Dissemination

4th MULTIPLIER EVENT 'ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS'

 

Our Fourth Multiplier Event on November 26th 2021 was titled ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN DIFFERENT CONTEXTS and invited higher education policy makers of Architecture’s Afterlife partners’ five nations—Belgium, Croatia, England, Italy and Spain. In this event, we talked about how the partners’ schools organize their curricula, whether and how these schools included other programs besides architecture, the competences taught in architecture schools, what professions are ‘related’ to architecture, and the relationship between disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity in architecture curricula.

 

 

3rd MULTIPLIER EVENT '(MIS)MATCHES BETWEEN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION AND PRACTICE' HOSTED BY POLITECNICO DI TORINO (online)

 

The Third Multiplier Event of the Architecture's Afterlife Project, was hosted by Politecnico di Torino on Friday October 1, 2021 (on-line) at 2:00pm-5:00pm CEST. The (MIS)MATCHES BETWEEN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION AND PRACTICE invited representatives of the professional bodies of Architecture’s Afterlife partners’ five nations—Belgium, Croatia, England, Italy and Spain—together with experts on professional bodies’ policy in the EU Member States. In this event, we talked about how the practice of architecture is mediated, organized, and regulated by national and international professional bodies; what the competencies acquired in architecture education and requested by the profession are; and how  “European” the European professional bodies and the architect's practice that they represent are.  

 

 

2nd MULTIPLIER EVENT 'ARCHI-TECHNOLOGIES: FROM ARCHITECTURAL CREATIVITY TO TECH DESIGN THINKING' HOSTED BY KU LEUVEN (online)

 

On 21 May 2021, Architecture’s Afterlife hosted the second Multiplier Event entitled “ARCHI-TECHNOLOGIES: FROM ARCHITECTURAL CREATIVITY TO TECH DESIGN THINKING.” It was dedicated to creative industries and, in particular, to graduates who have studied architecture and find themselves working on technology while engaging in the interaction between the built world and digital space.  The program was articulated in three parts. In the first part, the partners shared some preliminary results of the Afterlife survey, including that, among the survey participants, 36% architecture graduates have never worked as architects, and that the work-life balance is quite poor for architecture and even poorer for individuals who combine architecture with related sectors. Regarding the competences acquired in the university years, the majority of the participants indicated “personal competencies” such as determination, work ethics, and endurance, proving that an architectural education has a very profound impact on how people develop their personality. The second part of the event was organized as an interactive dialogue with eight practitioners who were invited because of their work in creative industries and their particular focus on the use of technology. In this part, the partners projected a video compilation of the eighth speakers’ short presentations on their work.  After the presentations, the partners asked the speakers a series of questions using a system of Interactive live polling. Questions included the speakers’ definition of themselves as architects, their education, and professional trajectory. As the conversation was open to the audience in the last part, the discussion verted on the importance of the legal status of owning an architect’s title and its value within a social context. However, “the biggest potential of an architectural education is not being able to clearly define, or to frame, what architects are doing, it is actually the biggest opportunity that architectural education is providing for everybody” as Ognen Marina had put it. This education is profoundly based on creativity understood as a “kind of disposition that fosters opening up new ways that encourages search and inquiry” in Johan De Walsche words who recalled Elliot Eisner’s Arts and the Creation of Mind (2003). From there the question is an education that is not simply based on the usual STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics sciences) but on STEAM, where A indicates Art & Architecture.

 

 

1st MULTIPLIER EVENT 'ARCHIPELAGO OF PRACTICE' HOSTED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ANTWERP (online)

 

On 19 February 2021, Architecture’s Afterlife hosted the first Multiplier Event entitled “Archipelago of Practice.” Deans, directors and representatives of different EU architecture schools, representatives of EAAE, IUA, RIBA, ACSA, ARCC, representatives of architecture businesses and professional bodies, and the External Advisory Board of the study, gather together for the on-line event. The ME O1 consisted of twelve in-depth interviews of practitioners who have studied architecture and have pursued a professional path different from the traditional practice of architecture.  After the interviews, the partners, the speakers and the guests engaged in a conversation regarding the presentations and the scope of the study. These interviews will be transcribed, edited and included in the Afterlife Reports (IO2) and Academic papers (IO4) as in-depth interviews of paradigmatic cases. To each of the interviewees, the partners asked the same three questions: to describe their professional paths; how the profession of architecture is changing today; and, finally, to describe the skills learned in school and needed in their current occupation. The discussion addressed the fluidity of the boundaries of architecture vis-à-vis the autonomy of the field.  As Dana Cuff suggested, we are drawn to multidisciplinarity, and yet, “if architecture is not an autonomous operation, then what is it?” The question of architecture disciplinarity has persisted for the last seventy years, and it is worth looking at why we are still pressed by this problem. While architecture schools comply with the idea that their aim is indeed to teach how to design buildings, architects escape this definition to then constantly reinvent their professional role. A possible answer was offered by Hera van Sande who defined architecture as “a practice of change.” Architects are actors of change both in reference to their own discipline as practitioners and to the world as makers. It is the very notion of architecture as a discipline of transformation that makes architecture education so versatile. However, this transformation has an ethical dimension.  Following Felipe de Ferrari, an ethical transformation is an action “to reclame what has been stolen by capitalism.” But this dimension can be expressed also in reference to a practice that does not allow a work-life balance thus needs to affirm its “right to be lazy” as Ana Dana Beroš put it. 

 

Read about the speakers and schedule here.

 

PROJECT PRESENTATION AND SURVEY LAUNCH AT THE EAAE-ARCC CONFERENCE IN VALENCIA

On November 13th 2020, the Architecture's Afterlife project was presented at the EAAE-ARCC conference 'The Architect and the City' held at the Universitat Politècnica de València. The project coordinator, dr. Harriet Harriss, explained the research goals and launched the survey before introducing the keynote lecture by Carme Pigem of RCR Arquitectes.

 

 

INCEPTION EVENT, OCT 8th 2020, 8:00 AM EST, 1:00 PM GMT, 2:00 PM CET

On 8 October 2020, we met on-line with the External Advisory Board. The partners presented the Architecture’s Afterlife project and launched the new survey and the website. The presentations were followed by a discussion between the partners and the members of the Advisory Board. Thomas Vonier underlined the importance of defining a clear outcome. He detected some tension about what the project really intends to do: from one side it aims at defining the demands of the workplace in architecture today and whether schools are meeting those demands; from the other, it looks at the value of an architecture education in other fields. He also mentioned a fundamental issue regarding the research which is how many architects are really needed in this environment and what skills and what knowledge are most critical. Lynne Dearborn questioned how an architecture education supports its graduates over the lifetime of their professional careers in whatever field they choose. Anna-Maria Meister stressed the problem of how one defines “leaving the profession,” that is what is an architect outside of a legal definition. David Gloster asked to consider how the profession is not necessarily meeting graduates’ expectations. Patrick Flynn remarked that the teaching of architecture should address not simply the professional demands of today but of 50 years from now, while preparing  students for lifelong learning. Roberto Cavallo mentioned the need to incorporate more skills in our schools where a wider understanding of the environment is needed, but, at the same time, schools of architecture can not just pile up requirements. It is essential to understand what is more important and related to the “lifelong learning” that Patrick Flynn has mentioned. Saverio Mecca also stressed the importance of looking at the demands of today as much as of the future. Hrvoje Njiric urged the partners to look at the overproduction of architects in certain countries; the relationship between architecture practice and the economy of each country; and the efficiency of the chambers of architects. Hannah Vowles spoke of the difference between practice, profession, discipline, training, and education. She also urged the partners to look at who gets to enter the field of architecture in relation to class, gender, race and disability.

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

10 minutes questions

2:45-2:55      Dag Boutsen (KU Leuven) and Michela Barosio (Politecnico di Torino): Aims and Dissemination

2:55-3:00      Carla Sentieri Omarrementeria (Universitat Politècnica de València): Bibliography

10 minutes questions

3:10-3:20      Mia Roth Cerina (Sveučilište U Zagrebu): Launch of the Website

3:20-3:40     Johan De Walsche (Universiteit Antwerpen) and Haydée De Loof (Universiteit Antwerpen): Launch of the Survey

10 min break 

3:50-4:25      Discussion

4:25-4:30     Harriet Harriss (Royal College of Art): Final Remarks

View the Inception Event Minutes here