After leaving her position as director of the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture (ESA) in Paris in 2012, Odile Decq advanced the idea that architectural pedagogy was too often blocked by a strict institutional system of education unable to change. 

Together with a small, international group of architects and educators motivated by a desire to imagine other forms for architectural education, and judging that the moment was right the group set out to create a new institution that would change not only the philosophy but also the methodology of teaching and research in architecture.

This initiative led to the creation in 2014 of a new “Private Higher Education Institution” for architecture: CONFLUENCE Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture based in Lyon, France. Since September 2019 CONFLUENCE is based in the center of Paris.

More than the site where it is located, Confluence is the founding idea of the school:

“Architecture must not be reduced to a professional or specialized instruction”

Odile Decq, Dean

On the contrary, Architecture is a discipline that opens to the world. It is a vision and a capacity to act. Today it needs to return to its more humanist ambitions. CONFLUENCE thus integrates new visions of and about society and also new methods and tools linked to communication, conception, and creation, allowing students to act in the world of tomorrow