FAR believes in the instrumental value of education and does not provide separate training. Its aim is to endow students with an intellectual base to understand issues, define problems, identify knowledge needs, and organise solutions. Within this framework, there is no distinction between technology and design. Architecture is the successful synthesis of multiple environmental, economic, productive, cultural and expressive challenges.
If at the centre of FAR’s concerns is, literally, a desire to behave techno-logically – i.e., reflect and act upon what makes a technique ‘appropriate’ to the task, projects must occupy a critical position in the analytical methods of the laboratory. Indeed, within FAR, project analysis constitutes a privileged mode of didactic enquiry, where equal attention is paid to process and product, in the attempt to reveal the mechanics of their successful relationship.
FAR is deeply involved with teaching in the Architecture section of ENAC (SAR). It offers subjects in every semester of the curriculum, from year 1 to year 5, where it engages three knowledge strands: discipline-defining knowledge (first semester of the bachelor), discipline-integrating knowledge (second semester of the bachelor and first semester of the fifth year, with Superstudio), and discipline-positioning knowledge (ateliers and orientation subjects in the Master program).
FAR coordinates the entire Technologie du Bâti component of the bachelor program, taught in collaboration with CCLAB, LAST and LESO-BP laboratories. Directly, it delivers the ‘construction’ and ‘materials’ sections of the program for each of the three years (Technologie du Bâti V and VI from 2019-2020).
FAR’s involvement with students changes significantly in the Master program, where its permanent and visiting academic staff run two ateliers of the ‘Construction, materials and resources’ orientation, one per semester. Paolo Tombesi personally teaches two elective subjects for Master students: ‘Technological Innovation’ in the Fall semester, and ‘Political Economy of Design’ in the Spring semester. With the two ateliers, they form a distinctive block of the specific orientation. In the final year of the curriculum, FAR coordinates and delivers most of the content of Superstudio, the first semester research atelier engaging the entire student cohort. The objective of Superstudio is to provide close-to-graduating students with an opportunity to experience multidisciplinary design within data-rich work environments.