inter————accions

2016/17 Live Cooking University∨∨

Experimental construction of an (intra)institutional space of higher education

2016 – 2017, Fabra i Coats, Barcelona

 

Within the framework of Cohabitar entre-

 

In relation to the program and the exhibition Cohabitar entre- [Institutional emergencies / artistic practices / collective processes], the Live Cooking University course proposes a review and an exploration on experimental models of professional learning based on collaborative practice in the creation of learning communities to discuss, generate alternatives and reflect on a cross-sectional model between institutional and non-institutional educational spaces.

The kitchen is a production space, and here the interest lies in the process of execution. This is a space that can be an experimental production, essay-error, and which is a laboratory. It is a space to share knowledge and integrate them into experimental policy makings. Taking the kitchen as a symbolic space, and culinary exercise as a production of shared knowledge, the course will be developed during various sessions in a workshop format, to share techniques, tools and resources in relation to the different issues that the program addresses. Thus, the objective of the course is to design protocols for the construction of an alternative space for knowledge production, which articulates academic training and self-managed training.

The course is aimed at individuals from different fields and contexts, who are interested in forming a research group for this experience – especially teachers, researchers, undergraduate students, masters and doctorates in academic and non-academic environments – to rethink, jointly, these areas of knowledge production and build a new one in the framework of this project.

Program

Session 1 | November 12 – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Ateneu L’Harmonia
Creation of recipes for a new educational institution
First open session, discussion and debate with the aim of making an appeal to participate in the course and conforming to the core of the work. The topics will be related and the sessions’ development process will be explained during the course. 

Session 2 | November 19 – 5pm to 8pm
Design of knowledge production spaces
From the construction of an imaginary space, in this session we will reflect, analyze and question both the architectural structure and the departmental and functional relationships of the institutional model. 

Session 3 | December 3 – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Fissures, bridges, paths and contact spaces
In this session, it is proposed to link non-academic spaces with institutional educational spaces and establish a prescription or action protocol for possible transversal functions of the specific areas of knowledge production. 

Session 4 | December 17 – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Recognition and value of knowledge
The objective of this session is to establish the premises to be considered to give value and recognition to the knowledge and competences acquired in various educational spaces by undoing the hegemonic legitimation spaces. 

Session 5 | January 14 – 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Interface of an exchange network
Construction of a network of exchange of pedagogical, material and human resources, as well as the design and layout of its operational interface as a model of communication and execution of the exchange. 

Session 6 | January 28 – Ateneu L’Harmonia
Unlearn in classrooms, learn in the city
Generate collaborations between educational projects and social projects (public and self-managed). Recognize the values ​​and opportunities of these collaborations.

Session 7 | February 18 – 12pm to 5pm Collective lunch
Effects and disadvantages of a collaborative relationship
Diagnosis and design of protocols for a relationship of emotional collaboration as closing of the course, valuing the relationships that have been established and the possible disadvantages that have also occurred. The objective of this last session is also a review and evaluation of all that has been done, emphasizing the emotional fact indispensable in any collaborative practice.

Recipes

RECIPE 1# – THE INGRIDIENTS

The kitchen is a space for experimentation. Popularly and on a daily basis, it is a space from where to rethink the content and the way we do things, well-known ingredients for innovative combinations, but also new ingredients for usual procedures. This space collects collaborative practices and other knowledge that are integrated into a contemporary collective process that symbolically uses the idea of ​​new culinary models that start from new models of food economy, production, distribution, consumption and digestion, essential for the construction of new institutional models.

In this kitchen, we will need the following ingredients from which to prepare collective recipes to make possible a new institutional / university model that hinges by connecting, opening, sharing, building, knowing and recognizing all available material, political and relational resources:

1. Institutional spaces are not only material but human, which will determine the collaborative relationships that take place there. Symbolic spaces that extend beyond the normative spaces and that provide a greater resilience in the flow of needs and desires of the context in which they register.

2. Friction exists between spaces as an opportunity to rethink relationships between structures and individuals. There is need to open roads and contact areas. Understand the spaces between as temporary bands and not perpetual edges of separation and vertical domination.

3. Replace the disciplinary domain spaces with relational spaces, enhancing their transversality and adaptability.

4. To value the knowledge and know experts and non-experts alike. Thus, establishing new temporal and flexible values ​​for what is known and shared by creating a new legitimation system based on transfer and free movement.

5. Put into play the economies of the common good. Rethink capitalization and profitability based on parameters dependent on the collective and the collaboration.

6. Link a sustainable economic model designing a transition. A transition through which to rethink an ecosystem of change.

7. Adapting to the rhythms, intentions and determination, that is, adapting the rhythm of the process to the needs, allowing the unexpected and opening up to the fun.

8. Generate spaces of trust, which involves time and sustained and peaceful relationships.

9. Review voluntary models through emotional mechanisms, friendship and economic sustainability by annulling (self) exploitation and promoting care and love. Take into account the material, political and relational individual and collective conditions.

10. Negotiate as an attitude, not as a strategy. Evaluate the dissent and use consensus as a direction and not a purpose.

 

RECIPE 2# – DESIGN OF KNOWLEDGE SPACES

Our appearance is full of desires and images preconceived by our own experiences and expectations about the spaces. The image created from a text allows us to construct a space, in the broad sense of the term, that exercises both within and out simultaneously in its relational and functional corpus. Sedimentary space that is formed from experiences subjected to the action of atmospheric agents and the activity of external organisms that alter it. A nomadic space that moves, divides, drags and leaves traces of what it is. A space for the projection of desires and memory.

We see that it is necessary to create a space for the continuous negotiation between agents, ingredients and the exchange of recipes and the elaboration processes, where the same exchange practice ceases to be dual to become multiplied and disseminated. There is need to create parallel, however, a constellation of ephemeral spaces that occupy the city and transform it through the content, and its form?

1. It is important to maintain a space that is the reference and starting point from which a network of temporary spaces is articulated and negotiated.

2. This space must be open and versatile in terms of its physical form, which is capable of including a multitude of processes and practices. The multiple needs, individual and collective, are mutable and, therefore, must be adapted to this mutability.

3. A space that despite allowing flexibility, allows sediments of ideas and experiences, which simultaneously transform the same space for future events.

4. Look for comfort, meeting the habitability needs of its users. Thus, those needs that cannot be replaced by the same space must be found in other spaces provided by the city, formalizing the creation of temporary spaces, and satellites of the project.

5. The need for intimate and individual resting spaces to free themselves from constant collaboration and thus, develop better and from common spaces, manage the friction and disagreement.

6. Thus, we have a space that allows the creation of autonomies that, in turn, will generate different relationships. A quiet, resilient space for dialogue and thought.

7. Find the sustainability of spaces based on collaborative economies and the relationship with the community that surrounds it and conform to it.

8. A space that incorporates different codes and languages, analogical or digital, academic or based on the experience and the individual experiencing it.

9. Regulate for a transparent, physical and relational, ethical basis, to let flow and disseminate production while negotiating its extension among the agents involved.

10. Finally, a space of confidence that allows the criticism and questioning of the power structures that take place there.

 

RECIPE 3# – CRACKS, BRIDGES, PATHS AND AREAS OF CONTACT

Strategies, attitudes, intentions and positions generate elements that build fissures, bridges, paths and contact spaces, capable of maintaining a horizontal resilient and mutable organization with respect to the collective and individual needs of the agents that make it up. Thus, an organizational approach according to genuine needs and constant negotiation means the tension and conflict that enriches the space and endows it with its potential.

In short, it is through complicity and effects that it is possible to transform and reclaim the institution or to facilitate the creation of fissures that transform it by placing a wedge that leaves open a space of relationship or connection between the inside and the outside.

1. The institutions are like the street, they have to complain. The struggle for institutions is a struggle for all.

2. In order to transform the institution internally, the fissures created must allow working with the complicity of the people inside. Complicities that promote a planned and affective transition. A transition in and out, which is about formal and informal.

3. Therefore, work on a social idea of ​​the structure and function of the institution based on the individual and collective complicities of the agents that are part of it.

4. Work not from dichotomies and opposition, but from the definition of this hinging space as a facilitator of mediation. A space which, at the same time, must be curious and closed so that it is germinated, as well as permeable and flexible to be able to adapt.

5. The commitment of the community created around this space is necessary. It is necessary to define what direction we give to learning communities made up of agents that simultaneously embody diverse roles (students, teachers, administration, local community, etc.).

6. Porosity must exist not only in the space and in the possibilities of the same (input-output) but also the porosity in the roles and functions of the agents.

7. Listening and communication are basic actions to generate these cracks, redefine the institution and find answers. Stories linked to the values ​​and attitudes that, as pillars, allow us to find and define new paths.

8. A facilitating engine group is required to continuously manage the relationship between the people that make up this learning community.

9. Integrate individual needs. Thus, one of the functions of the facilitating group of this learning community is the detection of individual and collective needs (crises, conflicts, tensions, etc. to be faced and channeled), and to review them from organic shape.

 

RECIPE 4# – RECOGNITION AND VALUE OF KNOWLEDGE

In a (hypothetical) hinging institution of higher education, what premises should be considered to give value and recognition to the knowledge and skills acquired?

We share experiences as teachers and as students, as apprentices and as instructors, as researchers and as artists. We do this by thinking of other ways of developing an affective relationship, which is key to the approach of these recipes. We ask ourselves now what aspects we must take into account in relation to the creation of a recognition system that allows to develop the activity from the improvement and the constant innovation by itself, but that means isolation with respect to the rest of the system spaces or institutions, of the nature that are:

1. The nomadic spaces, developed in previous recipes, change the usual dynamics of a class and enrich the teaching experience, also in addition to having an implication in considering respect for how the knowledge is assimilated, with what time and from what displacements it does. How to prepare a dish depends on each one, their tastes, tasting skills and their vital time. So, from the etymological root of savoring, wisdom is a dish that is cooked slowly and without a single end.

2. In the artistic context, residences are often shared spaces of travel, a journey through research and the creative process, which, again, starts with times related to the collective or individual protagonist. The balance between the temporary and special limits of the external agents and the interiors is the bread that always accompanies the meal.

3. Thus, it is considered that the criterion on the achievement or not of the knowledge must be individual, and therefore, the definition of the evaluation system will depend on each one. Assume that in this way, part of the responsibility, along with the rest of the agents that make up the project, in a horizontal manner, agree on a system of values ​​or recognitions regarding the content and the objectives of the educational stage.

4. Should we give up the hegemonic systems? Or should we find a way to parasitize institutions to avoid isolation of the proposed model? This is a constant problem in non-institutional or self-managed models, which make it difficult for an affective and effective exchange system regarding the network of spaces, whether institutional or not. Therefore, it is proposed to look for bureaucratic and social cracks that allow the interaction between recognition systems and certifications.

5. Appreciating knowledge does not mean hierarchizing or ordering them vertically, but understanding their role in the areas in which they are enrolled, whether they are academics or every day.

6. However, the formalization of individual and collective learning processes is important for socializing the result, while being methodologically interesting to conclude and investigate their applications.

7. Finally, the limitations regarding this methodology mean a starting point from which to disassemble the structure they support and find other forms of learning development such as changing the roles, rethinking the concept of expert, and rethinking the vocational training.

 

RECIPE 5# – INTERFACE OF AN EXCHANGE NETWORK

The idea of ​​interface is understood as a limiting surface shared by two systems; as an internal contact surface between two different materials or between each of the phases of a heterogeneous system, such as between the solid, liquid and gaseous phases of a system; or as a functional unit that allows the communication of systems with different functions or characteristics. These definitions allow us to open the debate on how to design a medium and a relational body, an intermediate space from which to communicate, publicize and link to a larger network of complicating agents of a proposal like this.

We want to lend importance to communication as a producer of synergies and affective exchange between projects. That is why the following aspects are discussed to be taken into account by the institutional model:

1. The representation policies are important for the definition of the project, which requires a first layer of contact through the title and the introduction as concepts and creators of an integrative and non-reductionist reference.

2. A reflection on the codes of communication that are used is needed, avoiding academic technicalities that exclude a large part of the population, but also seeking new ways of communicating to be faithful to the philosophy of the project and facilitating the creation of new narratives. You have to be clear for whom you are going to design the most appropriate interface.

3. Rethink a mutable, dynamic interface, which is easily appropriate for its users, and therefore that it can be innovated and improved when it is considered appropriate.

4. The interface must contain descriptive headlines and meet the expectations created; there must be nodes of continuity and connection, integrating the expiration and mutability conditions of the language. The interface will therefore always be expired and forced to renew continuously as an organic entity.

5. The interface is a reversible mask, functionality of which is internal and external at the same time. Therefore, we must rethink the tension between what we show and allow to be seen, and what we hide.

6. Internal circulation, a liquid space, in relation to what is vital and pleasing, puts the idea of ​​an interface as an oxygen vehicle on the table, what keeps the project alive.

7. It should be taken into account that the reading of the interface depends on the context and the perception of the reader, and therefore the subjectivity and imaginary inherence in the users must always be taken into account.

8. Therefore, the interface must allow interaction and facilitate decision-making by the user. It must be a space that is always emptied so that new, innovative content and perspectives can enter it.

9. Finally, the design and functionality of a space-medium interface should facilitate the integration of all subjectivities and allow the creation of new ones.

 

RECIPE 6# – UNLEARNING AND LEARNING IN THE CITY

The kitchen is a reference space where different forms of thought and action coexist. But the kitchen is not an isolated space; rather, it needs to be provided with ingredients, tools and utensils, people and ideas. As it has been developed above, it is important to have a fixed reference space, but we must nourish it through collaborations with other external agents that supply the ingredients, but which at the same time are also consumers (not in a sense capitalist) of what is produced (not in relation to capital).

The city offers everything we need to develop our gastronomic offer. We understand the city not as the urbanized space, but as a territory of colors and textures and without borders. Its extension depends on the links of collaboration with the neighboring agents, located in a rural as well as urban landscape. The city is content, medium and the context of this learning and shared experience. The city can be a great university, an immense space of knowledge production:

1. Communicate and share their own initiatives with other agents in the territory looking for the complicities and synergies for ecology of economic, but also human and knowledge resources.

2. To allocate part of the activities or educational objectives in the production of links and not only in the accumulation of knowledge or internal experiences.

3. Self-management, or DIY is only possible through a network of collaborations deployed through the territory as well as other management and financing mechanisms.

4. The economic financing contains certain responsibilities with respect to the origin of the funds as well as of the contractual conditions that are established through the same founding principle based on cooperativism.

5. The organization of activities is a financing tool, and it must also be considered as a way of return in regards to the collaboration and / or use of this institution hinged by other agents external to it. For example, the transfer of tools and resources for an entity that produces ingredients must be able to enjoy the culinary menu prepared with them.

6. All the knowledge that the city produces is important and must be considered under the same critical principles. That is, to recover a critical vision of science and knowledge.

7. This hinged institution must be organized from a horizontal assembly model where all subjectivity has its place to express itself but not to impose on others.

8. The work in the peripheral spaces must be thought from the peripheral spaces. The reference space should not be centralizing with regards to other projects or satellite spaces, which must always retain their character and independence.

9. The differences must coexist within and outside of this proposal of institution. Space must be a space for negotiation and facilitate a constituent process with all antagonisms and complicities.

10. Honesty. All agents, participants, and members of the institutional model proposed here as well as external agents are charged with honesty in the forms and content with which they are negotiated.