As a teacher whose interests are the interrelation between spatial and social structures, between architecture, design and politics, I believe it is essential to create a safe (learning) environment in which students can question the concepts of power, spatial justice, right to the city, participatory design, and the role of the planner/architect/designer.
I cannot be a teacher without exposing who I amPaolo Freire
When I think back on my own college experience, I remember especially those lecturers who stood out because of their passionate commitment to their subject. They provided comprehensive and straightforward explanations to direct students through complex content. They did it so that it prompted my own critical thinking on the subject. They were teachers who encouraged dialogue and debate, whether in a group setting or a one-on-one situation.
These interactions, I believe, have shaped my approach to teaching, in which student empowerment is a primary concern. I firmly believe that students learn best when they are permitted to share and reflect on what they’ve learned in a group discussion with their peers and teachers. It allows them to discover the deeper meaning of an issue.
My teaching method is based on Rancière and Freire. Education is far more than just conveying knowledge from teacher to student. Conversely, it’s about motivating students to become self-reliant learners. According to Freire, “What the instructor does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves” (Horton and Frère, 1990, p.181), and Rancière (1981, p. 15), “one may teach what one doesn’t know if the student is emancipated, that is to say, if he is forced to use his own intelligence.”
I mentor students in the Honours Programme and I am involved in the Graduation Studio ‘Planning Complex Cities‘ and more specifically in the sub-studio ‘Planning as Critical Engaged Practice‘. I mentor graduation students that work on topics that are closely related to my interests, such as just transitions, inclusive planning, spatial justice, critical spatial practice and citizen’s engagement. Examples: Rescaling Climate Induced Migration, City-regions for Cultural Nomads, Geographies of Conflict, Loiter City: Spatial Strategies to redefine a woman’s place in a public realm and Reclaiming (Semi)Public Space. I teach in the R and D Studio: Spatial Strategies for the Global Metropolis and in the course on Social Inequality in the City, Diversity and Design.
I teach Critical Theory and Design as a Visiting Professor in the Master of Spatial Planning and the International Master of Architecture. Along with design studios focused on spatial and sustainability transformations, I teach critical urban theory and qualitative spatial analysis methods.
DPU, The Bartlett
As a lecturer in the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development I was teaching a course on participatory processes, a critical urbanism studio, in which learning from informality was central and the practice module. Including the concerns and voices of local communities, the practise module of the MSc Building and Urban Design in Development is genuinely transdisciplinary in nature. The practice module is developed so students can learn new concepts and skills relating to development, urban design and building. The studio investigates how to create an effective response to urban habitats that is inclusive, adaptive, and sustainable.