Becoming Cosmopolitan Citizens Architects

A Reflection on Architectural Education Across the Nordic Baltic Academy of Architecture (NBAA). A Students’ Perspective





architectural education, NBAA network, citizenship, cosmopolitan


This paper presents findings from fourteen qualitative interviews conducted with students of architecture from eleven schools of the Nordic Baltic Academy of Architecture (NBAA). The interviews were analysed using the abbreviated Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT) method. The findings reveal that students consider a meaningful architectural education one that helps them making ethical design choices. To do so respondents indicate that schools should help students find their inner compass, develop their professional skills, and ethical attitudes to think independently and make a difference in their society and beyond. Three narratives emerge which describe the multiple roles of an architect in our society: the dissident intellectual, the ethical professional, and the storyteller. On the basis of these findings and with the support of the work of Henry Giroux “Critical Theory and Rationality in Citizenship Education” and Martha Nussbaum “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism”, a framework referred to as “Cosmopolitan Citizenship Architecture Education” is developed.

How to Cite

Santanicchia, M. (2020). Becoming Cosmopolitan Citizens Architects: A Reflection on Architectural Education Across the Nordic Baltic Academy of Architecture (NBAA). A Students’ Perspective. EAAE Annual Conference Proceedings, 312–335.



Author Biography

Massimo Santanicchia, Iceland University of the Arts

Massimo Santanicchia is an architect, associate professor, and program director of the school of architecture at the Iceland University of the Arts. Since his graduation in architecture from IUAV in 2000 Massimo has been working internationally in the field of architecture. Massimo holds also an MA in Housing and Urbanism from Architectural Association and a MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from London School of Economics. Massimo’s current research investigates how the notion of cosmopolitan citizenship can contribute in renewing and expanding the agency of architecture.


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