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Writing about architecture

The awards ceremony for the renowned EAAE Prize was held at the Centre for Mediterranean Architecture in Chania on the island of Crete on 1 September 2012. Peter Staub and Roman Banzer from the University of Liechtenstein convinced the international jury with their article entitled “Writing Architecture”.


The awards ceremony for the renowned EAAE Prize was held at the Centre for Mediterranean Architecture in Chania on the island of Crete on 1 September 2012. Peter Staub and Roman Banzer from the University of Liechtenstein convinced the international jury with their article entitled “Writing Architecture”.


The EAAE Prize, awarded every two years, honours excellent scientific publications on the subject of “Education in architecture” throughout Europe, with the aim of improving the quality of education and to stimulate new pedagogical initiatives. Professor Peter Staub from the Institute of Architecture and Planning and Dr. Roman Banzer, Head of the Unit for Teaching, Learning and Applied Linguistics, are carrying out research at the University of Liechtenstein on the topic of “Text and writing in architecture education”. In their scientific article, “Writing Architecture”, they highlight the potential of writing as a design tool in architectural education. On 1 September 2012, the European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) awarded the two lecturers and researchers the second prize for this work.

Internationally renowned award
The significance of this prize is demonstrated by the list of former winners, which comprises members of the most important American and European universities. As part of the 15th Meeting of Heads of Schools of Architecture, which was held under the title “Improving learning quality in architectural education environments”, President Ebbe Harder awarded the prizes and emphasized the extraordinary performance of the researchers. The jury consisted of high-calibre international talent from Germany, Norway, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. In a multi-stage selection procedure, Banzer and Staub made it to the last round, competing against around 40 submissions, received the opportunity to make a few revisions, and finally landed in a respectable second place.

Architectural education with an academic focus
Architectural education in recent years has not just fundamentally changed in Liechtenstein. Increasingly frequently, the question is being asked: “What exactly is architecture? Art, trade or science?” “This question and the problems associated with it had a decisive influence on the training of architects. What was clear a decade ago, that the training should primarily prepare architects for their careers working in practice, is now complemented by a scientific approach and preparation for an academic career,” believes Roman Banzer. Correspondingly, scientific criteria are becoming ever more important during training, too. Appropriate to this are a well-thought-out research philosophy and clear methodology. Peter Staub and Roman Banzer have been looking at these questions. In their article, and based on the research approach “research by design”, they explore the question of which functions writing can have in architectural education. “The prize is a first confirmation of our work and demonstrates its relevance in an international comparison. We see it as an initial trigger for further research projects in this area, working with other faculties and institutions, domestically and internationally,” Peter Staub assesses the award.


At the 15th Meeting of Heads of Schools of Architecture on Crete, Professor Peter Staub and Dr. Roman Banzer from the University of Liechtenstein receive the 2nd EAAE Prize from Professor Ebbe Harder, President of the EAAE Prize 2011–2012 Organization Committee.