︎︎︎ Call for Abstracts
Journal n. 5, Year II, Issue 3/3, Autum 2022
Over the past few decades a new pedagogical format has begun to gain saliency in the competitive panorama of university education: the workshop.
This peculiar model of learning and teaching is characterised by specific pedagogical missions, often pursued collectively and within a very limited temporal framework. While traditional academic education offers long-time programs to equip students with a broad range of competences and knowledge forms, workshops are condensed and collaborative efforts where the overall inquiry takes precedence over the individual contribution. While university is holistic and gradual the workshop is concise and discrete.
The agility of the workshop is also reflected in its organisation. Flexible pedagogical and economic models can bypass the traditional academic trajectories, linking a diverse range of individuals and collective subjects, and engaging private and public institutions. Intense collaborations in a compressed time frame allows to intersect different methods and forms of knowledge while tackling complex issues with unconventional approaches. At the same time the speed of production turns the workshop into an extremely appealing model in terms of communication. Creative and attractive proposals achieved in just a few weeks and accompanied with the display of exciting experimental processes, perfectly respond to the social networks’ insatiable craving for images. For these same reasons the workshop model has rapidly flourished not only in the field of education but also among companies pursuing innovative production and business models.
In architectural design education, workshops take many guises: some are skill based and focus, for example, on learning techniques of representation or software; others take the form of hyper-concise design experiments; still others are seminar based and offer insights on a chosen topic through lectures and discussions. Moreover, as most workshops take place outside conventional university settings, they are oftentimes contextual, related to site-specific conditions, themes and stakeholders. The flexibility of the model allows students, scholars and professionals with a diverse international background to connect with subjects with specific local knowledge. The intersection of these different scales and dimensions of knowledge can produce strategies and solutions with a real impact on local communities, but also offer a powerful leverage to manipulate the existing conditions in favour of external interests.
Starting from these premises, the aims is to provide a comprehensive survey on the workshop as an alternative and complementary method to teach and learn architectural design. The issue calls for critical accounts and in-depth analyses that reflect on the workshop’s potential and organisational mechanisms, constructing a genealogy of this pedagogical tool and understanding its relevance vis-a-vis the fast-changing social and disciplinary challenges of architectural education.
We accept contributions grounded on one ore more of the following thematic frameworks:
1. Workshop and Reality. The workshop evokes a place of co-operative work, intense debate and epistemological open-endedness. Can this model be an effective tool and environment for tackling the ever-changing realities of the contemporary places and the likewise volatile circumstances of the architectural profession? Which meaningful bridges between knowledge production and physucal transformation processes can the workshop build?
2. Critique or Marketing. The workshop is sharp, radical and fashionable. To what extent this pedagogical approach can be regarded as a critique of the traditional academic models? Can the workshop significantly question some procedural and bureaucratic aspects typical of academic organisation or is it just another marketing tool of an increasingly commodified field of education? What are the economic and organisational models of the workshop and the consequences of the great flexibility of this form of production?
3. Networks and Islands. The workshop challenges the traditional insularity of the university learning environment by situating the participants in direct relation with specific geographical settings and local resources. At the same time the workshop proposes a flexible, nomadic and temporary pedagogical space that relies on increased mobility and exchange on a global scale. Which are the challenges and opportunities in linking the local and global dimension of knowledge production and exchange?
We are interested in contributions that specifically engage with the following:
→ recognizing common traits in contemporary international pedagogical experiences;
→ understanding and describing approaches and cultural references, as well as inferences derived from other fields, such as history, art, philosophy, anthropology, literature, geography, sociology and economics usefull for teaching architecture;
→ exemplifying, through their conceptualization, specific didactic experiences, capable of becoming synthetic and effective expressions of a teaching know-how;
→ intertwining narratives and research, theories and conjectures, verifying the starting conditions by comparing them with the results of the teaching activities;
→ tracing a limit that can be shared by the scientific community, within which to critically and tendentiously “position” ideas and (didactic) projects, in order to build a a recognizable system by substantiating the reasons.
Abstracts in English or Italian (max. 2500 characters) should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted abstracts will be announced by 30/05/2022. Contributions accepted for publication in the printed journal are expected by 18/07/2022 in the form of a scientific essay, accompanied by notes, bibliography and images, for a maximum of 20,000 characters (spaces, notes and bibliography included) and 10 images/pictures (of which you own the copyright of if they are free for use).
Accepted essays in their final version will undergo a process of Double-Blind Peer Review.
The call is open to PhD students, researchers, professors and all scholars academically involved in teaching architecture.