Odile Decq has announced that she is launching a new kind of architecture school based upon the idea of "Confluence," an educational framework that "erases the predefined limits of the traditional academic structures for the benefit of the collaboration of talents, thoughts and disciplines."
The Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture, which will be located in in Lyon, France, will bring together "Architects, critics, artists, thinkers, philosophers, film-makers, scientists, engineers and manufacturers" in order to develop an architecture that develops ideas unconstrained by "stylistic prejudice or ideology." More on this new initiative, after the break.
The curriculum at Confluence will be organized around five thematic fields - Neuroscience, New technologies, Social Action, Visual Art, and Physics - taught in transversal and non-hierarchical ways. Teaching is structured around contemporary questions that respond to social concerns; students are given the autonomy to construct their own research programs based upon their interests/preoccupations.
Physically, the institute, a space for "training, creation and research," will reflect this methodology of synergy and hybridization: "It is organized as a superposition of open and flexible floors: teaching spaces, ateliers, social spaces, and laboratories for virtual and material experimentation."
"Confluence: open, alternative, international, collaborative and innovative; an approach to learning for architecture in the 21st century."
Statement from Odile Decq
After my time as director of the Ecole Speciale d’Architecture in Paris, I have advanced ideas about architectural pedagogy that were blocked by a strict institutional system of education ill-adapted to change.
That is why, I have created Confluence. I believe it is necessary to change not only the philosophy but also the methodology of teaching and research. Confluence integrates new visions of and about society and also new methods and tools linked to creation, production and communication allowing students to be adapted to the world of tomorrow in which they will act.
More than the site of the confluence in the center of Lyon where it is located, Confluence is the founding idea. Architecture must not be reduced to a professional or specialized instruction: it is a discipline that opens to the world. It is a vision and a capacity to act. Today it needs to return to its more humanist ambitions.