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18 – 20 May 2023
Urgent Pedagogies: Methodologies

IASPIS is welcoming you to a series of conversations sharing experience of methodologies in building environments for learning in relation to different urgencies, contexts and conditions.

On the occasion of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023, IASPIS presents three conversations related to issues of Care, post disaster and emergency conditions; Heritage, memory and decolonization; and Environment, extractive practices and climate justice.

With Dalida María Benfield and Christopher Bratton, Francisco Díaz, Emilio Distretti, Suha Hassan, Gabu Heindl, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, Laura Kurgan, Yelta Köm, Mona Mahall, Ute Meta Bauer, Paulo Moreira, Marina Otero Verzier, Paulo Tavares, Gediminas and Nomeda Urbonas, introduction and moderation by Pelin Tan and Magnus Ericson.

Urgent Pedagogies at Studio Giardini Friday May 19, 2023. Photo by IASPIS


Care: Thursday May 18, 5 – 6:30pm

A conversation on post disaster, emergency conditions, public health infrastructures and social injustice, with Laura Kurgan and Yelta Köm, response by Gabu Heindl and Mona Mahall, moderation Pelin Tan and Magnus Ericson


Heritage: Friday 19th May, 10 – 11.30 am

A conversation on heritage, memories and decolonization, with Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, Paulo Moreira, Dalida María Benfield and Christopher Bratton, response by Emilio Distretti, Francisco Díaz, Suha Hassan, moderation by Pelin Tan and Magnus Ericson.


Environment: Saturday 20th May, 10 – 11.30

A conversation on exploitation of natural systems environments, climate justice and data mourning, with Gediminas and Nomeda Urbonas, Paulo Tavares, Marina Otero Verzier, response by Ute Meta Bauer, moderation Pelin Tan and Magnus Ericson


Pre-registration only, limited availability
Please send an e-mail to:

Ute Meta Bauer

is an editor, professor, curator and, since 2013, the Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, a national research centre of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where she co-chairs the Master in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices. Her recent research projects focus on the link between cultural loss and the climate crisis, co-conceiving with Magda Magiera the series #Climate Futures in collaboration with Konnect Asean ( 2022 in Jakarta, and 2023 in Siem Reap). Ute Meta Bauer served as Dean of the School of Fine Art, Royal College of Art, London (2012/2013) and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, she was Director of the Visual Art Program (2005–2009) and Founding Director of ACT, MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (2009-2012). Most recently she curated the Singapore Pavilion at the 59thVenice Art Biennale featuring Shubigi Rao and was a curator of the 17th Istanbul Biennale alongside David Teh and Amar Kanwar.  Currently Bauer is the Artistic Director of the 2. Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale.

Dalida María Benfield & Christopher Bratton

are artists and researchers living between Helsinki and Boston. Since 2017, they are co-founders of the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research, a poly-centric laboratory for research and practice focused on emancipatory and decolonial pedagogies. With partners in Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, and the UK; and a group of Senior Researchers and Research Fellows, they have co-organized research convenings, exhibitions, workshops, and publications. Benfield works on decolonial aesthetics and has an MFA in moving image practices from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies with Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality, University of California-Berkeley. Bratton is an artist, filmmaker, and education activist.

Francisco Díaz

is an architect and holds a Master in Architecture, UC, Chile, a Master in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture, Columbia University, New York, USA and a PhD (c) from the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. He is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture of the UC, Chile. Editor in Chief of Ediciones ARQ and the ARQ magazine between 2014 and 2022, where he edited over a hundred books and 24 issues of ARQ magazine. His book Patologías contemporáneas: ensayos de arquitectura tras la crisis de 2008, won the 2021 Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism award. His latest book, titled Suelos (Soils), will be out in May 2023.

Emilio Distretti

is a researcher, writer and an educator, interested in the decolonial reuse and deactivation of colonial architecture. He is a research tutor at the School of Architecture, Royal College of Art in London and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Basel. Emilio engages with critical research methodologies and pedagogy, centred around the entanglements between repair, reparations and decolonisation in the Mediterranean basin and in the Horn of Africa.

Previously, he was the Director of the Urban Studies and Spatial Practices program at Al Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences, in Abu Dis in Palestine. Emilio has taught architecture at the Metropolitan University in London and politics at SOAS. He collaborates with DAAR – Decolonizing Architecture Art Research and RIWAQ-Centre for Architectural Conservation in Palestine.

Suha Hasan

is an architect and founder of ASH, an architecture practice based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has lectured and taught in universities in Bahrain, Egypt, Singapore, Sweden, Sudan, and UK. Before completing an architecture degree, she trained and worked as a journalist for Khartoum Monitor. Suha is the founder of Mawane, a platform for urban research based in Bahrain and a founding member of the MSc [Modern Sudan collective]. Both platforms enable researching and sharing the outcomes through public art exhibitions, talks, and workshops. She is the head of the AA Visiting School Khartoum, which explores the intersection of architecture history and the environment and the upcoming AA Visiting School Bahrain that follows the same agenda. Suha served as a consultant for UNDP Sudan.

Gabu Heindl

(PhD). Unit Master at AA, London; Professor for Architecture Cities Economies, University Kassel. Head of GABU Heindl Architecture | Urbanism, Vienna. Studied at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Geidai University, Tokyo and postgraduate at Princeton University. Gabu works as an architect and as an activist and author on the housing question and contemporary pressures upon public space – with constructions, publications and lectures in local and international, academic, and activist contexts. Co-Editor of Building Critique. Architecture and its Discontent (Leipzig, 2019), author of Stadtkonflikte. Radikale Demokratie in Architektur und Stadtplanung (Vienna, 2020, 3rd edition, 2022).

Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

are founders of the artistic practice of DAAR, which is situated between architecture, art, pedagogy and politics. Over the last two decades, they have developed a series of research- projects that are both theoretically ambitious and practically engaged in the struggle for justice and equality. In their artistic research practice, art exhibitions are both sites of display and sites of action that spill over into other contexts: built architectural structures, the shaping of critical learning environments, interventions that challenge dominant collective narratives, the production of new political imaginations, the formation of civic spaces and the re-definition of concepts. Sandi Hilal is visiting professor at Lund University, and Alessandro Petti is a professor of Architecture and Social Justice at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm.

Laura Kurgan

is Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, where she directs the Master’s in Science in Computational Design Practices, (MS_CDP) the Center for Spatial Research, (CSR) and coordinates the Visual Studies curriculum. Her work explores the ethics and politics of digital mapping and its technologies; the art, science and visualisation of big and small data; and design environments for public engagement with maps and data. She is the author of Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Zone Books, 2013), and Co-Editor of Ways of Knowing Cities (Columbia Books on Architecture, 2019). From 2004 through 2015, she founded and directed the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) at GSAPP.

Yelta Köm

is an artist and architect who brings together architectural, artistic, and spatial practices to discuss social and political issues. Environmental perception, urban imagery, neoliberal transformations, tensions between nature and technology, and collective movements often inspire his work. Yelta Köm received his undergraduate degree from the Department of Architecture at Yıldız Technical University and completed his master’s degree at the Städelschule Academy of Fine Arts. He is a co-founder of Herkes İçin Mimarlık (Architecture for All), a non-profit organization devoted to offering approaches to social problems in Turkey from an architectural perspective. His personal and collective works have been exhibited in several biennials, museums, galleries and art institutions such as Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul Design Biennial, Venice Architecture Biennale, MAXXI Museum (Rome), SALT (Istanbul), V&A Museum (London), The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architecture Biennial, TOP e.V (Berlin).  Yelta Köm worked as a researcher on the Topological Atlas project hosted by UCL Urban Lab last years and  is currently working at the Practices and Politics of Representation at Bauhaus Universität Weimar.

Mona Mahall

is a professor of Practices and Politics of Representation at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. She works in collaborations across space, image, sound, text, and pedagogical practices at the intersection of art and architecture. Her projects and processes are research-based and follow a feminist methodology. As such, they constitute less fixed spaces and objects than non-linear physical or digital versions and relations that share an interest in serial variation and possible distortions of form, scale, and power structures. Together with Asli Serbest they exhibit and publish internationally, including at the Biennale di Venezia, Ural Biennial, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien Berlin, Riverrun Istanbul, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Pinakothek der Moderne Munich, Storefront for Art and Architecture New York, HKW Berlin, Vancouver Art Gallery, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, New Museum New York; in e-flux journal, Volume Magazine, Perspecta, Istanbul Art News, etc. They are the editors of the independent magazine Junk Jet. In 2019, they curated the 7th International Sinop Biennial under the title of A Politics of Location.


Paulo Moreira

is a Porto-based architect and researcher. He gratuated from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto (Portugal), having studied also at the Accademia di architettura (Mendrisio, Switzerland). He received his PhD from London Metropolitan University. He is the founder and artistic director of INSTITUTO, a cultural space in Porto, and director of Arquiteturas Film Festival. He participated in La Biennale di Venezia (2014, 2016, 2021), Lisbon Architecture Triennale (2007, 2013) and Oslo Architecture Triennale (2016, 2019), and was a finalist in the RIBA President’s Award for Research 2019, Cities & Community category. Moreira is the editor of Critical Neighbourhoods – The Architecture of Contested Communities (Park Books, 2022), funded by Graham Foundation, and currently is undergoing a book tour supported by Porto Municipality.

Marina Otero Verzier

(Dr.) is Head of the MA Social Design Masters at DAE. In 2022 she received Harvard’s Wheelwright Prize for a project on the future of data storage. From 2015 to 2022, she was the Director of Research at HNI, where she led initiatives focused on labor, extraction, and mental health from a post-anthropocentric perspective, including  “Automated Landscapes,” and “BURN-OUT.” Otero has curated exhibitions such as ‘Compulsive Desires: On Lithium Extraction and Rebellious Mountains’ (Galeria Municipal, Porto, 2023);  WORK, BODY, LEISURE  (Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018); and ‘After Belonging’  (Oslo Architecture Triennale, 2016). She has co-edited Automateds Landscapes (2023), Lithium: States of Exhaustion (2021), More-than-Human (2020), Architecture of Appropriation (2019), Work, Body, Leisure (2018), among others.

Paulo Tavares

is an architect, author and educator. Operating through multiple media, his work opens a collaborative field aimed at environmental justice and counter-hegemony narratives in architecture and visual cultures. His work has been featured in various exhibitions and publications worldwide, including Harvard Design Magazine, The Architectural Review, Venice Biennale, Oslo Architecture Triennial, Istanbul Design Biennale, and São Paulo Art Biennial. He is the author of several books questioning the colonial legacies of modernity, most recently Des-Habitat (2019), Lucio Costa era Racista? (2022), and Derechos No-Humanos (2022). Tavares leads the architecture agency autonoma, and co-curating, together with Gabriela de Matos, the Brazilian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023.

Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas

are artists, educators, and co-founders of the Urbonas Studio, an interdisciplinary research practice that facilitates exchange amongst diverse nodes of knowledge production and artistic practice in pursuit of projects that transform civic spaces and collective imaginaries. Urbonas have exhibited internationally including the São Paulo, Berlin, Moscow, Lyon, Gwangju, Busan, Taipei Biennales, Folkestone Triennial, Manifesta and Documenta exhibitions, including a solo show at the Venice Biennale and MACBA in Barcelona. Their writing on artistic research as form of intervention was published in the books Devices for Action (MACBA Press, 2008), Villa Lituania (Sternberg, 2008), and Public Space? Lost and Found (MIT Press, 2017). Urbonas curated the Swamp School at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. The book Swamps and the New Imagination: On the Future of Cohabitation in Art, Architecture and Philosophy is forthcoming in 2023 (Sternberg, MIT Press). Gediminas is Associate Professor at MIT‘s Program in Art, Culture and Technology, and Nomeda is research affiliate at MIT. Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas are currently contributing to the Children’s Forest Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023.

Pelin Tan

is a sociologist, art historian and currently Professor, Fine Arts Faculty, Batman University, Turkey.  She is the 6th recipient of the Keith Haring Art and Activism and fellow of Bard College of the Human Rights Program and Center for Curatorial Studies, NY, 2019 – 2020. She is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research, Boston; and researcher at the Architecture Faculty, University of Thessaly, Volos (2020-2025). She is the co-curator of the Cosmological Gardens project by CAD+SR and she was the curator of the Gardentopia project of Matera ECC 2019. Pelin Tan, was a Postdoctoral fellow on Artistic Research at ACT Program, MIT 2011; and a Phd scholar of DAAD Art History, at Humboldt Berlin University, 2006. Her field research was supported by The Japan Foundation, 2011; Hong Kong Design Trust, 2016, CAD+SR 2019. She was a guest professor at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut 2021; Visiting Professor at School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 2016 and at the Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, 2018. Between 2013 and 2017 she was an Associate Professor of the Architecture Faculty at Mardin Artuklu University. She is a member of Imece refugee Solidarity Association and co-founder of Imece Academy; advisor of The Silent University and the pedagogical consortium of Dheisheh Palestinian Refugee Camp, Palestine. In 2008 she was an IASPIS grantholder. Together with Magnus Ericson Pelin Tan is the curator of Urgent Pedagogies.

Magnus Ericson

is Head of IASPIS Applied Arts Programme, responsible for the design, crafts and architecture related activities. He has a background as curator, project coordinator and educator working across design, architecture, urbanism and art. Between 2014 and 2018 he developed and managed two experimental postgraduate courses on socially engaged critical practice; Sites and Situations and Organising Discourse, at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm. Between 2009 and 2014 Magnus Ericson was a Senior Advisor/Coordinator and Curator for the design related programme at Arkdes, Sweden´s National Center for Architecture and Design, in Stockholm. Between 2007 and 2009 he was assigned as a Project Manager at IASPIS to pursue and develop the activities within the fields of design, crafts and architecture. Together with Ramia Maze he was the author and co-editor of DESIGN ACT Socially and politically engaged design today – critical roles and emerging tactics (Berlin, Sternberg Press 2011). Together with Pelin Tan Magnus Ericson is the curator of Urgent Pedagogies.

Magnus Ericson
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