Architectural Council of Switzerland
The Architectural Council was founded in 2008 as a discussion platform for the Schools of Architecture in Switzerland. It unites all universities and universities of applied science of Switzerland teaching architecture together with the Swiss Association of Engineers and Architects (SIA), the corresponding professional association, on one common platform. In particular, SIA also functions as a representative for the interests of other societies and associations.
The Architectural Council has the objectives of harmonizing architectural education in Switzerland, promoting research and as a united front, sensitizing public policy makers for architecture as a discipline.
The members of the Architectural Council represent their respective Schools of Architecture and are responsible for providing feedback and necessary discussion points within their institution.
The President and the Vice President represent the interests of the Architectural Council, based on a common agenda, both internally and externally.
The Architectural Council is committed to the dual education system with two different and proven paths to the profession of architect: The first path leads a student through high school and university, the other usually involves an apprenticeship as a draughtsman, the (Swiss) Federal Vocational Baccalaureate and the University of Applied Sciences.
The Council emphasizes a high autonomy of teaching and research at the universities. At the same time, in coordination with professional associations, it faces the challenge of further perfecting the complementary profiles of the two types of higher education institutions.
It supports high-quality and generalist orientation of the training of architects.
Furthermore, the Architectural Council set guidelines for disciplinary quality assurance through peers and peer reviews.
The Architectural Council aims to promote teaching and research in the field of architecture, in particular through
- the creation of a national platform with international visibility,
- positioning on basic issues of teaching and research, particularly in the context of scientific evaluations, and
- maintaining contact with policy makers, professional organizations and the economy.
The Architectural Council is committed to the dual education system. Alone or in cooperation with other organizations, it can also take on other tasks that serve the Swiss architecture schools. By this means the Architectural Council ensures appropriate communication with European committees.
Research in the field of architecture utilizes, to a great extent, methods from other disciplines, e.g. those of scientific or humanities research. This complicates the recognition of architecture as an autonomous discipline based on established principles and characterized by advancing knowledge and practice.
The Architectural Council notes that the differentiation of basic research and applied research, as well as their assignment to universities and universities of applied science, makes little sense. It supports the entire spectrum of research activities and cooperation between the universities.
Furthermore, the Council recognizes the «EAAE Charter on Architectural Research» as a broad foundation paper for the research issue in architecture.
Consequently, it seeks answers to the question of a specific research at the core of the discipline itself, using Methods based on «architectural design and construction» as a source of new knowledge («research through architecture» or «research through/by design»).
The Architectural Council is involved in the definition of instruments for the validation of research results in collaboration with other universities as well as national (Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI, Swiss National Foundation SNF) and international bodies.