And why? What do they do well? What have they learned? How do they feel? The research and communication framework was then presented: Carla Sentieri presented the bibliography and reference framework, Mia Roth explained the information structure presented on the project's website and the background of its identity, Johan De Walsche brought forth the most significant results of the preliminary survey and introduced the framework of the new survey. A discussion with all board members and guests ensued, raising relevant questions which focus the direction and possible impact of this research.