EASA is a phenomenon that, although intensely experienced, is difficult to describe. Here’s a go...
EASA is a non-profit and decentralized structure, organized and led by volunteers. As a platform for cultural and educational exchange, EASA connects Architecture students and professionals from all European countries, and in recent years from all over the world. Currently EASA consists of 49 European national teams, an international team and two teams of parallel organizations: NASA (National Association of Students of Architecture, India) and CLEA (Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Estudiantes de Arquitectura, Latin America).
an alternative education
Organized by students for students EASA offers a unique framework for education, accommodating a non institutionalized form of teaching, learning and exchange. A horizontal learning process where decisions are made upon consensus, EASA gives a chance to experience architecture in a way that universities are yet not providing. Bringing students to a certain context, defined by the location and theme of the assembly, where they have to raise architectural questions themselves and investigate them through the eyes of all European cultures simultaneously. Being their own educators, students then elaborate the answers and bring them to reality. EASA exists officially since 1981, inscribing itself as part of the last 60 years of developing alternative pedagogies.
The EASA summer assembly spreads over two weeks in summer,gathering half a thousand students of architecture each summer from more than 200 Schools of Architecture. During these 14 days the multitude of EASAians forms a utopian community which maintains itself – nearly 500 students and professionals work, study, rest, cook, eat, clean and live together. There are participants, tutors, organizers, helpers and guests. The event focuses mostly on the workshops – taking up the majority of time. The event program is essentially packed with lectures, conducted by professionals from divergent spheres of activity, also strongly related to the theme. Exhibitions, open discussions, intuitive one-day workshops and spontaneous performances further investigate the questions arising during the two weeks.
The Network moves to a new venue every year, providing fresh views and challenges in practical spatial design and theory. The organizing process is run by individual volunteers, who make the core of the assembly by combining the location and theme, finding partners and sponsors. The Network and its events always happen at a certain location for a specific reason. This can arise from the desire to socialize, create, learn, change, draw attention to problems, civil initiative etc. The success of the assembly depends on everyone’s personal involvement, i.e. ‘the more you put in it, the more you get out of it’. For two weeks the EASA community becomes self-sufficient. It brings a unique creative spirit among the participants, also known as the EASA Spirit which is difficult to describe but easy to feel.
EASA promotes the discovery of territories and cultures by organising workshops in which participants acquire new knowledge and skills through the practice of creative, intellectual and manual activities. Through the workshops the participants interact with the local context whilst tackling a chosen theme. During the summer assembly the participants can choose to take part in one of about 30 workshops for two weeks. The workshops are always linked to the main theme of each summer assembly, and their topics and methods may range from discussing hypotheses and concepts to constructing pavilions, photographing, learning a new craft or making performances. At the end of the assembly everyone is given a chance to present what they have developed and produced.