The notion of learning, like our comprehension of cities, is undergoing a massive transition. As opposed to the classical top-down, checking-boxes, fixed-systems; we need to REread and REform the process of acquiring knowledge.
Often people’s defining educational moments are intense, dynamic, diverse moments/experiences/places out of the norms of the "classroom" and "school".
Aformal Academy – RE:Learning The City is a spatial and co-creational knowledge exchange, where professors, both foreign and local students, lecturers, local craftsmen, in-town guests, local researchers, exhibitors and citizens crash together in a free flowing information exchange – creating a process of multi-layered learning across disciplines, for all.
The school and the city
The school and the city is an archive and a cartography of theories and practices, both historical and contemporary, related to urban pedagogy. It's also a series of conversations with this archipelago of experiences, producers of living and scattered knowledge. We will try connect these forms of collective learning with professionals from the design, arts, humanities and sciences and to promote interdisciplinary collaborations. It's not only about learning from these informal "situations of liminality", but also trying to understand how the school and the city can truly comminicate with each other. Our aim it's to imagine an Institute for a Distributed Knowledge, a "school of everything" that tries to hybridize poor and marginal knowledge with the scientific and institutionally promoted research.
How much do the school and its architectural and physical structure influence education?
In the history of architecture, the project of the pedagogical infrastructure has always had a fundamental role. From the Walter Gropius’ Bauhaus to the Giancarlo De Carlo’s Campus Universitario of Urbino and to the Lacaton and Vassal’s School of Architecture of Nantes, the project of the school has always been - and it still is – the medium to spread a vision of architecture and of the world. The project itself is a pedagogical and taming tool. Hence, today, how can we envision and rethink this branch of the project?
Inside Aformal Academy
The Aformal Academy is not merely a of series educational workshops parallel to the Biennale; it is a hybrid of learning by making, exhibition, and social space; at once the public at large with the evolving library of provocations and spatial archive of explorations.
Inside AA is the documentation of the daily activities thet will be develope intside the Hong Kong-Shenzen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture.
Tomorrow's Spatial practice
The profession is going through a moment of deep rethinking, due to the economic recession, the acknowledgment of the Anthropocene and due to the complexity that concern the contemporary human habitat. As Etienne Turpin’s recent book Architecture in the Anthropocene claims, it is necessary to rethink the whole experience of practices and knowledge taken from the modernity. Hence it is necessary to be aware of the failure of an idea of progress and of an anthropization strategy that are no longer sustainable. Today we can strongly perceive the change of the practice. On one side architectural firms go on with their work that is strictly connected to the neoliberal global market. On the other side, hybrid practices – in form of collectives – develop their work breaking the disciplinary borders to get in touch with other cultural fields. The aim of Tomorrow’s Spatial Practice is to question about which modalities and tools will be able to characterised the profession of tomorrow.
Aformal.Academy – RE:Learning The City is directed by:
Jason Hilgefort and Merve Bedir. They are partners in Land+Civilization Compositions, a Rotterdam/Istanbul/Shenzhen based studio exploring issues at the ever expanding edge of urbanism that views city creation as an art.forum.
Done in cooperation with Ljubo Georgiev and Hristo Stankushev.
The Chapter 2, Pedagogical infrastructure, is curated by Daniel Tudor Munteanu, Romanian practicing architect and urban planner. He exhibited at the 5th UABB Biennale in Shenzhen and contributed to the U.S. Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. His texts were published in San Rocco, Log and Oase. Daniel is the founder and editor of the research project OfHouses – a collection of old forgotten houses.
The editorial coordinators of the Aformal.Academy.Archive are:
IRA-C is an organized workgroup for interactive research in the field of architecture in critical contexts, based in Milan.
Parasite2.0 was born in 2010 by Stefano Colombo, Eugenio Cosentino and Luca Marullo. They investigate the status of human habitat and act on the margins of the practice by experimenting a hybrid between architecture, art, social sciences and activism.
Design and development by From outer Space
UABB 2015 Re-Living The City is curated by:
Aaron Betsky is a critic and curator; is the dean at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin, and was Director of the 11th Venice International Architecture Biennale.
Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner are co-principals in the international design firm Urban-Think Tank (U-TT), and hold the Chair Architecture and Urban Design at ETH Zurich.
Doreen Heng Liu, Founder of NODE architecture & urbanism, is a Guest professor at ETH Zurich and an adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong.