Presidents Message, December 21, 2017

New Year’s Message

Dear Colleagues

On the 9th of December, I finished my first 100 days in office as president of EAAE. With this year close to its end, I would like to sum up the work that we got done since the Annual Conference in Bordeaux.

I am very proud that the Council and the Academies got going with great conviction, motivation and engagement. We are all working together as a team, with intent and dedication. It is our belief that EAAE is to be a harbor for all its member schools, a platform to support each other, to advocate good practice and to connect in all matters of architectural education and research, at best capacity.

Change is in the nature of our lives: It is indeed paradoxical that, as the borders for global commerce and trade shrink and disappear and as money and work flows unhindered around the globe, nationalism and populism are highly successful, claiming easy recipes for today’s social woes by simply shutting borders and locking ourselves in. The challenges are enormous: social disintegration; scarcity of natural resources; global warming; aging society; digitalization and the transparent citizen; etc. It is evident that as educators and researchers, we have to take responsibility and seek innovative solutions for the problems of today and tomorrow.

As architects we highly value personal, local and regional identity and the distinction of place necessary to keep up a healthy diversity, but we are also humanists and share a common feeling of responsibility for society and citizenship. As educators and researchers, we want to let others – students, fellow researchers, society as a whole – participate in our insights into how space is shaping society. That is one of the most important goals of EAAE – to provide a platform enabling such participation and work on the common issues and to have an effect on – and beyond – our professional setting.

We are on the right track, and meaningful activities literally „bloom at every corner“:
– The Education Academy has completed its first three-year program and will be presenting the Education Charter next summer in Porto.
– The Research Academy has defined the agenda for the next three years with goals and actions.
– Both the Council and the Academies are working together with our host FAUP to develop an illuminating and enriching program for the 2018 Annual Conference.
– The community of EAAE as a whole is looking beyond geographical and disciplinary borders by intensifying on one hand our relations with ACSA and ARCC, and by looking on the other for meaningful ways in connecting with our sister society ELIA, as well as strengthening the collaborations with ACE.

And much more, on all levels: the network of Heritage and Conservation engages in fruitful debates on a regular basis; The European Architectural Medal for Best Diploma Project 2017 has been published; the Erasmus+ projects continues; and we are also looking for new ways to connect to industry partners, with discussions regarding long-term partnerships off to a promising start.

Let’s not forget: Most of these activities are being carried forward through the voluntary work of the members of the Council, of the Academies‘ core groups, and of the various networks. For the generous support thus demonstrated by their schools, I would like to express my sincere gratitude. The careful and efficient work of the secretary and web management based at UHasselt must also be especially mentioned in this respect.

Most of all I want to thank you, the actively participating members of the EAAE community: For your belief in our common cause and in transnational partnership; for your scientific and artistic curiosity; for your lust for intellectual discourse; for trying to define and systematize architectural education and research – and for pushing its envelope.

Together we are strong.

Wishing you all a happy holiday season and a very successful and happy new year!

Oya Atalay Franck
President EAAE

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