“Alternative Pedagogies as our Commoning.”
Radical Pedagogies reviewed by Pelin Tan
Radical Pedagogies: Action—Reaction—Interaction, an ongoing research project run by PhD students and program director Beatriz Colomina at Princeton University School of Architecture, won the special mention at 14th Venice Biennale which seems the most fresh and radical engaging presentation at the Monditalia. Although it focuses basically on Italy at the biennale, the project shows a developed face of process with an interactive digital source and engagement from different parts of the world. Furthermore, the project opens layers of notion of alternative pedagogies in architectural education that the audience could relate not necessarily with the existing data but also their own experiences as students or teachers.
One side of the discussion of defining practices of communing is creating alternative and unorthodox ways of educational methodologies. However, the issue is not easy: How this is possible? in what local conditions and extraterritorial constraints and which tradition of architectural history?… Especially, compared to social sciences and other fields; architectural education is more problematic as the market outside of neoliberal urban arena is pressing young students and graduates. At the other hand the problem is that acquiring and referring to social sciences does not necessarily help creating a radical method of architecture but remaining in the field of social sciences. In that sense, other issue to think about is that small self-organized architectural practices are not able to enter academies in terms of permanent relation rather than only “workshopping”.
A set of questions emerges: What to teach? In what ways? How such practices of constantly inventing pedagogies would effect the “instituting” program in our faculties. As an active, participatory archiving project, Radical Pedagogies not only gives a research on the alternative history of architectural education but also opens such questions on the genealogy of methodology and instituting practice of self-reflexive architecture education. The radical questioning of the architectural discipline is deeply rooted in architectural education that still resist to go beyond studio work, traditional design methodologies, crossing multiple disciplines and considering trans-local territories. Nowadays, the gap between theory and practice has being challenging in a Deleuzian perspective. The trans-disciplinary thinking by borrowing cross-methods, new media that provides performative visual representation tools and engagement as a militant researcher in everyday life in order to experience other “knowledge” or the multiplicity of knowledge production urge us to alter our research methods. In the future, when we speak of recent methodologies and modalities of pedagogies in architecture faculties; space of “Reaction” that what Radical Pedagogies proposes in its research, could be a potential of understanding of ongoing political friction with the education. Reformulating forms of reactions in syllabuses, design studios or politics of academic structures of architecture faculties will lead to inventing new pedagogies. Furthermore, not only established architects or studios/offices but also tons of alternative collectives that create practice as reaction in different territories provides great potentials for alternative design pedagogies for faculties which is always dismissed.
Radical Pedagogies research project is inspiring for active archiving run by an institution that maybe can push further to establish trans-local realms of platforms that can go beyond an institutional research project but can reinvent itself an instituting method itself.
I feel we are still behind Giancarlo de Carlo’s visionary educational practices and aims; but hoping to reach and go beyond soon.
—Pelin Tan. Sociologist, Associate Professor and Vice-dean of Mardin Artuklu University Architecture Faculty, Turkey.
/// All the info about Radical Pedagogies can be found in radical-pedagogies.com
/// More photos of the Radical Pedagogies exhibition and the event held in Venice for the Monditalia Weekend Specials, at imagensubliminal.com
/// Here you can see an interview with the research team of Radical Pedagogies: