IE University School of Architecture to co-direct the ACSA International Conference in Barcelona

19/06/2012 - Architecture; IE University

Barcelona will be the setting for the 2012 ACSA International Conference: CHANGE, Architecture, Education & Practices, set to be held at the city’s Center for Contemporary Culture and at the Caixa Forum on June 20 – 22. 

This is the first time that the ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) International Conference will be held in Europe since 2003 when it took place in Helsinki. It will focus on the role of schools of architecture and their intellectual leadership with a view to providing a response to new economic and cultural scenarios in the field of architecture worldwide. Spain’s IE School of Architecture & Design (IE University) and America’s College of Arts, Media and Design of Northeastern University are the joint organizers of this key international event. 

“Over the last few years the member schools of ACSA centered in North America have shown an increasing interest in the search for international connections”, says Michael Monti, Executive Director of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, underscoring the fact that “the Association brings together experts from around the globe to achieve the synergies so necessary in the profession”. 

Focused on “CHANGE/CAMBIO”, the international conference will bring the opportunity to examine deep changes impacting the field of architecture on a global scale as a profession and industry, and in its relation with other economic sectors, which in turn affects the education model for future architects. CHANGE/CAMBIO proposes that schools guarantee the kind of intellectual leadership needed to define the new state of the profession. 

“As the host city for the congress, the city of Barcelona is the ideal setting for these debates. The city is a privileged laboratory for urban and architectonic design. Moreover this urban development model, built over three decades, inspires admiration worldwide”, says Xavier Costa, Dean of the College of Arts, Media and Design of Northeastern University and co-director of the Conference. 

Key voices of contemporary architecture: 

Almost two hundred academics and professionals from the five continents will discuss in Barcelona how the academic and professional worlds are subjected to unprecedented pressures due to multiple factors that include globalization, the expansion of technology, rapid urbanization, new energy policies and the role of regulating agencies. 

The conference will bring together key players in the international arena. Professionals will include Bjärke Ingels (BIG, Denmark) Odile Decq (Odile Decq Benoit Cornette, France) Louisa Hutton (Sauerbruch Hutton, Germany), and Joan Busquets (Barcelona). They will be joined by academics like Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Yung Ho Chang from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Murray Fraser, from University College London. 

“Architects can play a key role in the search for solutions to the problems currently facing our society. In order to achieve this we have to renew both education and the profession itself, and the relation between both. This type of conference promotes advances in this regard,” says Martha Thorne, Vice Dean of IE School of Architecture & Design, and co-director of the Conference. 

One of the main objectives of the meeting is to foster networking among the different groups and, thanks to the collaboration of MOB, Makers of Barcelona, build a multipurpose and interactive site with a multidisciplinary community of professionals and students, mostly professionals from the field of architecture, where participants can exchange ideas in a multicultural environment. 

About ACSA 

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a nonprofit, association founded in 1912, through whose member schools over 5,000 architecture faculty are represented. 

ACSA, unique in its representative role for schools of architecture, provides a forum for ideas on the leading edge of architectural thought. The Forum explores issues that will affect the architectural profession in the future and are being examined today in ACSA member schools. 


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