Presidents Message, December 18, 2020

Looking Back… and Ahead

Dear Colleagues,

I am taking this opportunity to briefly look back at a tempestuous year – a year in which, despite all difficulties and challenges, a lot has been accomplished. COVID with all its “side effects” has been shaking us through and through, but it has forced us, too, to revise conventions and habits and to innovate. The pandemic thus has offered also opportunities for experimentation with alternative modes of teaching and researching, and exchanging on those subjects. Quite paradoxically, and despite the necessity for social distancing, the pandemic has pushed us to connect more strongly with existing and new partners. Indeed, I feel that collaboration has never been as intense as now with the digital means having become so common and allowing us to work together without travelling.

As mentioned in previous newsletters, EAAE has been very active in policy making and advocacy this year. Together with ACE, CILECT, Culture Action Europe, Cumulus, ELIA, EQ-Arts, MusiQuE and SAR we published the Vienna Declaration, a policy paper advocating the full recognition of artistic research across Europe. We have also been engaged in a working group together with ACE, ECIA, ECTPELIA, IFLA on a joint statement on how to support the President of the European Commission, Ms. Ursula von der Leyen’s initiative – the “New European Bauhaus“. The statement was very positively received by the project lead, the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission. Our dialogue with JRC will continue in 2021 in the design phase of the calls for collaborations. Our aim is to ensure that the voice of the educators, researchers and students are heard, and that we contribute meaningfully in this ambitious program.

Our Academies and network groups have been very active as well.

The Research Academy plays a key role in the CA2RE+ network. Parallel to these activities, the RA group is currently conceptualizing a policy paper, drawing on the experience with the EAAE Research Charter and other RA projects and ideas.

The Education Academy is currently working on how to successfully tackle the challenges of COVID for design studios. Teaching the design of architectural space and construction without the means of physical contact, face-to-face interchange and analog tools, solely by electronic means, is no small feat. But the constraints of COVID have also led to experiments that have opened up new insights and pathways for architectural education. In order to share these experiences and lessons learned with the EAAE community, the Education Academy is about to launch a workshop series focusing on remote studio teaching.

Last but not least, the Conservation Network is putting the finishing touches on the proceedings of its workshop in Prague 2019 while, at the same time, preparing for the next workshop, which is planned to be held in Porto in 2021.

All in all, we are cautiously optimistic that we can continue all our activities into 2021 and eventually – hopefully – meet in person again. Here you find the events that are planned for next year:

In the meantime, I wish you and your families a peaceful festive season and all the best for 2021! Stay healthy!

Best regards,
Oya Atalay Franck
President EAAE