TERRITORIES OF CREATIVE LEARNING
Progressive architectural practices often experiment with processes of co-creation, questioning the stereotyped solitary nature of the profession. The active construction of moments of co-production, in collaborative spaces that sometimes are turned into laboratories, intimate rooms, or public spaces, and the influence of this plural knowledge in shaping the future of the architectural profession, is fundamental. There is a special learning component accomplished when working together, and we have the privilege to test it at the school of architecture.
Alternative pedagogical practices have often focused on nurturing creative co-learning, instead of supporting more traditional monodirectional teaching methods, and have been the fertile ground for countercultures that emerge sensitive to the natural environment, diverse forms of community, the role of technology, etc. While some of these practices emerged in the 70s, their concerns are, more than ever, resonating with the needs of a fragile planet, asking for collective and creative engagement. How could those modes of co-learning bond alternative forms of togetherness rooted in an open understanding of sustainability? How would they influence the spaces where learning is practised when demanding another set of priorities?
Creative pedagogies are embraced in more than one dimension, starting with an immersion in case studies of different types. Students, divided into groups, analyze a pedagogical practice, its theory, methodologies, actors, architectural expressions, and sustainable qualities. To engage more profoundly with the given pedagogy and as an act of personal enactment, students cook a meal by applying the studied methods. With every group taking care of one course, a feast of pedagogical experiments will be served, literally sharing ‘food for thoughts’. In a second stage, students are asked to transform a given case study of a learning environment through the lens of the studied pedagogy, its program and methodology. The result of its manipulations could take the form of drawings or any other material explorations, open to different scales and media.