Confronting Wicked Problems (Education Academy)

Adapting Architectural Education to the New Situation in Europe


The Erasmus+ project´s point of departure is the acknowledgement that 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.

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. The project aims at strengthening the architectural graduates´ ability to face this new normal and thus improve the their social impact and employability.

Stage 0: Presentation and Basic Data

Stage 1: First Dissemination

During this year EAAE Education Academy will present the preliminary results from the project “Confronting Wicked Problems: Adapting Architectural Education to the New Situation in Europe”. The project is financed by the EU Erasmus+ Program, being classified as an action “Strategic Partnerships”. It runs three years from 2015 to 2017, and was initiated by the EAAE Council. The project is coordinated by the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) and is organized in three different Think Tanks:

  1. “Architectural Design and Professional Knowledge”, whose members are: Escola Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (ETSAB-UPC) and the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO);
  2. “Heritage”, whose members are: Czech Technical University in Prague – Faculty of Architecture, Universiteit Hasselt – Department of Architecture and Universitá degli Studi di Genova – Department of Architecture;
  3. “Sustainability”, whose members are: Politecnico di Milano – Department of Architecture, Delft University of Technology – Department of Architecture; and “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Bucharest.

In addition to these schools, the Architect’s Council of Europe (ACE-CEA) and the EAAE/AEEA are participating in all three groups. The first academic output
from each Think-Tank was presented in Milano (Italy) on August 31, 2015,
during the EAAE Academy day.

Stage 2: Second Dissemination

The second academic output was held in Delft (Netherlands) on September 2, 2016, during the EAAE Academy day which was included in the agenda of the EAAE Annual Conference. After a second year of thorough work the second round of preliminary results from the project “Confronting Wicked Problems: Adapting Architectural Education to the New Situation in Europe” was disseminated via the EAAE website and presented to the audience in Delft.

Stage 3: Final Report

In the summer of 2014, EAAE Council was awarded an Erasmus+ Project titled “Confronting Wicked Problems: Adapting Architectural Education to the New Situation in Europe”. Having run from September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2017, the so called “Wicked Project” has focused in certain aspects that play a substantial role in the present and near future of architecture’s teaching and practice, namely professional knowledge, heritage and sustainability. Results obtained by twenty-five researchers organized in three think tanks along with many stakeholders, have been condensed in a final report and eleven attachments which are now made available to the public. Based on activities and experiences from short-term intensive programmes, think tank members have discussed pedagogical methods, curriculum structure and continuous professional development within the aforementioned fields. The results will be formally presented and openly debated in the specific event scheduled in the framework of the EAAE Annual Event to be held in Bordeaux on September 1, 2017.

Ivan Cabrera i Fausto, Project Leader