[spk] Vol 3, No 1 (2018)

Home > Archives > Vol 3, No 1 (2018)

[spk] Vol 3, No 1 (2018)

Agents, Agency, Agencies in Assembling Liminal Learning Spaces

Agents, Agency, Agencies in Assembling Liminal Learning Spaces

This Research Project will investigate the types of learning landscapes we have at LCC and UAL in order to propose a remodelling of the way we teach our students now and in the new LCC building in Elephant and Castle. It recognises that the more involved all participants in the hosting, delivery and acquisition of teaching and learning become in this research, the more likely we are to have a building that delivers world class teaching and learning. As Dr Cathy Hall states in the literature review of, The impact of new learning spaces on teaching practice (2013) ‘To “create a world-class learning environment for students by offering opportunities for collaboration, team work, a sense of belonging, a creative culture and opportunities to excel…” (6)

The research would look at how we can create, spaces, physical, virtual and representational that fully allows for learning gain and aims to answer the question that Hall (2013 sets that, “no one knows how to prevent ‘learning-loss’ when you design a room ‘pedagogically’, whereas we know lots about designing for minimum ‘heat loss’ ” (6)

This project will interrogate a number of key questions such as ‘What do we want our learners to become? (15). The Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LCS) has given a number of answers to this question based on their research one of them is that our leaners becoming ‘Agents of their own learning’. (15). This would then lead to the question. ‘What experiences make that becoming happen? (8) One answer could be that we create access to “laboratory” ‘hack’ ‘maker’ ‘prototype’ spaces to experiment with innovative pedagogies or more temporary mobile spaces, which fill an urgent pedagogical need.

The idea of liminal learning spaces (landscapes) would be an over arching concept that drives this research. What might be called ‘uncontrolled’ informal spaces’ that rub shoulders and be contiguous with all other teaching and learning spaces and places will strive to ask can we go beyond the metaphors of ‘Blended Learning’, Braided Learning’ (16) or even ‘Woven Learning’ to a model of learning spaces that are agencies of for our agents of change so they enhance, articulate and understand their own agency?

Theoretical Framework  

1. De-territorialisation: ‘The pursuit of a line of flight into smooth spaces beyond that of the formal learning space is described as a process of deterritorialisation as boundaries are broken down and fluid movement and cultural heterogeneity emerges. This can present issues, as Savin-Baden (2007) states, ‘The contrast between smooth and striated learning spaces introduces questions about the role and identity of universities and academics in terms of what counts as a legitimate learning space and who makes such decisions of legitimacy.’ (p.14)’ (17)

2. Smooth learning spaces: ‘Smooth learning spaces are open, flexible and contested, spaces in which both learning and learners are always on the move. Students here would be encouraged to contest knowledge and ideas proffered by lecturers and in doing so create their own stance toward knowledge(s).’ (10)

3. Troublesome Knowledge: ‘This is knowledge that appears, for example, counter-intuitive, alien (emanating from another culture or discourse) or incoherent (discrete aspects are unproblematic but there is no organizing principle). Disjunction, then, is not only a form of troublesome knowledge but also a ‘space’ or ‘position’ reached through the realization that the knowledge is troublesome.’ (10)

4. Critiquing Threshold Concepts: “Advocates of ‘threshold concepts’ refer to ‘liminal spaces’ as places that students occupy as they move from a confused cognitive state of mind on the way to grasping what ‘threshold concepts’ mean, but say nothing about the physical spaces where learning occurs.” (7) “We now understand that learning spaces are not just classrooms: any space where a student can access a computer; talk with another student; read a book or join peers around a table at a café, is a potential learning space … the whole university is a potential learning space” (Jamieson et al., (2009, p.1). (7)

5. Deconstruction: Research and Teaching ‘The most compelling innovations are spaces that attempt to re-engineer the relationship between teaching and research. Spaces have been created to link teaching with research activity between undergraduates and postgraduates, and to facilitate collaboration between students and academics. (7)

6, I would want this project to use some if not all of the principles set out in the Learning Landscapes in Higher Education (2010) (7) paper. These being:

1. Drive research into effective teaching and learning.

2. Provide support models for staff and students on how to use innovative spaces, with provision for mentoring.

3. Include students, as clients and collaborators, ensuring their voices are heard.

4. Evaluate spaces in ways that are academically credible, based on measures of success that reflect the kinds of activities that are taking place.

5. Understand the importance of time as an issue for space planning: not just space, but space-time.

6. Connect the learning and teaching space with the campus as a whole, in ways that articulate the vision and mission of the university.

7. Recognise and reward leadership that supports the development of learning and teaching spaces.

8. Create formal and informal management structures that support strategic experimentation.

9. Clarify roles, grounded in supportive relationships between and across professional groups.

10. Intellectualise the issues: generate debate on the nature of academic values and the role and purpose of higher education: the idea of the university.


As the project’s aims is to look at multi versatile spaces I would want to use ‘…multi-factor, multi-method analyses…’ (6). I would use:

1. ‘Concept Mapping’ as a data collection method, ‘…[as it] is especially valuable when researchers want to involve relevant stakeholder groups in the act of creating the research project.’ (14)

2.  ‘Structuration Theory’ is a social theory of the creation and reproduction of social systems that is based in the analysis of both structure and agents (see structure and agency), without giving primacy to either. Further, in structuration theory, neither micro- nor macro-focused analysis alone are sufficient.

3. ‘Contextual Design’ as a process that consists of the following top-level steps: contextual inquiry, interpretation, data consolidation, visioning, storyboarding, user environment design, and prototyping.’

4. Bricolage and Assemblage Methods: The idea of research as an assemblage derives from the DeleuzoGuattarian view of assemblages as ‘machines’ that link elements together affectively to do something, to produce something. Applying the conception of a ‘machinic assemblage’ different stages in the research process such as data collection or analysis, or techniques used, for example, to sample data or increase validity, can be treated as a machine that works because of its affects.

Project’s Alignment to College Priorities & Intended Impact:

It would address, ‘Improving student transition, understandings of independent learning &

Retention and the ‘Innovation of use of physical and digital learning spaces with an

emphasis on flexibility and change’.

If we want to be for, ‘..for the curious, the brave and the committed: those who want to transform themselves and the world around them,…’ we need physical spaces, conceptual space, virtual space and representational places that foster these aims. We have a chance to do this as we transform and transpose from one place, LCC on the north side of Elephant and Castle to the south side of where we are now. We have great opportunity to use our existing infrastructures to model new ones for our new building in 2022. This project I hope you be a small part of helping this transformation. I would want it to be a collaboration between all our stakeholders, from Deans to students from Estates to Teaching and Learning academics, subject specialists to workshop technicians, Associate Lecturers to Quality managers and everything and every body in-between. Without all voices being heard and given the chance to help build these new experiences we could be left with retrofitting spaces reactively rather than being proactively creating productive innovative teaching and learning spaces.

Using UALs Strategic 2015-2022 this project would place curiosity, making, critical questioning and rigour at the heart of our curriculum and create the spaces for this to happen. This project would engage,’… our students in developing flexible modes of teaching delivery, taking into account the particular characteristics of a London-based education and advances in digital technologies. At the core of this project would be to place diversity and inclusivity at the core of our recruitment and education for staff and students, and the access to inclusive spaces and place where they help at home with us.

Project Dissemination:

This would be through an ‘unconference’ so  “the sum of the expertise of the people in the audience is greater than the sum of the expertise of the people on stage.” As Nick Terry  (23) says ‘The concept is fairly simple. At an unconference, no topics have been predetermined, no keynote speakers have been invited, no panels or working groups have been arranged. Instead, the event lives and dies by the participation of its attendees. They decide what topics will be discussed and they convene the individual breakout sessions. In other words, an unconference has no agenda until the participants create it.’ This would then lead to an ‘unwebsite’ with perhaps all the key aspects of the ‘unconference’ kept intact.


1. Designing Spaces for Effective Learning: A guide to 21st century learning space design (2006) JISC  http://bit.ly/2lyiQCs

2. THE HILT ROOMGUND 522 (2013)


3. Innovative learning spaces (2011)


4. Innovation Spaces: The New Design of Work (2017)


5. Classrooms of the future (2002)


6. The impact of new learning spaces on teaching practice (2013)


7. Learning Landscapes in Higher Education (2010)


8. A Guide Planning for Assessing 21st Century Spaces for 21st Century Learners


9. Design for Learning Spaces and Innovative Classrooms (2013)


10. Forms of Learning Spaces


11. State Of The Estate


12. Learning in Liminal Spaces


13. The Liminal Space Consultancy


14. Using Concept Maps to Gather Data


15. Learning Spaces Collaboratory


16. Braided Learning – a theoretical background


17. Learning Spaces – Exploring Complexity Beyond The Seminar Room


18. Tinkering with the Idea of Bricolage


19. The Critical Potential of Experience in Experience-Centered Design


20. Contextual Design


21. Landscapes of Practice: Bricolage as a Method for Situated Design


22. Mixed methods, materialism and the micropolitics of the research-assemblage


23. What on earth is an ‘unconference’?




Mark Ingham a travaillé sur le concept du rhizome et ce dessin illustre bien le concept d’identité-rhizome.

Boy pool rhizome © Mark Ingham (https://markingham.org)


 “Alors que l’identité “racine” est héritée des ancêtres, localisable dans un lieu géographique et une histoire familiale, l’identité “rhizome” reste à se construire au présent. Elle n’admet ni un seul lieu d’origine, ni une histoire familiale précise, elle naît des relations qu’elle crée.”

(Traité du Tout-Monde)

***Fluid Memory Conference

Date:    Mon, 22 Jan 2018 22:46:58 +0100

From:    Irina Shapiro <irinad.shapiro@GMAIL.COM>

Subject: Fluid Memory: Open Set LAB Closing Conference

***Fluid Memory Conference: A Day of Lectures, Performances and Panel Discussions***

DATE: January 27, 2018

LOCATION: Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Media Parkboulevard 1, 1217 WE Hilversum, The Netherlands

REGISTRATION: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fluid-memory-open-set-lab-closing-conference-tickets-42190783770

CONTACT: hello@openset.nl

Dear all,

Open Set, in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and AKV | St.Joost Master Institute, invites you to the symposium ‘Fluid Memory’. It is the public closing event of the multidisciplinary research program ‘Open Set Lab: Memories of the Future’.

While presenting the development of the Open Set Lab program we aim to inspire new debates and artistic research around archival matters. We invite you to engage in a conversation about the subjects and questions that have been at stake during the program: What are the conditions for rethinking our contemporary relations to the historical material, or reshaping public debates around it? What is the role of artists in this process and if / how it can be done through artistic means? Is there an artistic practice of remembering that can determine our relation to the present and future? At the same time, we will highlight the potentials for collectively building and re-shaping archives – and (collective or individual) memory – from the bottom up. In particular we will focus on the use of digital tools to activate archival processes and records, and, how archiving or appropriating archives in general can be used as tools in social movements, as ways to collectively (re)shape public debates.

Our special guests to address these questions include:

– Ernst van Alphen | professor of Literary Studies, Department of Film and Literary Studies, Leiden University;

– Tina Bastajian | media artist, archival/cross-media dramaturge, educator;

– Carolyn Birdsall | assistant professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam;

– Annet Dekker | assistant professor Archival Science, University of Amsterdam, and curator;

– Matteo Marangoni | artist and curator at the Instrument Inventors Initiative;

Alongside the presentation of the selected research projects and themes developed during Open Set Lab, this symposium will also see the launch of the new edition of the Open Set Reader. The Reader has been developed by the students of the Master in Design Curating & Writing at the Design Academy Eindhoven.

Entrance and participation is free, due to the limited amount of seating, we ask you to register.





During the period September 2017 – January 2018, a group of designers and artists from the Open Set Lab conducted research while exploring the archive of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. From their positions as visual makers and thinkers, the participants of the program examined how they relate to the archive as an institution, algorithmic environment and to the archival material itself. They encountered the archive from their own historical and social standpoints, from their disciplines, cultural backgrounds and subjective perspectives. They reconsidered the material and the structure of the archive in order to challenge it. They chased the ghosts and myths, conventions and icons, forgotten heroes and invisible voices in the archive, in order to show the structures and the power of the narratives living inside it.


PhD-Design mailing list  <PHD-DESIGN@jiscmail.ac.uk>

Discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design

Subscribe or Unsubscribe at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/phd-design



Becoming Rhizomatic

Hello, I work for the Bibliothèque publique d’information (public library), in the Pompidou Center, Paris. This library has an online magazine, Balises.

We plan to write an article on Edouard Glissant, the philosopher. It would be a mosaic of images. With each click on an image one would reach a definition of a concept of E. Glissant. We had thought of using an image of your site to illustrate the rhizome’s concept : https://markingham.org/stories/becoming-rhizomatic/br-pdf_page_03/#main

Would you agree to us using this image, along with the mentions that you would indicate to us and a link to your site?

Feel free to contact me for more information.

Best regards

Fabienne Charraire

Webéditeur- Service Webmagazine

Bpi – Département Lire le monde

01 44 78 43 89


Ce message électronique et les éventuels fichiers attachés sont transmis à l’intention exclusive de leurs destinataires et sont strictement confidentiels.

Si vous recevez ce message par erreur, veuillez le retourner, le supprimer et aviser immédiatement l’expéditeur. Toute utilisation de ce message non conforme à sa destination et toute divulgation non expressément autorisée sont prohibées (art 226-15 du code pénal).

Quels que soient ses termes, ce message ne saurait constituer un engagement contractuel ou une offre d’achat de la Bpi, son intégrité et la qualité de son émetteur ne pouvant être garanties.


This paper reflects upon intellectual possibilities of Raymond Williams’ classic study The Country and the City (1975) within current urban and regional research. First, the paper canvasses the relevance of the book by constructing a frame of reference based on its citations in urban and regional studies. The principal findings of this approach discern frequent use of the main points developed by Williams in recent discourse. Thereafter the paper raises two issues that have been somewhat neglected in the present adoption of The Country and the City. First, the possibilities of the concept of structure of feeling still seem underdeveloped in urban and regional research today. The idea of generation-specific structures aims at the heart of the habit of urban theory-making. Second, drawing on the work on hierarchies of French anthropologist Louis Dumont the binary relationship between country/city shown in the book could be used as a fruitful methodological starting point for thinking about representation in more recent studies of spatial relationships.




I will be commenting the famous incipit to Deleuze and Guattari’s ANTI-OEDIPUS. Here is my literal translation of the first paragraph:

It functions everywhere, at times without break, at times discontinuously. It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits, it fucks. What a mistake to have ever said the it. Everywhere it is machines, not at all metaphorically : machines of machines, with their couplings, their connections. An organ-machine is connected to a source-machine : the one produces a flow that the other cuts. The breast is a machine that produces milk, and the mouth a machine coupled to it. The anorexic’s mouth wavers between an eating-machine , an anal machine, a talking machine, a breathing machine (asthma attack). Hence we are all handymen: each with his little machines. An organ-machine, for an energy-machine: all the  time, flows and cuts. Judge Schreber has divine rays in his ass. Solar…

View original post 1,106 more words