HomeGrowing learning collectives in residential subdivision town

HomeGrowing learning collectives in residential subdivision town

*  *  *

Published on Friday, September 21, 2018


Within the framework of the research program CAPA.CITY, the winterschool is organized around the question of how to establish learning collectives around citizens, professionals and authorities that are concerned by spatial transformations taking place in their daily environment. Through a location–based experimental learning approach the participants of the winterschool are invited to work on the residential subdivision town of Viby, Denmark.



Within the framework of this European research, the scientific team proposes a PhD winter school centered on the capabilities that need to be mobilized and associated, or even hybridized, in order to transform existing residential subdivisions. The originality of this approach lies in the interrogation of creating negotiation spaces and of collective learning (Callon & al., 2001) between individual, collective and common interests (Zask, 2011), so that the capabilities of the different actors (inhabitants, professionals, institutions), individual or collective, are identified, recognized and made available to one another (de Certeau, 1980 ; Berry-Chikhaoui & Deboulet, 2000 ; Nez, 2015).

 The 4-day CAPA.CITY PhD Winter School brings together international scholars, urban professionals and PhD students to address the questions: How to initiate such a learning collective? How to support it? How to make this collective focus on spatial issues? How to keep this collective open? How to link this collective to the wider urban community? Through a location–based experimental learning approach the participants of the winter school are invited to work on the residential subdivision town of Viby, Denmark. During the winter school the PhD students will get the chance to work with a team of urban professionals from the CAPA.CITY project with an expertise in participatory design, community development and urban planning.

In the CAPACITY PhD Winter School the participants are invited to work on three concrete planning challenges that is currently leading the urban development strategies and spatial projects in Viby – (1) accommodating population growth through new housing projects, (2) Revitalizing the urban center, (3) Building a shared library and community center. Each of the planning challenges trigger other issues, assembles other actors and therefore may require the reinforcement of other collective capabilities.

Goal: Defining learning protocols to foster learning collectives

People learn continuously, be it as an individual or as a collective. Whenever they come across a challenge that forces them to leave their routines, they try out something new and learn. Most of the time this learning remains implicit and under the radar. Our hypothesis is that, in order to make collective learning productive, we have to make it explicit and make the participants aware of the learning process they are going through.

The CAPA.CITY PhD Winter School will introduce the PhD students with a range of collective learning theories and participatory planning methods. During the winter school, the students will experience these methods and develop a series of collective learning protocols. More specifically, the goal of the winter school is that the PhD students define learning protocols that should help the community of Viby to address the three planning challenges.

A team of professionals from the CAPA.CITY project with long-term experience in building learning collectives will be supervising the development of the protocols. The professionals will give inspirational talks on their approaches and operational tools and work as tutors in exploring and developing methods suitable for the Viby context.

The urban professionals are:

  • GivRum (Dk), with Jesper Koefoed-Melson (communication studies) has expertise in facilitating user-driven urban development, by organizing public events. GivRum is a non-profit organization committed to democratic and participatory processes for user driven development of urban life. We facilitate sustainable developing processes by connecting the public and private sectors with civil society. Our first project (started in 2010) was transforming an old paint factory in Copenhagen into a shared office space where 17 different companies and organizations established themselves throughout the first year. Since we have been involved in projects revitalizing empty buildings and urban spaces all over Denmark. We have cooperated with various Danish ministries and municipalities, created the renowned conference Think Space and established the annual international festival City Link. www.givrum.nu
  • In Vivo (F), with David Miet (architect), Denis Caraire (spatial planner) and Remy Vigneron has expertise in engaging residents of residential subdivisions in envisioning future scenarios. “In Vivo” is the department for Research & Development of “Villes Vivantes” (“Living Cities”), a start-up with special status (“jeune entreprise universitaire” – “young academic enterprise”) under partnership agreement with ENSA –Marseille architecture academy. Created in January 2014, it develops, designs and tests innovative public policies, carrying a systemic vision in strategic and collaborative planning. It focuses on the needs and intentions of individual people to develop and implement collective actions and urban planning projects. It experiments sustainable and collaborative solutions to counter urban sprawl by redefining housing production processes. It develops the “BIMBY” (Build In My BackYard) concept, creating condition for a short supply chain of buildable land producing, from inhabitant to inhabitants, relying on private initiative, but with a supporting and engineered public framework designed with local authorities. http://www.lab-invivo.eu/index.html
  • Intrastructures (B), with Thomas Lommée (designer) has expertise in the act of prototyping as a method to initiate a transition towards a more sustainable use of materials. Intrastructures is a pragmatic, utopian design-studio, that applies product-, service- and system design as tools for change (or better: social and environmental restoration). In 2007 Intrastructures initiated the OpenStructures project, a hands-on design experiment that explores the possibility of a modular construction model where everyone designs for everyone on the basis of one shared geometrical grid (www.openstructures.net).

Result: what do you take home

  • the participants get introduced to theories on participatory spatial planning (with a focus on experimental methods), collective learning and spatial planning trends in Denmark (in relation to the rest of Europe)
  • the participants will visit a series of Danish sub-urban developments (both old and recent ones)
  • the participants will experience a series of participatory spatial planning methods
  • the participants will gain insight in the development of collective learning protocols
  • the participants will get feedback on the participatory methods that they use in their own fieldwork


Monday 10 December 2018:

  • morning: participants present the participatory methods that they use in their own research (based on their visualisations)
  • afternoon: presentation of Viby-challenges / site visit / defining assignments

Tuesday 11 December 2018:

  • participants design learning protocols that help to address these challenges. Supervised by spatial professionals

Wednesday 12 December 2018:

  • morning: excursion to the Danish suburbs
  • afternoon: continue the design of learning protocols

Thursday 13 December 2018:

  • morning: prepare public presentation
  • afternoon: event / public presentation

Sign up

Please send a short motivation for participating in the course (1) explain how your research, research methodologies / practice is linked to the theme of the Ph.D. winter school, (2) introduce a case in which you have been involved that was focusing on collective learning over spatial issues and (3) specify what you expect to learn from the winter school (maximum 300 words). This should be send to Majken Toftager Larsen matola@ruc.dk

by November 1st the latest.

Participants that are accepted to the winter school must before it starts submit a presentation of a case description related to their research. In order to maximize the exchange of knowledge, each participant has to visualize his/her case with posters, which must be presented on the first day of the winter school. There are minimum two posters: poster 1 illustrates the context of the case: images, a map, the involved actors, the spatial project, the issues Poster 2 illustrates the learning process: which activities were organized, which actors were involved in each activity, what was the goal of each activity, and the result.


  • 1 November 2018: Deadline submission motivation

  • 7 November 2018: Notification of acceptance
  • 7 December 2018: Deadline submission of a case.

Scientific committee

  • Oswald Devisch, Hoofddocent - Associate Professor, Faculteit Architectuur & Kunst - Faculty of Architecture & Arts
  • Oswald Devisch is Associate Professor in Urban Design at Hasselt University, Belgium. He is coordinator of the research cluster Spatial Capacity Building and explores themes such as collective learning, casual participation, autonomous urbanisation and the gamification of participation.
  • Teresa Palmieri – PhD student, Faculteit Architectuur & Kunst - Faculty of Architecture & Arts
  • John Andersen, Professor. PhD in Sociology and Planning, Planning Studies (Plan, By & Proces), Department of Humans and Technology
  • John Andersen is professor in urban planning and sociology at Roskilde University, Denmark. He works with community empowerment, action research and social innovation.
  • Majken Toftager Larsen, Urbanist and action researcher, Planning Studies (Plan, By & Proces), Department of Humans and Technology
  • Majken is currently teaching at the Department of Humans and Technology, Roskilde University. In her research she focuses on community development, experimental learning and participatory methods in urban planning.
  • Marion Serre, Architect, researcher in architecture, Project[s] research laboratory – ENSA-Marseille
  • Marion Serre is currently teaching at the school of architecture of Marseille and is part of the Project[s] Laboratory, as a researcher. Her research focuses on housing and, more specifically, in the involvement of citizen in urban transformation


  • Roskilde, Denmark


  • Thursday, November 01, 2018


  • collective learning, participation, residential subdivision, suburb, spatial transformation


  • Majken Toftager Larsen
    courriel : matola [at] ruc [dot] dk

Information source

  • Marion Serre
    courriel : mjo [dot] serre [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Growing learning collectives in residential subdivision town », Summer School, Calenda, Published on Friday, September 21, 2018, https://doi.org/10.58079/10v8

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search