Exhibition

02 December 2016–05 February 2017

Learning Laboratories

  • Source: Glendon P. Nimnicht & Arthur R. Partridge, Designs for Small High Schools (Greeley, Col.: Educational Planning Service, Colorado State College, 1962), p. 74

A research exhibition and a symposium, Learning Laboratories: Architecture, Instructional Technology, and the Social Production of Pedagogical Space Around 1970 sets out to reconstruct educational imaginaries—the past’s conceptions of the future of education—in an archaeological excavation of learning spaces and knowledge environments of the 1960s and 1970s. In stark contrast to the present condition of crisis in education—one defined by containment and separation, extreme economization and commodification, neoliberal managerialism and an “outcome”- oriented fetishization of measurability—the architectural programs and educational research around 1970 gave rise to a number of experimental building principles and pedagogical ideals such as the “comprehensive school,” the “open plan school,” and “schools without walls.”

Through a number of selected case studies in the edu-architectural design and learning technologies of the period, Learning Laboratories explores the experimental embodiment of several spatio-pedagogical ideologies, opening out to developments in educational design, politics, and psychology. In different ways, the exhibition revisits the attempts in education to cope with the economic and demographic realities ushered in with the post-war generation. It offers diverse readings along the entangled layers of (geo)politics, urban planning, educational science, learning technology, and architecture, presenting a resource for the contemporary predicament and possibilities to learn otherwise.

The case studies include, among others: the Laboratory School and the Oberstufen-Kolleg, Bielefeld, both based on concept of the “de-schooled school” (research prepared by Gregor Harbusch); televisual education—otherwise known as “tele-learning”—developed in Ivory Coast with the aim of drawing rural populations into the educational system; the extraterritorial “pilot schools,” and the nomadic schools carried through the Liberated Zones by guerrilla fighters in the anti-colonial liberation wars in Guinea- Bissau, presented here by Filipa César and Sónia Vaz Borges. The exhibition also comprises works by: Hartmut Bitomsky and Harun Farocki; Darcy Lange; Wendelien van Oldenborgh; and Florian Zeyfang, Alexander Schmoeger, and Lisa Schmidt-Colinet. These works explore through photographic, video, and written materials various learning processes, technologies, and facilities from a range of contexts in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Cuba. An extensive research library containing journals, books, and planning manuals published between 1960 and 1980, including various printed reports of Educational Facilities Laboratories, Schulbauinstitut der Länder (Federal Institute for School Architecture), and Informatiecentrum voor Scholenbouw (Information Center for School Architecture), discloses the research material of the exhibition itself.

Learning Laboratories is conceptualized by Berlin-based curator and writer Tom Holert and has been made possible by financial support from the City Council of Utrecht and the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science of the Netherlands. The exhibition is designed by Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik, Berlin and realized in collaboration with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and the Harun Farocki Institut, Berlin.

02.12.2016, 17.00–19.00 hrs
Opening

04.02.2017
Symposium
The Real Estate of Education

Suggestions from the archive

Screening

Screening

Performative Conference

30 June–01 July 2018

Propositions #6: The Temporary Institute for the Contemporary

Propositions #6: The Temporary Institute for the Contemporary marks the culmination of a vibrant and inspiring 2017/2018 pilot year of the BAK Fellowship Program. Through conversations, readings, and performances, the BAK Fellows share insights into their respective artistic research itineraries, as well as their common “collective dictionary” project.

Performance

Guided Tour

Workshop

17 May 2018, 14.00-16.30

Al Maeishah

Workshop by Campus in Camps

As part of the weeklong program Moving Together: Activism, Art and Education – A Week with Angela Davis, 2017/2018 BAK Fellows Isshaq Al-Barbary and Diego Segatto (Campus in Camps) lead a workshop at BAK.

Performative conference

25 November 2017

Assemblism

Propositions #2

Propositions #2: Assemblism is a day-long gathering that addresses the current rise of the new authoritarian world order, and the millions of bodies that have gathered in resistance in liberated autonomous zones, occupied buildings, city squares, prisons, and cultural spaces to collectively enact a different demand for egalitarian society.

Talks and conversations

10 February 2018

Art as Commitment

Propositions #3

Propositions #3: Art as Commitment is the third convening platform in BAK’s long-term research series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020), prompted by the dramatic resurfacing and normalization of historical and contemporary fascisms in our present.

Performative Conference

Performative conference

17 March 2018

Unpacking Aesthetics and the Far Right

Propositions #4

This is the fourth performative conference within the series Propositions for Non-Fascist Living (2017–2020). With contributions by Larne Abse Gogarty, Kader Attia, Angela Dimitrakaki and iLiana Fokianaki, Morgan Quaintance, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Harry Weeks, and Giovanna Zapperi.