Social Dreamers: A Collaborative Pedagogy

Maxinegoon introimage
Social Dreamers: Final Workshop 2022

This thesis narrates an experiment of the Social Dreamers, an ever-growing network of like-minded people who advocate for change in our architectural education system. We use collaboration and flax-roots methods to protest for more social and community-driven values in our education. This thesis practices social organisation and other alternative, multi-disciplinary methodologies to promote unconventional processes exclusive of those declared in marking rubrics. It critiques the current education system and theorises, experiments and puts into practice alternative ways of learning under real-life circumstances. Working with stealth and subversion from within the institution, we aim to keep practising alternative methods of working in the hopes of normalising and integrating them into the norm.

Born out of necessity, the Social Dreamers are radical, urgent, and necessary; an expression of the radical, urgent and necessary stand we must take on the course of education now.

Pics of uni
Education emergency
6 principles
Inviting student participation, this workshop series started with characterising confessions from the UoA Meaningful Confessions Facebook page. With DAILY anonymous confessions posted by UoA students, the School has yet to publicly address any. People are suffering and the School isn’t taking any accountability. As resistance, we collaboratively built this digital platform into a physical confessional booth, engaging with students from other faculties. The voices we need to hear are out there, and we refuse to let the School ignore them any longer.
As part of NZIA’s Auckland Architecture Week, the Social Dreamers collaborated with Tessa Forde’s The Night School to share our ideas to the profession. We subverted the ephemeral architecture of construction, something which normally controls the way we move around our School and our city. Using our bodies as spatial boundaries, we broke down NZIA’s AAS contract between architect and client, and collegially reimagined a more ethical architectural industry through embodied learning.
Expanding this movement to the general public, we asked people what architecture means to them. Assembling construction materials and emergency equipment in an unpolished and exposed manner, we challenge the very definition of what architecture is. We subverted these materials, which otherwise control and manipulate us, to create joy and porosity; to emancipate and celebrate precarious practices. As universities continue to remove space, we fight to create them. We used the Master’s tools to dismantle his house. As event goers contributed with layers of responses, the construction site also became a construction of ideas, a complex document yet to be unravelled.

For the final workshop, this body of work was presented in a way which performed on its own. The critical restaging of crit brought together first years, third years, fourth years, fifth years, recent grads, teaching staff, AUT staff, ex-staff, professional practitioners, and non-architecture related people. Together.

Students, academy, professionals and public are seeking alternatives!

This neoliberal university is not serving its constituency who themselves are calling for change. We have proved that need. We have conjured that energy for change. It is loud and clear.

The Social Dreamers demand change now.