Performing Pedagogical Practices: transmitting architectural tacit knowledge
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Architecture schools have long used first-year design exercises to remove students’ preconceptions, before re-establishing shared knowledge and skills. This is grounded in the type of ‘collective tacit knowledge’ (Collins, 2010) that informs the correct way to practice by the standards of the discipline and culture. While scholarship in other creative fields emphasises repeated practice, socialisation and authority, there is little study of teaching the tacit in architecture. This problem is compounded in historical first-year pedagogies: cases like composition at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Bauhaus vorkurs exercises, or the Cooper Union nine-square grid. While there is growing scholarly interest in these seminal practices, their exact mechanism for transferring tacit knowledge is notoriously difficult to study through primary sources alone. Any process easily explained is unlikely to be tacit at all. Yet, without understanding it, we risk neglecting the ways that tacit knowledge—grounded in dynamics in the discipline and broader culture—has empowered certain groups and perspectives. Drawing on my own teaching experience, I am developing a student seminar using methods of re-enactment—from the field of history—to reveal those intangible, tacit qualities of these influential pedagogies. Students will perform design exercises, approximate classroom conditions, and act as instructor. In doing so, we can better understand the implicit biases transferred simultaneously: of class, gender, race, culture and sexuality. Indeed, queer theory points to the potential for performance to ‘queer’ pedagogy. It breaks down traditional instructor-student dichotomies, while students embody alternate identities and levels of authority. Ultimately, this critical, performative and queer scrutiny of pedagogies promises to improve how we transmit tacit knowledge in teaching architecture today. Show more
Organisational unit09643 - Avermaete, Tom / Avermaete, Tom
02655 - Netzwerk Stadt und Landschaft D-ARCH
860413 - Communities of Tacit Knowledge: Architecture and its Ways of Knowing (EC)
NotesDue to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the conference was conducted virtually.
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