Aims and pedagogical remarks
The present curriculum, designed and conducted as part of the authors' wider research interests and overlapping research on spatiotemporal design/composition and its aesthetics, was not part of any formal or funded project but rather a continuation of research practice. Teaching is an important, and often necessary, part of research, both for dissemination and further investigation. The present exposition aims to provide a case study of a research-supported example of transdisciplinary teaching, performed under certain constraints, in parallel with the methodological toolbox used.
The curriculum also aims to utilize the particular conditions of a workshop to experimentally test the possibility of introducing architecture students to the sensibilities, methods, tools, and theories that are rather foreign to the usual architectural curricula. Moreover, the curriculum was devised to encourage creative engagement with this new body of knowledge, both at the individual and group level, as well as to explore the extents of such creative engagement. To facilitate that, the workshop was conducted in a manner of learning together, with the intention of establishing a discursive, collaborative, and playful environment.
The authors have previous experience in developing and teaching experimental curricula in academic courses as well as extra-academic workshops, in architectural and electronic-music contexts, respectively, which informed the current exposition (see Encore). However, for evaluative purposes, it is important to note the particular circumstances under which the workshop was conducted.
Overall, the workshop had an approximately 40-hour schedule over the course of a full work week, with an exhibition of outcomes scheduled for the following day. The festival provided an intensive and creative working environment, with all 10 workshops carried out together in the same venue, and a full programme of shared input lectures outside workshop hours. Organizers selected and assigned the seven workshop participants, all of whom were architecture students. Participants and tutors met only a day prior to the workshop, without any prior contact or pre-assignment having taken place. In addition, it is important to highlight that the overall environment and format of the workshop encouraged free and open experimentation, as well as experimental and transdisciplinary teaching through an intensive albeit brief mode of teaching. While rarely possible in academic environments, these parameters were significant to the curriculum design, and, more importantly, a catalyst to the development and outcomes of the workshop.
As a bundle, the present curriculum and workshop case study, and its outcomes, demonstrate that a short, intensive encounter with new domains of transdisciplinary knowledge, in a practice-based setting, can activate creative potential and yield rich results and findings. Furthermore, the workshop shows that research topics, such as the one presented, which are often seen as specialized, or even technically challenging, can be taught to a small group of participants without any prior knowledge, in a short period of time.
The exposition shares this bundle as a syllabus that can be extended and appropriated for further investigations into transdisciplinary pedagogy, and as an open toolbox for explorations into the spatiotemporal domain.