Sheffield workshop: Learning inclusion in action

On Wednesday 29th November a group of academics and practitioners from around Europe will be descending upon chilly Sheffield to spend a week together thinking about how to teach inclusive design.

In the wake of the recent migration flows into Europe, many cities are often portrayed as just about coping with the reception of refugees and migrants. One of the reasons being that refugees haven't been included in the plans of policy makers and urban planners. This project acknowledges that there needs to be time and space to plan ways to design in inclusion so that refugees and migrants can feel like they belong where they settle communities can thrive. Urban practitioners have a central role to play in shaping the way that we design cities of the future to be more in tune to the needs of refugees and migrants. So within universities teaching architecture, urban design and planning, how might we influence future urban practitioners so that they can be better equipped and supported when dealing with the reception of refugees and migrants?

A central component of the DESINC project is to review the present conditions of urban design & planning education in regards to the reception of migrants and refugees; and to co-design and test ways to make the reception and inclusion of migrants and refugees integral to teaching. As part of this work, Sheffield University is hosting a 5-day intensive programme in Sheffield that will bring together researchers and practitioners from all the DESINC partner institutions - Housing Europe, KU-Leuven, Politecnico di Milano, University of Sheffield, ASF International.

Workshop sessions will be complemented by seminars aimed at exchanging aspects of the research carried out so far – in relation to both the reception of migrants and refugees in selected EU cities, and current learning & teaching practices in the areas of design and hospitality. The sessions will be led by an interdisciplinary group of academics and practitioners from the partner institutions and by students working on related research projects. These activities will be supported by eight Sheffield-based non-profits working on migration issues such as Sheffield City of Sanctuary, The Israac Somali Community Association and ASSIST, and also talks by experts in the field.

Here is the outline of the 5 days:

  • On the first day we will be Setting the Scene - establishing a shared vocabulary and set of concepts to address issues of migration and asylum in local urban areas.

  • On day two we will be focusing on Experiences of urban exclusion/inclusion - examining a number of approaches to the reception of refugees and international migrants in local urban areas, in order to apply lessons from these to their own practice and teaching/training.

  • On day three we will turn our attention to Learning urban inclusion in action - sharing and analysing experiences in the field of engaged learning, action-learning and knowledge co-production, in order to create meaningful learning programmes and environments addressing questions of migration and asylum in the teaching of architecture, urban design, and urban planning.

  • On day four and five we will start to explore ways of Designing a pedagogy for urban inclusion - developing pedagogical principles and approaches, by engaging in discussion in an interdisciplinary environment, and in the systematic evaluation of current curriculum design and teaching/training practices. We will also be exploring the potential social value and impact of the project going forward.

The workshop will take place from Wednesday 29th November to Sunday 3rd December 2017 and we'll be posting updates every day.