The Academy of Architecture is seeking to renew its generous Plan of Studies developed in over two decades of activity, and which has distinguished it both nationally and internationally by the marked attention it devotes to the humanities. Today, in addition to the work of the design studios, the educational itinerary offered by the Academy comprises two major disciplinary fields: historical-humanistic and technical-scientific. Over time, the historical-humanistic field, including the History and Theory of Art and Architecture, has comprised the teaching of Culture of the Territory, while in the technical-scientific field, the courses on Construction and Technology have been extended with others in Structures and the Exact Sciences. The innovation now contemplated does not envisage changes to the subjects, but seeks to strengthen and more clearly characterise the educational offering that the Academy has developed in these years.
The Faculty is also working on the proposal of “strands” to guide the students in the choice of facultative or optional courses in keeping with their personalised range of interests. In this respect, we are also working on a new instrument to graphically display our renewed educational offering.
Basically nothing will change in this academic year, but I am particularly concerned that, in this Study Plan, the students should grasp the value accorded to the humanities, the technical-scientific subjects, those related to the city and the landscape, and also to what we will term “metalanguages”: art, theatre, scenography, analogical and digital design. It is the present writer’s hope that the students, by threading their way through the numbers and times to be respected, will prove capable of devising and designing their own Study Plans. In future semesters we would like to perfect this system, making it more flexible and bringing it even closer to the interests of each.
This school, by the way it is structured, already contains everything. The architects we imagine will be able to work in their own world with the intelligence and the necessary resources in authoritative and critical ways. And in this respect I would like to remind our students of the very important cultural activities organised on the Mendrisio Campus (which, though they may not produce credits, are equally valuable in our educational project). They range from the Library, with its precious books and collections, to the Archivio del Moderno and finally the lectures, exhibitions and encounters at the Theatre of Architecture, an amazing facility, perhaps unique in the panorama of European schools of architecture.