The Confluence: An educational approach that is open, alternative, international, collaborative and innovative, offering a promising future for architecture.
Based on a pioneering and radical understanding of research, experimentation and trans-disciplinarity, the Confluence proposes:
- to construct an unparalleled view of architecture at the intersection of disciplines,
- to cross prospective and experimental visions,
- to create an appetite for engagement and taking risks,
- to generate unforeseen alternatives,
- to challenge the uniformity of production and imposed standards,
- to question and go beyond the implicit limits of architecture in order to create unimaginable opportunities.
Intuition, Analysis, Reaction, Inspiration, Design Thinking, Fabrication, Convergence – Confluence.
The Confluence, anchored in the economy of the world, is a site of synergies, a site of hybridization, where architects, critics, artists, thinkers, philosophers, film-makers, scientists, engineers and manufacturers collaborate to share knowledge and discoveries.The Confluence is the site of emerging new relations between systems of thought and modes of construction.The Confluence is a place where forms of knowledge, different teaching methods, and local, national and international experiences, converge.
The Confluence challenges students to become pioneers in confronting problems encountered in the world and to use new tools to address them. The Confluence is a place where open minds and independent thinking are fostered.
An International Position
Beyond its strategic geographical location, three essential qualities give the Confluence its international standing:
- a constant renewal of the internationally renowned faculty
- the demanding standards for student recruitment, from a global pool of candidates
- the creation of a network of international partners with institutions that are recognized both locally and globally.
The Confluence possesses a global network that links it to schools on every continent. This network was made possible by relationships created through the personal and professional histories of its founders (USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Pakistan, Tunisia, Taiwan, Russia, Slovenia, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Poland, South Africa). This network is certainly also made possible by the experience and relationships that Odile Decq has developed with many countries along her career as a practitioner and teacher. Driven by this rich and fruitful experience, she wishes to share it with students at the Confluence by integrating it as a specificity of the school.
The geographical position of the Confluence near Switzerland, Italy, Spain, as well as Germany, both as a center and as a pole of tangible cultural exchange, a turn-table that makes it possible to create relations and cooperative exchanges with schools, research centers and industries of the large international European cities nearby (Turin, Mila, Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich, Basel, Munich, Stuttgart, Paris, etc.)
Beyond its geographical position at the European scale allowing direct relations, international exchanges along greater distances are made possible by an original pedagogy in which the modes of exchange are multiple, at once international and practical. They are made through workshops, conferences, research laboratories, exhibitions, publications, FabLab, etc. A pool of contributors made up of renowned international specialists participates in this mode of exchange and competes to make the Confluence a new place of predilection in which knowledge, its production and its sharing are freely actualized. A place where the local nourishes the global and vice versa, an environment where different geographical and cultural spheres meet, making possible a porosity that other more opaque and rigid institutions do not allow.