W2 Day 3 - Learning and teaching for design inclusion

Day three of the DESINC workshop in Brussels saw the team back in the World Transformation Centre on the 23rd floor. This time we focused primarily on learning and teaching for inclusion. We started with a detailed update on the learning and teaching review of all activities concerning inclusion taking place in 53 European Architecture and Design schools, by Celia Macedo from the University of Sheffield team. Celia explained the research process, results, limitations and draft layout, and out of the activities recorded, she discussed three in detail to showcase the range of activities currently taking place across European schools:

  • SUMMER SCHOOL / DesignBuild Summer Studio - Community spaces with refugees - Technische Universitat Berlin, Summer University, Germany

  • DESIGN STUDIO / MArch Design Studio: Arrival City - University of Sheffield, School of Architecture, United Kingdom

  • CURRICULAR UNIT / Module 3 : Housing for migrants, refugees, and people displaced by disasters (in MAS ETH in Housing)’ - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Department of Architecture, Switzerland

Celia concluded by suggesting the results indicated an overall awareness of current migration issues within the schools analysed, but the majority of activities are set up to be optional rather than a core component of the curriculum. Feedback from the wider group was positive, and suggestions were made of additions to the final list.

After a quick tea break, a series of guest speakers were invited to present to the group their approach to learning and teaching. First up we heard from Marco Ranzato from Metrolab Brussels, a trans-disciplinary and inter-university laboratory for applied and critical urban research, funded by the Brussels Capital Region through its ERDF program. He discussed his collaboration with Medecins de Monde in designing a health centre in one of the most deprived areas in Brussels, Molenbeek. A workshop run by Metrolab, where architecture students were invited from across the world, developed a series of proposals which looked at how a spatial filter can be created between the health centre and the neighbourhood in the form of community facility. Afterwards, Jonas De Maeyer, a KU Leuven alumni presented how his newly formed collective Heim is working to develop creative solutions for the severe shortage of housing in Brussels which has only be exacerbated by the huge number of refugees who have settled here recently. Finally, KU Leuven team presented their design studio module which used Brussels North Station area as a site. Three student groups showed their final designs each looking at creating a space of welcome and orientation in their own ways. In addition, they all explored how impromptu social interactions between different actors can be supported (from the homeless Asylum Seekers waiting for the application to be processed to the everyday commuters and residents of the neighbourhood). More info about students' work can be found in their publication COTÉ NORD - North Side Stories: Projections.

After lunch, the ‘Co-designing a Pedagogical Framework, part 2’ took place, led by the University of Sheffield and ASF-International. The team members from each institution worked together, to develop their own teaching activities in light of the research produced by the DESINC project, in particular the MOOC framework. All teams were asked the following questions:

- LEARNER’S PROFILE: When learner’s ‘walk into the room’ what prior experiences, skills and expectations do they have?

- LEARNING OBJECTIVES: When learners ‘walk out of the room’, what should be different?

- LEARNING ACTIVITIES: What are the key activities that help learners achieve the learning objectives? Please refer to our share methods and tools as much as possible.

These questions led to a productive discussion where partners critically analysed gaps in their teaching activities and began to develop ideas to address this.

Finally the group rounded the day off with a walk following a talk by Stephanie Marques Dos Santos, who is one of the main coordinators of the Platforme Citoynne D’Herbergement Des Refugies. Stephanie explained the history of the North quarter, and how the extreme incompetence of migration authorities in the area led to a worsening humanitarian crisis, in particular with regard to the transient refugee who seek to move on to the UK or Germany. The platform works to provide meals, healthcare, accommodation, activities, psychological support, education for all ages, at Park Maximilian, situated just in front of the Immigration Office.