Emilio Faroldi, Maria Pilar Vettori
Is it possible to teach how to design? What is the core of the paradigm that encloses the theoretical and applicational-experiential spheres of the architec-tural discipline? Architecture is a heteronomous discipline that finds its reasons in the hybridisa-tion and contamination of different forms of knowledge. The training of the archi-tect, as an intellectual and a technical professional, requires a deep and radical med-itation on the foundations of educational programmes, the relevance of teaching models and learning tools. The Schools of Architecture, understood in a “Kahnian” sense as the realm in which the student is called to meditate on an object of cultural exchange and on its utility as a place for the learning, experimentation and testing of the most advanced techniques and tools of a discipline, must necessarily address their intellectual and educational project in a critical way with the prospect of ex-panding their horizons and international exchanges. The School, as the ultimate seat for the production and transformation of knowl-edge, aims at training skilled graduates in the conception, design, construction and management of architecture, who are capable of handling the complexity of design understood as the highest synthesis of skills. The polytechnic approach is the key for shaping recognisable and specific professional competences, at the same time com-plementary and synergic, within an evolving professional and production scene that requires skills and tools aimed at networking, flexibility and dealing with change in the contemporary world. The dialogue between two brilliant institutions in the European context, shar-ing a polytechnic approach, the Scuola di Architettura Urbanistica Ingegneria delle Costruzioni [School of Architecture Urban Planning Construction Engineering] of the Politecnico di Milano (AUIC) and the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ETSAM) [Higher Technical School of Architecture of Madrid] provides an opportunity for meditation aimed at trigger-ing an active and productive discussion about the methods and tools of teaching architecture.