Architecture and Cultural Identity from Modernism till now
Research as production of knowledge is the most significant factor for the advancement of a discipline and its dynamic role in the social and financial development of our society
In the case of Architecture as a creative discipline, its role in the European society becomes more and more crucial in our days since it has (together with other creative disciplines) the difficult task to represent, express, manifest in space and in the built environment the European culture, the image of Europe, the contemporary identity of the so called “Europeanity”. This is the reason for the development of this discipline to become crucial, taking into account the necessity to reconstruct the image of Europe and to manifest efficiently the signs of contemporary European Culture. This is why the development of research in Architecture is imperative given that the European Union really wants to express and represent the European Society of Knowledge to which all its recent policies are addressed.
Schools of architecture in their majority are centers for diffusion of knowledge and not production of knowledge. To a great extent, architectural knowledge is actually produced by the practice. The schools are importers of knowledge and very marginal (quantity wise) producers of new knowledge, which in its term remains purely academic with very small impact in the production of the built environment. On the basis of this diagnosis, the ENHSA network, in its aim to enhance the quality, the attractiveness and the competitiveness worldwide, wants to contribute to the enhancement of the research record of schools of Architecture in order to help them (in the measure of possible) to play a more active role in the ‘construction’ of the European Culture.
The European Observatory of Doctoral Research in Architecture is an online database where all research activity in the domain of architecture can be recorded, giving this way the possibility to network researchers working on similar issues and to offer consultancy regarding the interest and the impact that a particular research theme has in the broader architectural research community.
The Observatory is an attempt to enhance the quality of research that our European Architectural education system produces by the development of research specific competences during the graduate and post-graduate studies. It can function as a catalyst for the coordination of many simultaneously carried-out dissertations with a self-organizing way, without imposing limits and connections.
Within this framework, the Observatory provides the infrastructure to:
i.. Encourage research initiatives on the domain of architecture and architectural education.
ii. Disseminate the result of the existing research record on this domain.
iii. Network researchers
iv. Facilitate the recycling of the produced knowledge
v. Search through a helpful keyword system for work carried out within similar fields. One the one hand, this feature enables contact between researchers while on the other it helps to prevent duplication of work.