Author(s): JOFFRE Véronique

What architecture teaches us

“What I do teaches me what I seek” Pierre Soulages

Today more than ever before, the trade of the architect demands the acuity to read and to interpret every situation and project and a force of proposition associated to a form of resistance in a context of often-imposed values. Society’s constant evolution calls upon an adaptation based on the knowledge of contexts, challenges and the construction of new ideas. The teaching of architecture needs all the adaptations useful to the training of a new generation of critical, independent and inventive architects who will create our future environment. The competence of mankind to imagine its living environment is born in architecture schools in a prospective action accomplished today for tomorrow.

The architecture project is an act of interpretation made up of choices and that requires an indispensable involvement. From the start, architecture is an intellectual activity that analyses data, requirements, putting in place the conditions of research, building landmarks, accompanying the implementation of an idea that will take on the reality of an architecture at a later stage. The necessity must be in place before the idea can emerge. How can one understand, evaluate, grasp a multiple and complex necessity and put in place the means of approaching the idea in architecture?

The architectural project is a specific operating mode, capable of inventing its own logic inside an experimentation process. Research takes the form of a journey, a progression, and a path. Beyond cumulating experience, knowledge and method, the development of a project consists in questioning the process at work in its essence. That very intention allows the architect to acquire a critical, independent thought. I think that the challenge of this operating process consists in installing problematic, questioning capable of provoking situations of confrontation, instability in the material of the project. In the fragile play of interferences and crossings, knowledge’s are built from individual and collective know-how. This attitude is a commitment: the project is thus considered not only as knowledge and a practice, but also as a specific and open exploration mode of architectural creation.

The architect puts her/himself in a situation to explore all the possibilities borne from this questioning. Keeping to the essential by searching the minimum required in all the stages of conception and accept to take the time to reach the essence. The indispensable attitude is none other than curiosity. Accessibility and one’s interest drives to go beyond the framework of expectations, of going beyond one’s viewpoint, inventing new methods, weaving ties between subjects and be sensible to luck when the latter generates solutions, in the aim of inventing novel solutions.