Co-Producing Knowledge

Title: Co-Producing Knowledge. Mapping Trajectories of Spatial Practice

Author: Lara Anna Scharf

Year: 2020

Abstract: In the current crises-riddled times, marked by, in addition to ongoing conflicts, neoliberal capitalist discourses, fear of the “other”, and the expanding ecological crisis, contemporary cities become the main site of reproduction of social inequality. Situated within the ever-changing field of socially engaged spatial practice, the project explores the relationship between such contexts of socio-spatial inequality, the role of the urban practitioner, and the transformation of spatial practice. In parallel, the project seeks to explore how its methodological approach can reflect its values, inquiring how the knowledge, methodologies, and practices of spatial agents can be collected and dissem­inated while acknowledging the agency of the research, the researched, and the researcher. This is framed towards a methodology of co-production of knowledge, a conscious and critical approach on research as a production of situated knowledge and a continuous reflection of present, past, and future trajectories.

The project is carried out as a case study analysis, combining knowledge collected through secondary research and a series of reflective interviews. The explored case studies are formed as trifolds of contexts, practitioners, and practices and include: Nicosia – Socrates Stratis – AA&U For Architecture, Art & Urbanism; Johannesburg – Jhono Bennett – 1to1 Agency for Engagement; Sheffield – Mark Parsons – Studio Polpo; and Paris – Doina Petrescu – Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée. The project’s outcomes culminate to a series of mappings that critically reframe the relational trajectories and highlight personal positionalities, and moments of shift. This approach offers a reflective and interpretative perspective, placing the involved practitioners in the forefront of the research and simultaneously reflecting their values within it. This project’s importance lies in the junction of the collected knowledge and the methodological approach of co-production, unveiling an introspective view of the selected practitioners’ trajectories and re­framing how research can be approached otherwise.

Creative Commons License
Co-Producing Knowledge: Mapping Trajectories of Spatial Practice © 2020 by Lara Anna Scharf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.