(hypo)thesis

The innovative character of the archi.med.es project was articulated upon two main pillars.

The first was the set of basic hypotheses on which its construction was based. The second was the methodological conception through which these hypotheses translated into objectives and actions.

(hypo)thesis;

1st (hypo)thesis: There was not a single excellence model. Europe needs a wide diversity of higher education institutions where each one must pursue excellence in line with its mission and strategic priorities. With more transparent information about the specific profile and performance of individual SA, they will be in a better position to develop effective higher education strategies and they will find it easier by building on their strengths.

-2nd (hypo)thesis: It is a mistake to educate architects on the basis of what an architect is today (as the majority of schools of SA does). As world changes tremendously fast we cannot predict what skills, knowledge and competences an architect must posses after 15 years when our students will be in the peak of their professional carrier. It is a question of the SA to adapt their education in a way to continue offering competent architects to the society.

-3rd (hypo)thesis: Schools of architecture must expand the existing spectrum of learning outcomes. Due to existing high unemployment rate of architects in the MEDES Countries only a small percentage are working in the domain of regular professional practice. Taking into account that the overall unemployment of architects in Europe is around 30% and that in the USA 37% of the graduates are working as architects, it becomes clear that schools of architecture must expand the spectrum of learning outcomes in order to be able to create more flexible, adaptable and responsive to change graduates.

-4th (hypo)thesis: The definition of the expected profile of the graduate is a necessary condition for a sustainable academic growth of the School. The new learning paradigm and its institutional expression in the European Qualifications Framework, remains still marginal and slightly influential in architectural education. However it is increasingly accepted that architectural education is a project and as such it cannot be completed if its target and objective (the graduate) is not clearly described and prescribed.

All the above theses were directly related to the question of the profile of an architect. How can we define it? Through which process and paths? The proposed methodological approach stated that this must be done through two different and simultaneous paths.

methodology;

The one was a bottom-up path that was looking towards the local conditions and needs and tries to structure a profile based upon what the local society needs or expects from a graduate architect as to what he/she must know, be able to do and be competent to think. These paths in our proposal (see intellectual outcomes O1 and O2) had three main parallel itineraries. The one was the expected profile from the part of the Academia. How the schools in the area expect the future profile of the architect. The second was how the professionals conceive this profile and expect to get from the schools. Finally, the project also look into the future of the profession from an interdisciplinary perspective. In this respect it initiated a consultation into foreseen social trends as were the skills required from the emerging society, the definition of the emerging areas, the profile of the architect needed in the emerging teams of professionalsand the scenarios in which these interdisciplinary teams have a viable spot.

The second was a top-down path, which started upon what was conceived, at European level, as the appropriate profile of the architect. For this path we capitalised the previous work done on this subject by the participating institution through the Thematic Network ENHSA, the Tuning project, The SQF HUMART project and the ARCHI-MUNDUS project between others.

The main characteristic of the archi.med.es project was that it was looking at the local not separated from the European, but on the contrary, as creatively and constructively articulated with it. It developed a pilot process of defining the local and on the basis of this definition to elaborate educational processes, methods and pedagogies to create competent profiles incorporating local needs and international trends. In parallel it encouraged staff development, strategic development of the schools, their better articulation with local societies and professional bodies, and a more constructive capitalization of their strengths.