Faculty : Frank Vermandel, Antoine Béal, Jean-Marc Ibos
“I hold it equally impossible to know the parts without knowing the whole, and to know the whole without knowing the parts in detail.” Pascal
Complexity is intimately linked to the work of architectural design. The architect's work is emblematic of critical thinking and complexity: the ultimate multifunctional, multi-faceted role, it is caught up in an ongoing dialectic between the concrete and the abstract, alternating, articulating and organising dialogue through a range of positions and forms of knowledge that borrow simultaneously from science, philosophy, art and technology.
Working from the perspectives offered by the theme of complexity provides an opportunity to acquire and develop working methods, and to create and explore the links between a certain number of activities (drawing, writing summaries, different forms of discourse, IT tools, etc.), around which the architect's position is woven and reshaped. The architectural programme- which incorporates design and research - is articulated around this common challenge.
This means helping students to discern, distinguish, clarify and classify (which also involves designating; the written word is fundamental in all disciplines in the field in this respect), as well as linking, articulating, associating, connecting, debating and organising an exchange of views, positions and knowledge. We could therefore define complexity as an attempt to think in the plural, a form of vigilance concerned with reality, an attempt to develop keys rather than to adopt ready-made solutions.
Students are thus encouraged to discern the complex dimension of project-related situations or research topics and to analyse this complexity by methodologically assessing the outcomes. The academic content within this learning framework will simultaneously promote discussion between the disciplines, articulate knowledge and know-how, and create links between the design and research processes, without losing sight of the primacy of the real and materiality.