"Urgent Pedagogies: Alternative Spaces for Learning"

Magnus Ericson, Merve Gül Özokcu, Elof Hellström

Salt Galata

March 16, 2024 15.00 – 17.00

Foto8 Contrafilé Group, <i>Device Space, Playgrounds 2016</i> sergisinden görünüm, São Paulo Museum of Art, 2016
Fotoğraf: Julio Cardoso/Collection Contrafilé Group
Contrafilé Group, Device Space, installation view from the exhibition Playgrounds 2016, São Paulo Museum of Art, 2016
Photo: Julio Cardoso/Collection Contrafilé Group
Workshop II-III

Salt is organizing a talk, following a program of workshops, in collaboration with IASPIS and with support from the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul. The program will focus on alternative spaces for learning and knowledge production in relation to how socially engaged spatial practice may act in relation and response to the urgencies of social justice and equality, contested territories, and conditions of conflict.

Initiated by IASPIS as part of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial in 2018, Urgent Pedagogies has developed as a series of public events, an online archive, and a publishing platform focusing on the practices and environments of alternative pedagogies. Curator and co-founder of the project Magnus Ericson will present Urgent Pedagogies as a space for inquiry that aims to serve as a common resource, bringing together practitioners and researchers from a plurality of contexts, experiences, and backgrounds to be in dialogue and think together.

Architect, researcher, and activist Merve Gül Özokcu will introduce the research collective Arazi Assembly and their practice at different spatial scales, focusing on the southeast region of Turkey. Aiming to understand and develop uncommon methodologies of architecture, urbanism, and territorial research, Arazi foregrounds collective research as a form of knowledge production on decolonization, care, and solidarity.

Artist and researcher Elof Hellström will introduce the People’s House movement and other historical urban commons from the 20th century. These examples will be discussed as infrastructures for cultural production and democratization of urban and rural fabrics, but also as sites for popular education and collective knowledge production. During his presentation, he will inquire, “What could we learn from these spatial, social, and pedagogical attempts today?”

Organized in parallel to the exhibition Architectural Education in Turkey: Thresholds of Institutionalization from the 18th Century to the Present, this talk will be held in English and is open to everyone.

Architectural Education in Turkey: Thresholds of Institutionalization from the 18th Century to the Present is realized with the support of Jotun and Kalebodur and with the contributions of Eureko Sigorta.

Magnus Ericson is a curator and educator working across design, architecture, urbanism, and art. He is currently leading IASPIS’ program related to design, crafts, architecture, and urban practice. He has developed and led a number of postgraduate courses on socially engaged critical practice at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. Between 2009-2014, he was a Senior Advisor/Curator for the design related program at Arkdes, Sweden’s National Center for Architecture and Design, in Stockholm. Ericson has been curating the IASPIS project Urgent Pedagogies together with Pelin Tan.

Merve Gül Özokcu is an architect, researcher, and activist. Her research focuses on commons, creative actions, narratives of everyday life, and indigenous eco-feminist practices. She is a PhD candidate in Architectural Design at the Istanbul Technical University and a member of Herkes İçin Mimarlık Derneği (Architecture for All Association), which aims to resolve social problems through architecture and develop alternative ways of practicing the discipline. She was a grantee of IASPIS and the Istanbul Design Biennial’s “Designing Resilience” program.

Elof Hellström is the artistic director at Hägerstensåsens medborgarhus and senior lecturer at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, where he runs the research-based course “Tusen Kulturhus.” Between 2007-2022, he took part in building up the cultural house Cyklopen in Stockholm. In his artistic practice, writings, and research, he explores urban transformation, spatial justice, and the relationship between cultural production and space, often through collaborative and collective practice. He is the co-founder and member of the artistic research collectives Mapping the Unjust City and SIFAV, and the editor of the independent newspaper Stockholmstidningen.

Urgent Pedagogies is an IASPIS project and platform for inquiry, sharing knowledge and experience through public events and an emerging online archive. The project is developed and pursued by Magnus Ericson, Head of the IASPIS Applied Arts Programme and Pelin Tan, sociologist, curator, and professor at the Batman University Faculty of Fine Arts in Turkey.

IASPIS is the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s international program for visual and applied arts. It is aimed at artists working in the fields of visual arts, photography, design, crafts, illustration, textile art, and architecture.