Challenge #3: Toward New Learning Ergonomics
Universities tend to represent a community focal point for knowledge and skills development of a strong market workforce. As learning institutions, they can also play an important role in the “making” of active and educated citizens—or both!
The University of Ljubljana expected the participants to re-examine the traditional pedagogy and scholarship, and how and where learning and teaching take place. They were interested in redesigning these learning and teaching practices and the spaces (both physical and virtual) in which they take place.
In other words, they sought innovative and creative approaches to using the existing infrastructure and combining online and offline environments that would promote teamwork, community building and civic (as well as professional) agency of students.
Can a new knowledge production program stimulate exchanges between faculties and civic actors in order to negotiate university hierarchies and give value to the everyday lives of students and professors? A nomadic kitchen becomes a testing ground to rethink educational practices, and it is proposed as a new tool for the horizontal exchange of knowledge. Based at the University of Ljubljana, it invites all university faculties and academies as well as civic actors to participate. By introducing the social activities of cooking and eating together, it negotiates the hierarchies of knowledge as an open university format. Hence, Course K serves as a social hub and informal learning space in everyday life at the university as well as a cross-disciplinary educational environment and performance space for the general public.
Gențiana Dumitrașcu (Romania) has a PhD in architecture from the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning in Bucharest, Romania, where she works as a teaching assistant. She has published and presented several articles on architecture at conferences and congresses in Romania and abroad.
Adrian Judt (Germany) studied at HCU Hamburg, ENSA Paris La Villette, and the University of Sheffield. In his work he crosses disciplinary boundaries from urban design to art and architecture to urban research. In addition to his his conceptual work, his teaching at the Vienna University of Technology allows him to reflect on his design approach within academic discourses.
Simon Platzgummer (Austria) is an interdisciplinary designer and artist. He is studying industrial design and art/design education at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. His work ranges from more classic industrial design to conceptual design to installations and artwork.
Andreja Pogačar (Slovenia) works as a structural packing designer. She completed an MA at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana in industrial design and is continuing her studies at the PhD level at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering in Ljubljana. Her main focus is green packaging.
Janja Štorgelj (Slovenia) is marketing professional with years of experience in the field of brand development, mostly working with renowned Slovenian brands. She is business school lecturer in the field of marketing and co-founder of marketing cooperative Dopamin.
Apolonija Šušteršič is an architect and visual artist. Her work relates to the critical analysis of space, primarily focusing on the processes and relationships between institutions, cultural politics, urban planning, and architecture. Her practice is embedded within interdisciplinary discourse and usually includes collaboration with other professionals and the local population. Šušteršič has a PhD from the University of Lund’s Malmö Art Academy in Sweden, and she runs her own art and architecture studio practice in Oslo, Norway and Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is a professor of visual art at the Oslo National Academy for the Arts and is head of MFA program Art & Public Space.
Tomaž Deželan is the assistant secretary-general of the University of Ljubljana, an associate professor of political science, and a research fellow at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences. After completing his doctorate, he pursued a research career and coordinated more than fifteen basic and applied national and international research projects. He holds the title of Jean Monnet Chair for citizenship education from the European Commission. He is currently coordinating more than ten research projects, and among other duties he is the principal researcher for the Youth Progress Index.
The University of Ljubljana is the oldest and largest higher education and research institution in Slovenia. The university and its rich tradition date back to 1919. It has more than 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in more than four hundred programs, and it employs approximately 5,600 higher education teachers, researchers, assistants, and administrative staff at twenty-three faculties and three arts academies. The University of Ljubljana is the central and largest educational institution in Slovenia. It is also the central and largest research institution in Slovenia, with thirty percent of all registered researchers. The university holds a central teaching position by performing public services in the areas of special social importance to ensure the preservation of national identity. The University of Ljubljana ranks among the top four hundred universities according to the ARWU Shanghai ranking and among the top three percent of universities in the world according the Times ranking.