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Wednesday, April 25 • 17:20 - 17:45
Experiential learning in design and social sciences: dialogue, reflection and social learning in the city

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The paper highlights the opportunities for social learning, dialogue and critical reflection offered for students, local stakeholders as well as ourselves as educators within a service learning framework that involved traditional and distanced educational experiences. The research project ‘Arcades in Thessaloniki (Greece): memory and emerging entrepreneurialism’ brought together social science and graphic design students from two universities in Greece and the US. Based on a Deweyan understanding of experiential learning as experimental thought and activity involving interaction between humans, the environment and its artifacts (Miettinen 2000), the collaboration allowed us to examine interdisciplinary perspectives and reflect on pedagogical issues inherent in both disciplines. The process required a situational and participatory outlook to research (Wildemeersch et al. 1998) and involved openness to the role of the stakeholders, who were seen as knowledgeable and resourceful in solving problems (Manzini 2015) while understanding the inherent complex (aka ‘wicked’) problems related to sustainable development (Rittel and Webber 1973). Using a focused ethnographic case study approach, social science students explored place, identity, and entrepreneurial strategies of diverse stakeholders at Stoa Malakopi, a historically significant arcade. Distanced online participation involved working with written, visual, sound and other time-based media, such as video, but additionally had the added complexity of translation, especially in regards to social science students conveying interpretation methods and findings to an English language cohort, who then developed communicative visual design artifacts as part of the engagement platform in Greece. These instructional experiences evidence a potential for online educational resources and digital assets as common reference points that can be shared across different (but allied) disciplines openly. We will overview a matrix of experimental, necessity driven online components in 2017 and outline our tentative instructional plan for 2018, which emphasizes digital resources and a refined pedagogical framework with an emphasis on open sharing.


Maria Patsarika

Adjunct Professor, American College of Thessaloniki

Scott Townsend

North Carolina State University

Wednesday April 25, 2018 17:20 - 17:45 CEST
Classroom 1