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Session Overview
Track 6 Session 1
Friday, 07/Aug/2020:
11:20am - 11:45am

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Designing the Designer: What "an Architect" means Today?

Beatrice-Gabriela Joger

”Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning, Romania

Today's society is undergoing increasingly rapid changes. People have different expectations and, above all, immediate expectations. Our whole world is also changing in terms of climate and environment. Is architecture ready for this change? Is architecture education ready for it?

By teaching we try to create a new identity for the young person that entered the doors of the School. We try to make it think and act in an Architectural way and as an Architect.

But what "an Architect" means today?

Three directions I think are important, being one architect/designer: Formation/Training, Responsibility and Ethics.

Formation/Training – of the architect has a long duration, complex requirements and curriculum and expensive tools. However, the changes that have taken place in the last century have rarely called this into question, approaching especially the pedagogy. The social implications of architecture began to make their presence felt in the 1950s, and radical pedagogies also influenced more conservative institutions.

However, the skills required of the architect have not changed much since the times of Vitruvius and Alberti. The context, the technologies, yes. And they thus require the adaptation of these abilities, some so specifically human - understanding, the process of thinking, of creation - to the requirements of today's world. But without neglecting the successful transmission of core skills and the development of mental aptitudes to future architects by practicing during scholarship the mind skills absolutely necessary in our field: observation, introspection, analysis, synthesis, communication of the result / solution.

Responsibility - can be assumed only with a maturity in thinking. Hence the absence of miracle children in architecture. From here follows the long journey of professional training in school and after that. The architect in training has to learn how to take the skills creatively and thus to synthesize the knowledge and wisdom necessary to carry out the next steps in the profession. All this ensures that the architect who assumes responsibility for a project does so in full knowledge of the physical (construction), social and ethical implications of his thoughts and deeds.

Hence the fact that the architect has such a great public and social responsibility in materializing the result of his thinking that it still can only be assumed by a highly trained and duly certified practitioner.

Ethics - By creating a personal identity, the architect creates, at the same time, a professional identity and an ethic, a professional deontology, aligned, of course, with the general ones of the guild. Regardless of the scale of a project, the creative approach is the same, and even the machine has a significant contribution providing technical variants and optimizations, ultimately the choice belongs, and must belong, to the architect. And so does the responsibility and above all the ethical responsibility. And this is even more important when one factors in the politics in architecture. Recent writings and manifestos signal the possibility - in the absence of a well-defined human and professional identity - of deviating from the professional ethics of the architect, blinded by the desire to be immortalized by the built.

Therefore, a present challenge is to pass on the ethical values acquired so far and to succeed in adapting them to the present and future world based on the same principles on which they were created.

The Road Map

Silje Alberthe Kamille Friis

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture and Design, Denmark

This study examines a method for designing a creative process, ‘The Road Map’, and its significance to cross-disciplinary, creative collaboration. The context is a joint Master Program between Copenhagen Business School and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture and Design. Data consists of the course material, written student reports, and interviews.

Findings indicate that The Road Map is supportive to imagining, developing, and orchestrating a shared design process. It enables the integration of diverse perspectives, the combination of individual competencies and itineraries with common activities and goals and turns concepts that are initially hard to grasp into concrete, manageable initiatives that can be delegated. Participants adjust the process together, compensate for pitfalls in the team dynamic, and produce valuable process insights, also for future projects. Unexpectedly, some teams come up with the idea to include their motivation and learning goals in The Road Map, hence forming a link between individual purpose and aspiration and the overall objectives of the course and project, making it conducive to the participants' experience of meaningfulness and empathy towards one another. At present, the method involves collaboration where the participants are physically present. However, future iterations should also enable virtual collaboration.

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