Epistemological Foundations in Teaching Architecture

4th Architecture & Behaviour Colloquium
March 24-26, 1997, Monte Verità, Ascona

On March 24 to 26, 1997, over 40 architects from 15 countries met at Monte Verità for the 4th Colloquium Architecture & Behaviour (in English and French) on the theme Epistemological Foundations in Teaching Architecture.  The workshop was organised by Kaj Noschis, responsible for Architecture & Behaviour Colloquiums, in collaboration with EAAE.  “Builders” and “theoreticians” (with several invited participants from “outside” EAAE) got involved in amimated debates about the interest and conditions to be filled in order to define a scientific approach to architecture.  The question is very hot in many countries given the growing number of research endeavours by architects striving for a doctorate in architecture.  The discussions emphasized the divergencies between architects principally preoccupied by design and building and those concerned by the fulfillment of truly scientific research requirements.  The first group asks for a specific approach for architecture condemned to be a discipline that synthesizes a multitude of partial knowledges, whereas the second group defends the necessity of views that isolate the study object in accordance with rigorous methods.  The debates took up several of these themes, in particular by questioning the necessity of a theoretically coherent view (such as “architecture is a language, the logic of architecture, construction as foundation”).  The first evening Harald Szeeman proposed a guided tour of the museum that tells the coloured history of the many famous visitors of Monte Verità.  The last day a visit to the new Accademia d’architettura de Mendrisio was guided by Aurelio Galfetti.  The Colloquium was organized in particular with help from the Federal Institute of Tehcnology in Zürich and the Canton of Ticino.

The Proceedings of the Workshop are published (in English) by Comportements (Architecture and Teaching – Epistemological Foundations, 1998) containing a choice of about 20 papers reworked in order to propose a well structured reader on the theme of the Colloquium.

Participants: Ayze Z. Abali (Yildiz Teknik Universitesi, Istanbul), Michael Astroh (Erunt-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, Greifswald), Gilles Barbey (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne), Philippe Boudon (Ecole d’architecture de Nancy), Sabine Chardonnet (Ecole d’architeure Paris-Villemin, Saint-Cloud), Wolfgang Christ (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar), Michel Clivaz (University of Geneva), Marc Crunelle (Institut Superieur Architecture, Bruxelles), Michel Denes (Ecole d’architecture de Versailles), José Depuydt (Free University Brussels), Emmanuel Dufrasnes (Anhee), Hubert-Paul Froyen (Provinciale Hogeschool Limburg, Diepenbeek), Mark Gelernter (University of Colorado), Finn Hakonsen (NTNU University, Trondheim), Bill Hillier (University College London), Herbert Kramel (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich), Neil Lamb (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen), Hentie Louw (Newcastle University), Jerker Lundequist (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm), Marvin Malecha (North Carolina State University), Adriana Matei (Universite Technique de Cluj), John McKean (University of Brighton), Antonio Millan (Barcelona), Bruno Nys (Institut Superieur d’architecture, Tournai), Alberto Pérez-Gómez (McGill University, Montreal), Françoise Schatz (Ecole d’architecture de Nancy), Ulrich Scramm (Universität Stuttgart), Francisco Javier Segui de la Riva (Universidad Politecnica-Madrid), Jean-Pierre Stoeckli (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne), Peter Sulzer (Universität Stuttgart), François Tran (Ecole d’architecture de Lyon), Villy van Bel (Institut Superieur d’architecture Saint-Luc, Bruxelles), David J.T. Vanderburgh (Université catholique de Louvain), Gijs Wallis de Vries (Eindhoven University of Technology), Suha Özkan (The Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Geneva).