ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION FOR CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION
The key objective of the project is to develop an innovative system of teaching urban conflict transformation, bridging across research and institutional boundaries in educational cultures, through the act of design and the development and use of digital resources. ACT thus aims to develop a model of education based on architectural design that works in two ways: as a method of developing a ‘shared urban framework’ for divided cities and as a tool for conflict transformation.
To this end, the project entails the formation of a research network consisting of local and international institutions bringing together experts from architecture, social sciences, and social psychology of intergroup conflict. In doing this, the project will make education in urban conflict issues more open and inclusive by providing resources which are accessible not only to those enrolled in higher education programs, but to anyone wanting to access training regardless of their geographical location, educational culture or ability to travel, through two intensive summer programs supported by a blended learning approach.
-Create an educational framework within the confines of a typical architectural studio-based summer school, supported by prejudice measurement mechanisms and tasked with producing shared (i.e. cross- communal) outputs.
-Implement the above framework to evaluate the relationship between adversarial groups before, during and after the educational period as well as to identify what can be shared between different urban contexts within the thematic areas of public space, infrastructure and sustainability.
The project aims to develop the research and education vision and strategy of ACT; reinforce a culture within ACT that fosters and cultivates collaborations and synergies between researchers from different disciplines; organise cross-disciplinary activities in the form of brainstorming sessions as a collective creative process with the goal of developing an educational framework in alignment with architectural teaching practices; implement a conflict transformation architectural teaching framework in Northern Ireland and Cyprus in the format of two summer schools.
The long-term vision for ACT is to grow into a network that will be operating under a highly inspiring and innovative environment aiming at:
-Producing high quality research focusing on the intersection of the social sciences and architecture improving Cyprus and Northern Ireland’s research and scientific profile as well as its chance to secure international funding in the international fora.
-Raising ACT staff’s research, education, and social innovation vision, also reaching the profile of all institutions involved.
-Giving access to new research avenues, increase creativity and development of new educational, blended learning approaches, as well as increase mobility (inwards and outwards) of qualified scientists and researchers from the institutions involved.
-Encouraging contact between individuals from communities in conflict in an educational environment that fosters cooperation and collaboration.
-Showcasing the capabilities and potential of architectural education for conflict transformation to the academic and business communities (by leveraging appropriate channels), locally and internationally.