Oltre i confini dell’architettura. Didattica in transizione

Michela Barosio, Santiago Gomes



IX Forum ProArch: TRANSIZIONI - L’avvenire della didattica e della ricerca per il progetto di architettura

Società Scientifica Nazionale dei Docenti di Progettazione Architettonica, Università di Cagliari, Università di Sassari. 17-19 November 2022


Committee: Samanta Bartocci, Giovanni Maria Biddau, Lino Cabras, Adriano Dessì, Laura Pujia



ABSTRACT: I cambiamenti culturali, sociali ed economici, lo sviluppo tecnologico e l’insorgere di nuovi temi e questioni sempre più articolate hanno introdotto profondi mutamenti nelle dinamiche di produzione (e ri-produzione) dello spazio, della città, del territorio, portando ad una ridefinizione dei ruoli dei diversi attori coinvolti e determinando uno spostamento dei confini tra discipline. In questo contesto, gli architetti, tradizionalmente impegnati nei processi di trasformazione fisica della realtà, sembrano seguire percorsi professionali diversificati e variegati. Recenti studi rilevano come i laureati in architettura operino non solo all’interno di quel grovi-glio di pratiche, processi e modalità che tradizionalmente consideriamo come campo dell’Architettura, ma come essi si muovano in aree o campi apparentemente estranei all’ambito che siamo abituati chiamare Architettura. Questi “sconfinamenti” vanno quindi ad ampliare il campo disciplinare dell’Architettura. Un recente studio del RIBA ha rivelato che, in UK, oltre il 40% dei laureati in architettura lavora in settori considerati fino ad oggi “diversi dall’architettura”. A livello europeo, un risultato simile emerge dalla ricerca Architecture’s Afterlife. In risposta alle richieste di un settore in transizione, assistiamo, a un intenso dibattito intorno all’op-portunità di procedere verso una riformulazione dei percorsi formativi indagando sui disallineamenti che tali mutamenti hanno generato tra le competenze richieste dalla società e dal mercato e l’insieme di soft e hard skills proposte nei curricula delle scuole di architettura. In questo senso, il IX Forum ProArch costituisce un’occasione di confronto intor-no alle possibilità di ridefinizione dei progetti didattici mediante l’introduzione di percorsi multipli (à la carte) che possano, valorizzando le competenze consolidate già presenti nei curricula e ibridando apporti transdisciplinari, meglio rispondere all’attuale ruolo di un architetto, in transizione. Per fare questo presenteremo i risultati di Architecture’s Afterlife che indagando i mismatches tra competenze offerte dai percorsi di laurea in architettura e competenze richieste ed utilizzate nella pratica professionale, giunge a proporre nuovi modelli didattici per accompagnare la transizione in atto di un intero settore, quello dell’architettura.


The Soft Infrastructures of Value (Re)Production in Architectural Education

Mia Roth-Čerina, Andrea Čeko



RAPS 2022 Eindhoven: Radical Entanglements: Architectures, Societies, Environments, Politics

Radical Architecture Practice for Sustainability Second international conference, ARENA, TU Eindhoven, 11-12 November 2022

Editors: Torsten Schröder, Weijie Zhong, Sophia Banou and João Manuel B. Meneses de Sequeira

p. 23


ABSTRACT: Besides the obvious delivery of transversal skills and development of a way of thinking, architectural education serves as a vehicle of assimilation into this hidden power-play, affirmed and cultured through an array of rituals serving the existing power equilibrium. From Henri Lefebvre’s theoretical concept of space (re)production to Michel Foucault’s sense of positioning oneself within these power relationships, they take shape from the very beginning (quote the interrelationship of power, subjectivity, and knowledge formation). When considering space and architecture as tools to (re)produce values, according to anthropologist David Graeber, values are a word used to invoke the sense of user and exchange (financial) value, value as meaning, and values as ethics. In its hidden process of culturing an architect, values that architectural education can produce occur differently in what political economist Massimo De Angelis has called 'value practices'. Within particular sets of circumstances, values are here entangled with actions and process emergent in social aims, as a correspondent 'web of relations', or the soft infrastructures. The work builds arguments on the findings of the European Erasmus+ Architecture's Afterlife research project whose aim is to identify the multi-sector impact of an architecture degree and the extent to which skills taught to architecture students are needed in other sectors. The study detects certain 'other values' among the answers of its in-depth interviews, as 'other' to the dominant, market-driven neoliberal narrative within architectural education. They are the values of commoning, mutuality, and cooperation. Defined as ‘the systems that enable circulation of goods, knowledge, meaning, people and power’, the work seeks to further explore the soft infrastructures of value (re)production as crucial entanglements in architectural education.


What is Behind Architectural Education? Soft Skills Competences in 6 European Schools of Architecture

Carla Sentieri Omarrementeria



ICERI2022 Proceedings

15th International Conference of Educationi, Seville, Spain, 7.-9. 11. 2022

ISBN: 978-84-09-45476-1
ISSN: 2340-1095



ABSTRACT: Transversal skills, sometimes also referred to as soft skills are those aptitudes or characteristics that a person develops independent to the field of work to which they are devoted and makes reference to aptitudes, values, abilities and personality traits which improve a person’s efficiency and which may allow them in the future to adapt to any number of activities. As professions change more and more quickly, these skills are increasingly valued as they allow adaptation to different contexts. However, the training of architects in different schools around Europe is centred on specific skills and very few qualifications specifically take transversal or soft skills into consideration. The European Architecture´s Afterlife Project: The Multi-sector impact of an architectural qualification, carried out by five European institutions by way of a survey of graduating architecture students in Europe, indicates which skills are those most widely taught to architecture students and which skills are the most widely required. After the carrying out of the survey, in which 2,600 graduating students took part, qualitative research was done by way of interviews of graduating students in five European countries which revealed which skills they considered themselves to be better trained at and which skills were the most required. Subsequently, a comparative analysis of architecture schools from five countries: Italy, Spain, Belgium, Croatia and the United Kingdom showed differences in the predominance of certain skills and after the analysis of each one of these schools, it can be observed that certain approaches to the study programme might be having an effect on the training of the students and should be reviewed in order to orientate this training – taking into account the soft skills which they consider most relevant – in order to respond adequately to the social requirements presented by present and future contexts.


An Anthology for the Invisible Beyond Architecture

Dag Boutsen, Hanne Van Reusel and Michela Barosio



Towards a New European Bauhaus – EAAE annual conference

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETS de Arquitectura de Madrid, 31.9.-2.9.2022

Session: Learning from professional practice


ABSTRACT: The NEB recognizes the innovative potential of architecture in relation to our society's need, digging into questions on the position of the discipline of architecture, its practice and its education. Questions that have been looked into within the Erasmus+ "Architecture's Afterlife" research project. The study investigating the diverse trajectories of architecture alumni, clearly showed that the competencies acquired in architectural education set up a professional modus operandi and identity that can take many forms. One of the three inseparable NEB values, is about encouraging a dialogue across cultures, disciplines and genders. The search for the opening of new critical avenues promoting continuous improvement when rescuing ideas of critical production and the ability to think through design is rightly emphasized. This might be exactly what the Architecture's Afterlife study has been able to highlight; the architect's skill to look beyond, to find balance on the thin the between idealism and pragmatism, to maintain an overview while breaking down complexity into feasible components. Yet, another conclusion of the study emphasis how this 'architectural mindset expands far beyond the limited field of architecture and construction. It can be found in the architect who became a mayor, a lightening designer, a landscape photographer… and in the ones who sticked to architecture 'pur sang'. Looking at the NEB Festival in June 2022, the products, concepts and services at display showcase an architecture as we have known it, and art reflecting on societal visions and on recurring buzz concepts of 'art & science'. Where are those often left invisible 'beyond architects' that expand and broaden the discipline?


Multidisciplinarity in Action: Defining Collaborative Design

Federica Vannucchi and Mia Roth-Čerina



Towards a New European Bauhaus – EAAE annual conference

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, ETS de Arquitectura de Madrid, 31.9.-2.9.2022

Session: Participatory designs


ABSTRACT: That architecture is a multidisciplinary practice is not novelty. In western history, architects describe their profession as an assemblage of expertise which, one might think, can hardly be performed by just one individual. This is the case in Vitruvius' The Ten Books on Architecture where he stated that an architect has to be conversant in matters related to geometry, history, philosophy, music, medicine, jurisprudence, astronomy, and the theory of the heavens. This is repeated today in the Article 46 dedicated to "Training Architects" included in the EU's Professional Qualifications Directive 2005/36/EC where an architect shou understand fine arts, technology, human sciences, environmental issues, building regulations, just to nan a few. What complicates matters though is that an architect is not only to be versatile in a variety of different disciplines other than architecture, but that the profession of architecture is to exist "in society," mediating "between people and buildings, and between buildings and their environment," responding to "human needs and scale," as the Directive states. What this being "in society" means and demands is al the core of architecture remaking today. Society has been renamed at any turn of architecture thinking, such as in the early 20th century modernism with "masses" or the 1960s CIAM discussions with "the greatest number" and today's use of "communities." The discussion of who is the user has also brought the problem of the relationship between user and space maker. Discussions on modes of collaborations and participation have been central to architecture at least since the 1960s. This research focuses on the modes of collaboration between architects and users, what the Directive calls "society." It does so by critically addressing and comparing modality of collaborations within four main paradigms: experiences feminist collectives; socialist corporativism; environmental care; and racial displacement and discrimination.


Architecture's Afterlife: The Multi-sector impact of an architectural qualification

Harriet Harriss, Michela Barosio, Carla Sentieri



A Focus on Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning and Research in the Modern Academy


AMPS (Architecture Media Politics Society), University of Kassel, Ball State University, Beaconhouse National University and the University of Pretoria. 20-22 April, 2022

ISSN 2398-9467

Editor: Zain Adil




Architecture’s Afterlife: The multi-sector impact of an architectural qualification is a pan-European study intended to identify the multi-sector impact of an architecture degree and the extent to which skills taught to architecture students are needed in other sectors. Awarded in 2019 by the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, the study seeks an answer for why on average, 40% of European architecture graduates choose to work in the creative and cultural professions other than architecture. Practicing architects and students of architecture are eager for new paths forward, looking beyond the arbitrary limits of the profession to address systemic crises such as global warming, human displacement, and pandemics. And for many, leaving the construction industry at this time offers an opportunity to apply architectural training in new and resourceful ways, to both question the conventional notion of practice, and to find new careers and new sectors where architectural expertise is welcomed and valued. Trained to synthesize complexity, architects can prove to be fundamental players in designing solutions to systemic crises. The current state of emergency has prompted new discussions on the fluid boundaries of our discipline – its autonomy vis-à-vis its trans-displinarity – often favoring a broad understanding of the architect’s role “as integrator, professional generalist, and practical idealist” as Rachel Armstrong has recently put it. Subject to discussion since antiquities, a new definition of the architect’s expertise is desperately needed. The question of how easy it is to change career paths and sectors comes down to how transposable an individual’s skills – and not just their qualifications – really are. The answer lies in another dimension to the study: skills mapping. It stands to reason that if architects are leaving architecture in order to become professionals in other sectors, it’s because they are proving to be desirable hires for employers. The study seeks to define which of the skills that architects learn in school are most appealing to other sectors, since this will indicate not only the skills shortages in other sectors, but also the most valuable dimensions of architectural education.

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