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Title: A learning architecture : developing a collective design pedagogy in Mumbai with Muktangan School children and the Mariamma Nagar community
Author: Antaki, Nicola
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 6863
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis explores how architecture can be considered a 'third teacher', Italian educator Loris Malaguzzi's theory that inspired the Reggio Emilia School. How is architecture - as activity and setting - pedagogical, and how is pedagogy political? More specifically, it investigates how children can be involved in (re)designing their environment as a wide-reaching learning activity that encourages multiple intelligences, in a bid to democratise the city and develop practices of responsible citizenship. Situated in Mumbai in collaboration with the education NGO Muktangan, my research process uses a series of pedagogic experiments to examine the sociopolitical contexts of a simultaneously global and local city and its potential to house active citizenship practices by children. I use critical pedagogy and co-design to include children in activating what Henri Lefebvre has called their right to the city. Combining Paulo Freire's critical pedagogical praxis and constructivist theory of education, I propose the development of a collective design practice that fuses learning with the city. Children can become active citizens through design and work with local craft as a political design tool. The Muktangan School aims to enhance the Indian state curriculum with a constructivist-oriented pedagogy, catering for disadvantaged communities. Four yearly series of workshops ran from 2012 to 2017 with the same class of schoolchildren during an incremental, experiential and reflective project to observe, assess and then transform learning environments. Using activities borrowed from architectural practice, the children became involved in the transformation of their school and neighbourhood by designing interventions that act generatively and interrogatively. Challenging the current disconnect between practice and research in the areas of pedagogy and architecture, this research demonstrates the value of collective design through local craft for the making of a more democratic learning city, aiming to influence communities, architects, educators and policymakers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available