June 22-24, 2023 | Reykjavík, Iceland

2023 ACSA/EAAE Teachers Conference

Educating the Cosmopolitan Architect


October 12, 2022

Submission Deadline

December 2022

Submission Notification

June 22-24, 2023

Teachers Conference

Educating the Cosmopolitan Architect

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and the European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE) are pleased to announce the third, biannual joint Teachers Conference being hosted by the Iceland University of the Arts (IUA). The conference will take place June 22-24, 2023, in Reykjavik, Iceland, and will explore the spaces and pedagogies for developing notions of cosmopolitan citizenship. It is driven by the urgent need to clarify the societal mission of architectural education in a time of grand challenges amidst a climate crisis, social inequality, rapid urbanization, pandemics, and wars that operate at a global scale and affect all of us. The conference aims to focus on the capacity of architectural education to respond to these challenges while creating conditions for students and educators to locally engage as active citizens in their communities.

Conference Overview

The purpose of cosmopolitan citizenship education is to form critical, informed, empathic, and socially active individuals. Developing these traits can greatly help students of architecture to imagine not only new spatial configurations but inspire them to explore new societal roles. Architectural education as a field of research can therefore be used in multiple ways: as a critical process of inquiry, as a vehicle to raise social awareness, as a tool for collective imagination, and as a collaborative project aimed at caring for and repairing the spaces of common good. Recognizing these multiple purposes of pedagogy means recognizing the societal relevance that architects have beyond the important and un-disputed one of designers of buildings.

The 2023 Teachers Conference is dedicated to exploring the architect as a cosmopolitan citizen, to discuss and explore the pedagogy and language to support students and teachers’ critical thinking, self-reflection, social awareness, imagination, and activism. A pedagogy for cosmopolitan citizenship in architectural education aims to transform schools into inclusive, diverse, collaborative, socially aware and active platforms receptive to different ways of being, thinking, and making architecture–into learning environments for exploring the design process as a means to advance social and ecological justice.

Such education is related to lived experiences; it is about understanding that ongoing climate crises, social inequality, and spread of zoonotic diseases need to constitute the premise and scope of scholarly investigation, educational discourse, and design solutions. These global challenges reflect in fact not our lack of knowledge but our inability to relate harmoniously to one another and our inability to care for each other and our planet as a whole. They reflect the way we have been designing the world, but not the way we should be designing the world.

The conference expressly aims at transcending disciplinary boundaries to include contributions from different fields of expertise in creative practice and research at large. The goal is to bridge practice and academia, to reemphasize the public role and duty of higher education, and to emphasize the societal relevance of our discipline.

– Massimo Santaniccia, Iceland University of the Arts, Conference Chair

Steering Committee

Massimo Santanicchia
EAAE Conference Chair, Iceland University of the Arts

Oya Atalay Franck
EAAE President, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Sharon Haar
ACSA President 2022-2023, University of Michigan

Mia Roth-Cerina
EAAE, University of Zagreb

Johan De Walsche
EAAE, University of Antwerp

Michael Monti
ACSA Executive Director

Eric W. Ellis
ACSA Senior Director of Operations and Programs


Reykjavík, Iceland

Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay, making it the world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state. With a population of around 233,034 in the capital region, it is the centre of Iceland’s cultural, economic, and governmental activity, and popular tourist destination.

Iceland University of the Arts is a self-governing institution providing higher education in fine arts, theatre, dance, music, design, architecture and art education. The Faculty of Architecture emphasizes that students understand the theoretical premises of architecture and can, based on their knowledge, take a responsible stance on the environment and society. Architecture is, to a certain extent, about seeing the possibilities in what has not yet happened. Students are therefore constantly encouraged to look for new solutions and leads and to pay special attention to originality, imagination and critical thinking.

Harpa Concert Hall is one of Reykjavík’s most striking landmarks and a centre of cultural and social life in the very heart of the city. Harpa is a destination and an award-winning work of art that has been visited by millions of people since opening in 2011. The principal designers of the Harpa Concert Hall are the Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Archtiects and the Icelandic architectural firm Batteríið Architects.

Michelle Sturges
Conferences Manager

Eric W. Ellis
Senior Director of Operations and Programs