A weekend of transdisciplinary dialogue and creation at Hangar: Synergy

The last week of June we participated in the workshop Synergy: Interdisciplinary Practice and Theory, coordinated by Simon PennyRoc Parés and Mara Balestrini, within the GridSpinoza program organized by Hangar. The two and half days of the workshop were very intense and interesting. We brought together interests, methods and projects.

To us it was great to deal again with some of the questions that we posed about transdisciplinarity in the Common Grounds workshop of 2011.  At the time we followed a prototyping process. In Synergy, 2013 we followed the method of work that the workshop organizers  articulated around sharing and dialogue.

The workshop pursued the sharing of projects and ideas but also the creation of a protocol for the development of transdisciplinary projects. In this regard there were very enlightening interventions of each one of the three coordinators (Simon Penny, Roc Pares and Mara Balestrini) about how they felt  about transdisciplinarity, its objectives and its working methods.

Simon Penny approached the value and challenges of transdisciplinarity from a general perspective but remarked that transdisciplinarity is a process framed in social and historical contexts. What today is considered a transdisciplinary program, tomorrow will be an established discipline. He stressed the combinatorial  aspect of transdisciplinary work pointing, for example, to the translation of methods from one discipline to another. He also remarked the problems posed by the difficulties of communication and the need to play with the different languages ​and practices of each discipline that conrtibutes to a project.

Roc Parés approached his contribution from his experience in the intersection between art, science and technology, particularly new media. He stressed the opportunity to look in places where there is still no intersection between disciplines, and to delve into them to come up with new possibilities.

Mara Balestrini take on transdisciplinarity focused on her experience at the intersection of new technologies, the city and citizen engagement, a perpsective we can easily relate to. She shoed examples of projects where the use of mobile technology and the Internet in public spaces generated authentic engagement. She also shared her recent work on aspects of interaction between strangers in public spaces and its consequences.

During the following two days all participants described their own projects and then all of them worked together as transdisciplinary possible to create new proposals.

We came to Synergy wanting to know  about new methods but ended up opening up and morphing a little our project on internal contamination and joining in other project based on the concept of mistakes in general and science in particular and the role of misatkes in culture. We will describe this in more detail in future posts. In any case it was a very rewarding experience to know about other collaborative approaches from different disciplines. We left with very good connections and new potential partners.

A very good initiative.

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