Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Stadtkolloquium Workshop

The PhD workshop took place over two days at UCL and was a platform for PhD students to discus their research with other students. The sixteen participants are all doing research related to urban questions. Nevertheless this proofed to be a very divers criteria. It was a mix of geographers, anthropologists, artists, architects and more. Quite a few people didn’t fit only one category so the group was very dynamic.
The workshop was organised by two PhD students from UCL, Sandra Jasper from the Geography department and Luis Moreno from the Urban Laboratory. The concept was for each participant to present condense and short her or his work, followed by a longer plenum discussion and questions. This worked very well, as the organisers managed to structure the program in blocks of two with a similar topic. This would provide a good structure through out. My contribution can be found HERE.
It was for me, with an architectural background, really refreshing to discuss for once amongst other architects. Some completely different topics came up for discussion in this divers setting and this was the real benefit.
Looking thought the notes and the program again the five main topics were Urban Interventions, Urban Complexity, Urban Politics, Writing Spaces and Ethnographic fields.
The most striking discussion, that followed as lead unintentionally through al the topics really was the identity of the profession. What do we do and how does it relate to other filed and the urging questions how can we work together, exchange and develop. What better setting than to discuss it with people in a similar situation with divers backgrounds and interests, but common ground?
I happened to watch Prince-Rasmus’ TED talk the night before the workshop and this probably already set my mind for this debate. He was talking about Architectural Agency.

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