External Evaluation Report for the Leonardo Phase I of ESUA, prepared by Dr. Charles C. Bohl, Associate Professor and Director, Knight Program in Community Building, School of Architecture University of Miami. Dr. Bohl is a recognised international leader of innovation in interdisciplinary education for urban designers.
The ESUA curriculum has, in many cases, implemented ideas for transforming undergraduate and graduate architecture education that have been proposed by reformers for more than a dozen years but never realized. The ability of the ESUA initiative to work outside of the halls of academe and professional organizations has been an asset, allowing the ESUA team to craft a new curriculum without being constrained by entrenched bureaucracies and design ideologies. It is not an ideologically based curriculum, but one that seeks to restore the centrality of local context, culture, heritage and civic purpose in the education and practice of architecture and urban design. To this end, the project-based learning model was the ideal choice and will continue to serve the initiative well....
The scope and pace of the ESUA project has been impressive: the completion of a research phase, the development of five test modules and conduct of five workshops in four different nations involving dozens of academics, practitioners and students in the course of two years is extraordinary. The ESUA team has proven itself extremely capable of moving rapidly from concept to reality.
The focus is clearly stated as integrated urban and architectural study underpinned by a rich multidisciplinary curriculum and propelled by project-based learning. The pilot program was not simply about organizing and carrying out effective workshops, however, and the ESUA pilot set out to create a model curriculum that reintegrates architecture and urban design education and investigates the development of a "recognized European qualification" in architecture and urbanism. In response to that challenge the ESUA partners have also delivered a robust proposal that involves a detailed curriculum and educational initiatives for:
This evaluation identifies both strengths and weaknesses of the initiative. In some cases the program appears perhaps overly ambitious, particularly in the details of the implementation, however in other aspects the initiative can go further.
Please find below the full evaluation report.