Engaged Education: a review

Making Futures “Engaged Education Mobile Workshop” in Istanbul began by reading out loud with the “Parasitic Reading Room” – a collaboration between dpr-barcelona and the Open Raumlabor University (ORU) – The nomadic spontaneous and parasitic set of public readings happened in various locations throughout the city, the most memorable one reading on air while pushing radioee’s mobile radio up and down Beyoğlu’s hills.It continued with Iaspis symposium “Urgent Pedagogies” where Sepake Angiama, Markus Bader, Magnus Ericson, Joseph Grima, Sandi Hilal, Onkar Kular, Peter Lang, Tor Lindstrand, Pelin Tan, Merve Gül Özokcu and Mark Wigley exchanged on learning and unlearning in spaces of exception. Both events were part of the official programme of the Istanbul Design Biennial.

Beyond the framework of the biennale, we had the privilege to visit the gardens along the Byzantine Landwall and be warmly invited by a family of gardeners. Guided by Gözde Sarlak we’ve engaged in a conversation whether this historical productive gardens and with it the gardener’s everyday practice could be given the protection that the historic walls receive as a unesco world heritage site since they are at a constant threat of being evicted.

Turning ourselves into hosts at the Centre for Spatial Justice, we gathered around the table with invited guests to expand and review which educational formats are needed to stimulate future imaginaries for spatial practitioners. We also walked together with Yasar adanali the area surrounding Taksim Square, Gezi Park and Istiklal Street learning about the invisible stories behind the facades of Istanbul’s centre.

To conclude, during our treasured “classtime” we reflected on the experience, distilling thoughts, connecting strands and continously building on the intense 4-day-long conversation.