The next AHRA International Conference

Learnings / Unlearnings

Environmental Pedagogies, Play, Policies, and Spatial Design Conference

Thu 05 Sep—Sat 07 Sep 2024

KTH School of Architecture and Konstfack – University of Arts, Crafts and Design, with Färgfabriken, Stockholm

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This call for abstracts welcomes suggestions for a variety of formats, such as workshops, paper sessions, panels, and artistic interventions.

As a field environmental education has sought to advance an understanding of the environment through spatial practices — such as art, architecture, craft, design, and planning — by ways of learning, often employing immersive, embodied, and experimental pedagogical formats, since the 1960s. With the attention currently given to lifelong learning by universities and intergovernmental organizations (UNESCO, EU, UN Sustainable Development Goals), we see an opportunity towards activating and developing environmental pedagogies in contexts of formal and informal learning that address contemporary challenges. This conference draws on existing environmental learning cultures for advancing new perspectives on the issues of social justice in the built environment sector combined with learning from resourceful material practices.

We invite contributions by researchers and practitioners engaged in questions of education in the built environment to join us for developing environmental learning as a subject and practice for the future. The conference seeks to address, but is not limited to, the following themes and questions. Themes may crosscut and be combined:

1) Embedding Environmental Pedagogy Histories and Cultures
In this section, we seek to map a history of environmental learning which appeared, i.e., as an urban pedagogy movement from the 1960s and 1970s, in Britain and in the Nordic countries, as well as in popular education efforts in, i.e. Latin America. With this strand, we aim to understand historical and political conditions of various geographies that have shaped an understanding of environmental education and study how they have impacted contemporary learning practices. Contributions may include case studies, historiographic insights drawing from the realms of architecture, art, craft, and design pedagogical studies.

2) Conversing Environmental Learning Discourses

This strand explores theory and discourses that both shape and broaden our conception of environmental learning. Contributions may address experiments and studies of community pedagogies, learning for design justice, intersectional inequalities and learning, pedagogies of the “global South”, and “good practice” examples of formal-, and informal education.

3) Building and Playing with Processes, Props, Materials, Media, Techniques, Spaces, and Places of Environmental Learning

This theme asks in what context and where learning happens. What are the props and materials, the physical and digital environments, the atmospheres, and circumstances that enable pedagogical spaces and places to emerge? Contributions may engage with media, and techniques, that have facilitated instances of environmental learning, reflections on ethical considerations tied to diverse learning environments, i.e. in terms of accessibility and inclusion. Furthermore, we aim for discussions on norm-critical and norm-creative settings for un/learning to expand on critical insights in the field.

4) Educating the Educators of Environmental Pedagogies

This section asks: What disciplinary frameworks impact the formation of educators for architecture, arts, crafts, design, and planning? What curricula, pedagogical formats, and codes of conduct do we need to learn to care for the environment? How to decolonize education? Contributions may discuss i.e. learning for other-than-human perspectives, and foreground examples that show careful pedagogical approaches.

5) Ruling and Unruling Spaces, Reviewing Policies for Environmental Learning

This section inquires: How have policies impacted or failed to create caring, democratic, and just environments? What infrastructures of mediation and facilitation do we have in place, and what forms do we need to negotiate between policy, practices, and different actors?

Keynote addresses will be held by Nicola Antaki, Anna Keune, Elke Krasny, MYCKET, Ashraf Salama, and Henrika L.M. Ylirisku.

We intend to publish contributions in an anthology.

There will be a small fee to cover meals and refreshments.

The organizers are Meike Schalk (KTH), and Anette Göthlund and Miro Sazdic (Konstfack). For more information, please visit our conference homepage: