"Pedagogical experiments played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the 20th century. In fact, the key hypothesis of our Radical Pedagogy research project is that these experiments can be understood as radical architectural practices in their own right. Radical in the literal meaning from the Latin radice, as something belonging or relating to the root, to its foundations. Radical pedagogies shake foundations, disturbing assumptions rather than reinforcing and disseminating them. This challenge to normative thinking was a major force in the postwar field of architecture, and has surprisingly been neglected in recent years. ...
Architectural pedagogy has become stale. Schools spin old wheels as if something is happening but so little is going on. Students wait for a sense of activist engagement with a rapidly evolving world but graduate before it happens. The fact that they wait for instruction is already the problem. Teachers likewise worry too much about their place in the institutional hierarchies. Curricular structures have hardly changed in recent decades, despite the major transformations that have taken place with the growth of globalisation, new technologies, and information culture. As schools appear to increasingly favour professionalisation, they seem to drown in self-imposed bureaucratic oversight, suffocating any possibility for the emergence of experimental practices and failures. There are a few attempts to wake things up here and there but it's all so timid in the end. There is no real innovation.
In response to the timidity of schools today, the Radical Pedagogy project returns to the educational experiments of the 1960s and '70s to remind us what can happen when pedagogy takes on risks. It's a provocation and a call to arms."
(Beatriz Colomina with Esther Choi, Ignacio Gonzalez Galan and Anna-Maria Meister, 28 September 2012, The Architectural Review)
1). Radical Pedagogy is an ongoing multi-year collaborative research project by a team of PhD candidates in the School of Architecture at Princeton University, led by Beatriz Colomina and involving seminars, interviews and guest lectures by protagonists and scholars. The project explores a remarkable set of pedagogical experiments of the 1960s and '70s that revolutionised thinking in the discipline. Each student is working on one of these experiments and collectively mapping the interconnections and effects of these experiments towards a major publication and exhibition.
Fig.1 Tournaments in the Course ‘Culture of the Body', at the Valparaíso School, 1975. Courtesy of Archivo Histórico Jose Vial, Escuela Arquitectura y Diseño, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
"Although the debate about disciplinary status has not interrupted the production of innovative design research, as a relatively recent member of academia's 'tribes and territories' (Becher 1989) design is still establishing its disciplinary characteristics as a general research field and a set of specialist sub-fields. There is, for instance, some debate about whether design scholarship should include creative practice and reflection (for a sample of contrasting positions see Bayazit 2004; Downton 2001; Durling 2002; Roth 1999). Since a majority of design issues originate in everyday life individual design research questions are unlikely to fit specific disciplinary boundaries, the idea that design research definitively engages with multiple fields and literatures being widely acknowledged (Poggenpohl et al 2004). These considerations have contributed to the debate as to whether design research should conform to established models from the sciences and humanities or develop its own integral approaches. We suggest, however, that a greater focus on design's applied nature and inherent interdisciplinarity could profitably overtake the quest for disciplinary clarity."
(Carolyn Barnes and Gavin Melles, 2007)
1). Proceedings of 'Emerging Trends in Design Research', the International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, 12-15 November 2007
"I've increasingly felt that digital journalism and digital humanities are kindred spirits, and that more commerce between the two could be mutually beneficial. That sentiment was confirmed by the extremely positive reaction on Twitter to a brief comment I made on the launch of Knight-Mozilla OpenNews, including from Jon Christensen (of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford, and formerly a journalist), Shana Kimball (MPublishing, University of Michigan), Tim Carmody (Wired), and Jenna Wortham (New York Times).
Here's an outline of some of the main areas where digital journalism and digital humanities could profitably collaborate. It's remarkable, upon reflection, how much overlap there now is, and I suspect these areas will only grow in common importance."
(Dan Cohen's Digital Humanities Blog)
"The relevant contrast here is between problem solving which is carried out following the codes of practice relevant to a particular discipline and problem solving which is organised around a particular application. In the former, the context is defined in relation to the cognitive and social norms that govern basic research or academic science. Latterly, this has tended to imply knowledge production carried out in the absence of some practical goal. In Mode 2, by contrast, knowledge results from a broader range of considerations. Such knowledge is intended to be useful to someone whether in industry or government, or society more generally and this imperative is present from the beginning. Knowledge thus produced is always produced under an aspect of continuous negotiation, i.e. it will not be produced unless and until the interest of the various actors are included. Such is the context of application. Application, in this sense is not product development carried out for industry and the processes or markets that operate to determine what knowledge is produced are much broader than is normally implied when one speaks about taking ideas to the market place. Nonetheless, knowledge production in Mode 2 is the outcome of a process in which supply and demand factors can be said to operate, but the sources of supply are increasingly diverse, as are the demands for differentiated forms of specialist knowledge Such processes or markets specify what we mean by the context of application. Because they include much more than commercial considerations, it might be said that in Mode 2 science is both in the market but also gone beyond it! In the process, knowledge production becomes diffused throughout society. That is why we also speak of socially distributed knowledge. Research carried out in the context of application might be said to characterise a number of disciplines in the applied sciences and engineering - e.g. chemical engineering, aeronautical engineering or, more recently, computer science. Historically these sciences became established in universities but, strictly speaking, they cannot be called applied sciences, because it was precisely the lack of the relevant science that called them into being. They were genuinely new forms of knowledge though not necessarily of knowledge production because, they too, soon became the sites of disciplinary-based knowledge production in the style of Mode 1. These applied disciplines share with Mode 2 some aspects of the attribute of knowledge produced in the context of application. But, in Mode 2 the context is more complex. It is shaped by a more diverse set of intellectual and social demands than was the case in many applied sciences while it may give rise to genuine basic research."
"in the ninety years since the creation of the Bauhaus, design educators have constantly challenged the definition of design as a discipline, consequently reshaping the mission and vision of design programs. With the advent of the Bauhaus, design emerged as the integration of artistic methods with scientific principles in order to educate a new generation of artists and craftsmen and better train them to infuse humanistic values into industrial production systems. Later, with the incorporation of design into higher education, it became a self-contained discipline as part of the arts and sciences responsible for the production of knowledge, followed by a process of branching out to multiple specializations within the design discipline. Since then, designers have graduated as experts instrumental in the development of new products and communication strategies demanded by market economies. Curiously, while in the professional context the design discipline has been interpreted as business function, in education, design and business-related disciplines such as marketing, management, and finance were separated by ideological principles and credit distribution requirements. Consequently, the design, business, and liberal arts disciplines were never combined into one program, despite the clear signals that these disciplines are complementary and dependent on each other in terms of imagining new ways of infusing social and environmental principles within resilient production systems regulated by market economies."
(Carlos Teixeira, p.560-561, IASDR 2009)
1). Teixeira, C. (2009). The Entrepreneurial Design Curriculum: Design-based Learning for Knowledge-based Economies. International Association of Societies of Design Research. Seoul, Korea.