June 24, 2020

Immaterial material world

Dear Colleagues,

The recent global events have shown us that remote online teaching is possible and comes along with many advantages. To explore the possibilities that remote design education can offer us and to open up the debate on tools, methodologies, new opportunities, etc., the Education Academy has set up a new online space: the platform pEA.

However, in the last few months it became also very evident that acting remote is not entirely in the nature of the architect’s work. Many learnings and improvements emerge in intense discussions but also in casual chats with colleagues or fellow students. Networks are established, when people are physically present, and a lot less when we see their picture on a screen. Not to mention how urgently we miss the creative chaos of several sheets of drawings and sketches, and piles of models that unfold the spatial thinking – the key competence of our profession.

Empathy, critical thinking, professional literacy are crucial for architects, but cannot be easily conveyed online. Therefore, we need a strong lobby to convince our governments that teaching on site is key to educate responsible architects – despite the fact that online teaching seems to be an attractive option to reduce costs for infrastructure and rental.

Talking about lobbying: We are proud to present the Vienna Declaration, a Policy Paper advocating for the full recognition of Artistic Research across Europe. More than one year ago, the main organisations and transnational networks dealing with Artistic Research at European level and beyond decided to join forces to increase the visibility and recognition of this strand of research. The Vienna Declaration, co-written by AEC, Cilect / GEECT, Culture Action Europe, Cumulus, EAAE, ELIA, Cumulus, EAAE, ELIA EPARM EQ-ARTS, MusiQuE and SAR, is the first outcome of this important collaboration. The next actions are already in the pipeline.

It is my very sad duty to inform you that our dear colleague and former Council Member Susanne Komossa has passed away on May 30, 2020. Susanne Komossa was a wonderful person, a brilliant scholar and a strong voice in architectural education and research. She was always at the forefront to keep the communities together and set agendas for the most important issues regarding the future of architecture schools. We will miss her very much.

I wish you all again health, resilience and success with the steps towards in-person teaching from autumn.

Best regards,
Oya Atalay Franck
President, EAAE


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