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“Doing-Making" in the teaching of architecture in Belgium

Les pratiques « par le faire » dans l’enseignement de l’architecture en Belgique

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Published on Wednesday, March 17, 2021Wednesday, March 17, 2021 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

What we mean here by mobilizing “doing” or “making” in the teaching of architecture can take many forms and formats: hands-on workshops, prototyping at scale 1:1, educational construction sites, design & build projects, etc. but also simulations, field surveys, multi-sensory explorations, field trips, courses in immersion. This workshop aims to understand and question their place and role in the current training of architects. The goal is to identify, describe and qualify these practices: their modalities, frameworks, objectives and goals, but also the set of references on which they rely and their evolutions over the course of history. With the participants, we aim to identify current and past practices and to describe them while accounting for their plurality.

Announcement

Argument

Covid-19 has been affecting the world of education for many months. "Face-to-face" teaching has given way to "virtual" modalities of exchange, and both teachers and students have had the occasion to experience the profound impact of this pandemic on the act of teaching and learning.

Just a month before the first confinement, on February 18 and 19, 2020, we organized a conference in Brussels about the theoretical and practical issues raised by a valorization of making in architecture. During this conference, two papers and an international round table on so-called “design & build” pedagogies shed light on three moments in history: the years 1900-1920 with Walter Gropius's Bauhaus; the years 1960-1970 with the collective construction sites led by Charles Moore with his students from Yale; and today, through six testimonies on international experiences. We promised ourselves that we would pursue the questioning started on this occasion, and focus more precisely on practices developed in Belgium. At a time when the pandemic is revealing the systemic dimension of the world we have contributed to create (Lachenal, 2020) when distance learning virtualizes our relationship with people and things, it seems all the more essential to carry out this reflexion. This workshop intends to open up a space of reflection about pedagogical practices that mobilize making, in order to understand their mechanisms, their objectives, as well as what they allow for.  Our point of departure is the hypothesis that this type of teaching (and practice) is a priori better anchored in the realities and issues of our  era, which is both complex and fascinating.

How and why "doing" and “making” are mobilized to teach architecture today?

This is the question we propose to instruct together for this (first) day of collective reflection. What we mean here by mobilizing “doing” or “making” (Possoz, 2020) in the teaching of architecture can take many forms and formats: hands-on workshops, prototyping at scale 1:1, educational construction sites, design & build projects, etc. but also simulations, field surveys, multi-sensory explorations, field trips, courses in immersion... All these practices, although different in many aspects, share a common trait: they rest in the idea that one learns from experiencing a given reality through the actual involvement of the body in a situation.

If these practices are present today in the pedagogical programs of the Belgian Faculties of Architecture, their modalities, objectives and specific ambitions do not seem to be sufficiently explicit in order to establish their legitimacy. It therefore seems necessary to understand and question their place and role in the current training of architects. In order to do so, we need to identify, describe and qualify these practices: their modalities, frameworks, objectives and goals, but also the set of references on which they rely (Muller, 2009) and their evolutions over the course of history. With this first symposium/workshop, we aim at collectively initiating a work of mapping as much as of genealogy of the pedagogical use of making in the teaching of architecture in Belgium. We see this moment as an opportunity to gather the actors concerned, and to build or extend existing networks. The participants will contribute to identify current and past practices and to describe them while accounting for their plurality. This call, therefore, targets interests in the pedagogies developed as much in the design studio, as in the technical courses, in the courses in social and human sciences, and in the teaching of representation.

This call for interest is an invitation to conduct collective work, through a direct exchange of experiences between teachers and researchers who supervise, or have supervised, pedagogical practices that involve doing or making in Belgium. 

What knowledge, know-how and interpersonal skills are involved in or produced by these practices? To what social, economic, political and environmental concerns do they intend to contribute? Are they an opportunity for distinct professions to better know each other? What specific means and conditions do these practices require? What difficulties do they have to circumvent or overcome? What are the forms of evaluation? What role do these practices give to reflexivity? What modalities are deployed to articulate theory and practice? How are these practices supported by research? These are the types of questions that participants will be asked to address together during this day. 

Submission guidelines

The teachers and researchers interested in this call are invited to send us a description of a pedagogical practice they developed which mobilizes doing or making, in the form of a short text (maximum 2500 characters, spaces included) accompanied by a visual document of their choice.

Proposals should be sent by May 19, 2021,

at the following address: penserfaire2020@gmail.com.

The workshop

On the basis of the descriptions received, the organizing committee will identify a series of relevant themes situated at several intersections between the proposed practices. Each theme will bring together a small number of selected practices. Each participant will be asked to prepare some material ahead of the workshop based on one of the themes. . This preparatory work will be based on maximum two or three exchanges spread out from mid-May to mid-September. It will aim at clarifying and reflecting on the proposed practice in relation to the defined theme.

The workshop itself will take place in October 2021 in Liège. It will be based on the “intervision” method, namely "structured and accompanied meetings between peers, allowing the exchange of experiences and collective reflection on professional practices" (De Man, Jaspart., Jonckheere 2017). The day will be divided between several moments of collective work in small groups, where the stories (short presentation) and reflective work of the participants will be shared and discussed, and moments aimed at transversally identifying elements illuminating the role of doing or making in teaching the practice of architecture.

Organizing Committee

  • Alessandra Bruno (ULB  – Sasha)
  • Pauline Lefebvre (ULB  – Sasha)
  • Julie Neuwels (Uliège – Team 11)
  • Jean-Philippe Possoz (Uliège – Team 11)

Bibliography

DE MAN, C., JASPART, A., JONCKHEERE, A., (2017). Enjeux et rapports de l‟analyse collective dans le travail de recherche, in C. DE MAN, A. JASPART, A. JON-CKHEERE, C. ROSSI, V. STRIMELLE et F. VANHAMME (eds), Justice ! Chercheurs en zone trouble, Montréal : Erudit, Livres et Actes, pp.54-73, https://retro.erudit.org/livre/justice/2017/index.htm*.

LACHENAL, G. (2020, février 19). Le virus qui ne voulait rien dire. in Libération, https://www.liberation.fr/debats/2020/02/19/le-virus-qui-ne-voulait-rien-di-re_1778930.3

MULLER, P. (2009). Les politiques publiques. Presses universitaires de France.

POSSOZ, J.P. (2021, forthcoming). Enseigner en prenant le ‘faire’ au serieux, in LEFEBVRE P., NEUWELS J. & POSSOZ J.P., Thin-king-Making, Perspectives on Making in Architecture, Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles.4 MULLER, P. (2009). Les politiques publiques. Presses universitaires de France

Places

  • Liège, Belgium

Date(s)

  • Wednesday, May 19, 2021Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Keywords

  • enseignement, pédagogie, architecture, architecte, faire, savoir-faire, construction, conception, chantier, fabrication

Contact(s)

  • Alessandra Bruno
    courriel : penserfaire2020 [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Alessandra Bruno
    courriel : penserfaire2020 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« “Doing-Making" in the teaching of architecture in Belgium », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, March 17, 2021Wednesday, March 17, 2021, https://calenda.org/856028

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