Our school aims to train architects, professionals able to express and argue their points of view, implement concrete solutions, develop a critical, personal stance towards their practice, and shoulder their ethical and social responsibilities.
The teaching of architectural design is understood as the set of ideas and principles which constitute architectural knowledge, linking theory and practice and seeking the mastery of a centuries-old culture to engage contemporary responses relevant to preparing for the future. This is why continuity in architecture is emphasised, to provide a better response to something which, within the current climate, is subject to
the incessant evolution of standards and regulations. The school offers a training programme leading to a degree in Architecture, organised into two cycles: undergraduate (three years) and Master’s (two years). Students can register as soon as they have obtained the Baccalaureate or can join the course following an initial training programme.
The undergraduate degree focuses on the practice of design and on acquiring the basic concepts and tools of the discipline through four complementary areas: history and theory; construction; city planning and landscape design; and representation. It concludes with the production of a thesis, a genuine initiation into research.
The Master’s Degree allows students to develop critical thinking and a nuanced vision about the discipline. It is organised into four areas of specialisation:
Matieres à penser
focusing on informed mastery of construction materials and techniques, with significant
interaction with the neighbouring engineering school, the École de Ponts et Chaussées;
Architecture & expérience
mobilising culture and history to support precise, articulate
responses to the evolutionary mechanisms of the contemporary world;
aiming to explore and structure urban configurations through architecture,
along with the emerging territorial organisation and infrastructure;
developing the assumption that, now more than ever, construction should start
from and use existing structures, and should recycle or reuse what is already there.
These strands express distinct yet complementary ideological positions. The representations and ideas that underpin them are clearly outlined: this is the best way to allow students to construct their own architectural stance as well as to traverse a series of unique worlds throughout their training. Over these years of study, students come into contact with the professional world through an extended internship. We also allow them to take a gap year to obtain further experience if they wish to do so.
Following their degree in Architecture, students can obtain their professional licence or continue their studies. Within this framework, we offer two postgraduate training
programmes, in line with changes in the profession and the challenges of environmental transition in the context of architecture and urban
Since 2013, the specialised diploma “DPEA architecture-post carbone”,
run in partnership with the École des Ponts ParisTech, explores the issue of the impact of buildings and infrastructure on the environment in greater depth.
The “DSA d’architecte-urbaniste” specialised diploma trains architects and landscapers in urban design and landscape architecture, paying particular attention to littlestudied
areas which give rise to themes such as risk management, territorial autonomy, agriculture, tourism, and so on.
Doctorate and research
Finally, the School welcomes doctoral students into a research team, the Suburban Condition Observatory, which focuses on the research areas of architectural theory, territorial architecture, energy, and – above all – the relationship between these three areas. One of the characteristic features of its activity is the publication of reference
works, primarily the journal Marnes: documents d’architecture (“Marnes:
architectural documents”). Research activity is structured as far as possible around the issues taught on the undergraduate, Master’s and postgraduate courses, which feeds teaching in turn.
All these components function synergistically; they are underpinned by the shared conviction that the theory, history and practice of architectural design offer a precedent by which to envisage the lands of the future and to negotiate the transition imposed
by current environmental concerns.
The university year is interspersed with events contributing to the goal of openness and engaging with the critical, self-reflective nature of the school. As an example, for the last two years, with the aim of experiencing different teaching approaches, our undergraduate and Master’s students have worked together to produce interdisciplinary reflections on the land, the city and architecture. For ten days, almost 250 students attend one of 10 intensive workshops offered by innovative teaching teams put
together for the occasion.
In addition, each year all students and staff from the school gather for a
public visit to the design workshops which welcome the expertise of figures outside the world of architecture. These discussions allow us to assess our work and so better develop our teaching. Finally, this openness manifests itself in the form of numerous conferences which we organise on key themes in our teaching: social transition, metropolisation, territorial representation, or even the issue of the digital in architecture, which is revolutionising contemporary practice. Our open approach is strengthened by discussions at the international level, and by numerous overseas study trips aimed at enriching our students’ learning.
The school also participates in developing training linked to architecture, in partnership with the École des Ponts ParisTech, the Université Paris-Est Marne-la-vallée,
the École des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris, and others,
Today, these partnerships are expanding within the framework of an alliance between the engineering schools, research centres and the university on our campus to tackle a scientific project on the sustainable, economical and resilient city, as part of which we seek to promote architecture. In the years to come, beyond the complex object of the city, we will continue to work to transform all regions, whatever their
nature as products of political, social, cultural and legal circumstances