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GENERATING PARTICIPATION: COLLECTIVE ACTIONS BETWEEN ARCHITECTURE AND PEDAGOGY

L. Ottolini1, M. Guerra2

1Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
2Università Milano-Bicocca (ITALY)
The reduction of social bonds and of the sense of community makes it urgent to rethink forms and practices which can generate occasions for meeting and dialogue between people, starting from the places where they live. Disciplines such as architecture, pedagogy and art are in this sense summoned to the role that they can play in this direction. This is the background against which may came into being, a cultural association of educational scientists, architects, artists and researchers that designs collective actions in public spaces, sharing poetic acts via temporary installations co-constructed with passers-by. The aim is to promote enquiry into, and in, places ordinarily experienced by their inhabitants, facilitating the activation of a new gaze on, and therefore new knowledge of the familiar.

The methodology adopted is based on the creation of short-lived temporary actions in public places, open to the city and easily accessible.
Each action rotates around a proposed topic, different each time but about the same place, its story, its character or which can involve the personal experience of those who live there, experience it or decide to pass through it.

The participants are asked to make a contribution, which is in general a concrete act with an interpretation which, together with all the others, contributes to create an evocative installation capable of generating the maximum interest and involvement of those taking part and the wonder of passers-by who can casually see it and become fascinated.

The purpose is to make people feel that they are taking part, with small personal action, to an event that can activate new points of view on reality; make them learn and get to know and love the city, its spaces, the objects that populate it; involve them in the creation of an installation which is made exclusively through a concrete experience of sharing.

The paper presents and discusses some of the collective actions that have been generated in recent years in Italy, analysing their implications for those who have taken part and their potential in a participatory and educational sense.