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Pedagogical Turns in Practice

Welcome to an open seminar with presentations and discussions on organising new forms of educational environments in art and architecture, with curator and educator Sepake Angiama and architects and educators Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti. The seminar will start with two presentations (4 – 5pm) followed by an open discussion (5 – 6pm).

Photo: Under the Mango Tree, School of Narrative Dance, Kassel, documenta 14.

Education is once again at the forefront of the political struggle for justice and equality and here artists and architects play an important role in developing new forms of knowledge production. In the last years the emergence of new schools, educational programs, self-organised learning environments and radical reforms within formal educational institutions have tried to acknowledge different forms of knowledge production grounded in society and able to challenge the dominant model of a globalized western education. The open seminar at Iaspis will focus on the formation of democratic and pluralistic environments where participants can learn freely, honestly and enthusiastically in environments that are not confined within the traditional walls of academia, but which cut across different forms of knowledge, integrating aspects of life and dialogue with the larger community. The goal is to explore the processes by which critical learning and egalitarian environments can emerge and influence educational institutions, while seeking a manner of critical intervention for the constitution and strengthening of civic spaces in contemporary realities.

We will ask to ourselves, which role has the university in the greater transformation of society? How the knowledge that is produced inside its walls could be relevant, useful for students that live in marginalized communities? What kinds of structures or institutions are required for the accommodation of interests and subjects born from the interaction between students, teachers and the broader social context? How can the attention of educational institutions move from the production of knowledge – based on information and skills – to processes of learning – based on shifts in perception, critical approaches, visions and governing principles? And how to reconcile theory with action, and combine a rigorous understanding of the problems with pragmatic and effective urban interventions?

Sepake Angiama is an educator and curator with an interest in the discursive and social framework that has led her to work with artists, architects, designers and choreographers who like to disrupt the social sphere. She’s interested in how these practices have sought to develop pedagogical initiatives such as schools and libraries placed outside of the traditional models of education, and how these also can shape or form communities. In 2017 she brought together a number of practices from different parts of the world to share their methodologies and approaches within a gathering, Under the Mango Tree. Sepake will present her interest in small-scale practices that seek to develop pedagogical forms of practice.

Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti founded Campus in Camps in 2012. This is an experimental educational program hosted in Dheisheh Refugee Camp in Bethlehem with the aims to overcome conventional educational structures by creating a space for critical and grounded knowledge production connected to greater transformations and the democratization of society. In 2007, with Eyal Weizman, they founded DAAR (Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency) in Beit Sahour, Palestine, with the aim to combine an architectural studio and an art residency able to gathered together architects, artists, activists, urbanists, film-makers, and curators to work collectively on the subjects of politics and architecture.


Sepake Angiama is a curator and researcher. She is the co-curator of the upcoming Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2019. She has been Head of Education for Documenta 14, Kassel, 2017; Director of Education for Manifesta 10, Saint Petersburg, 2014; and Curator of Public Programmes at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Sepake Angiama has created education programs for several institutions, including Tate Modern, London, and Hayward Gallery, London.

Sandi Hilal is an architect and researcher. She is currently developing a research on the issue of “the right to host”, including the project Al-Madafeh: The Hospitality Room, within the Public Art Agency Sweden’s ’Art is happening’ programme in Umeå and presented within the exhibition Public Luxury at ArkDes in Stockholm.

Alessandro Petti is a Professor of Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. He is currently together with Marie-Louise Richards running the postmaster course Decolonizing Architecture: displacement, migration and colonial heritage. Together with Sandi Hilal he’s recently published Permanent Temporariness, a book, a catalog and an archive of their work together over the last decade.

Pedagogical turns in practice is a continuation on the seminar Urgent Pedagogies presented by Iaspis at the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial in September 2018. The event is organised by Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme together with the postmaster course Decolonizing Architecture: displacement, migration and colonial heritage at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm.