Report on the Intermediate Meeting at LUH, Hanover/Germany

Reflexivity: Position. Revision. Perspective


From Monday 26 September to Wednesday 28 September, the Intermediate Meeting `REFLEXIVITY: POSITION. REVISION. PERSPECTIVE´ took place at the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences at Leibniz Universität Hanover, organized by Prof. Margitta Buchert and supported by her a_ku team. The purpose of the meeting’s agenda was to provide sufficient time to the ESRs for in-depth discussion of the gaps, uncertainties and challenges in the research development and in the completing of their work. A special emphasis was therefore given to the topic of Reflexivity and to hands-on working sessions, in which ‘thinking through making’ was central.


Workshop Friday #1


P O S I T I O N        After some welcoming words and an introduction to the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Sciences by dean Martin Prominski, the first day in Hanover started with two lectures on design research and reflexivity by Martin Prominski and Margitta Buchert and with presentations on the research of young, advanced researchers from academia and studio practice – Valerie Hoberg, Sarah Wehmeyer and Susan Jebrini. The speakers contributed to the meeting by presenting and discussing their individual research design, agenda structures and results, and by suggesting different levels of reflexivity and their interdependencies as well as spaces of possibility and research potential. This introductory session was followed by the workshop `Position__Research Design´. The ESRs were asked to focus on their own research design, reflecting on the structure and components of their agenda. On the doors of the location, the ESRs arranged, reflected and reorganized their agenda by means of DIN A 5 sheets of paper with a maximum of 3 terms written. Through the specific arrangement of the papers and the combinations of terms, the structure and content focus of the research as well as the related individual position of the ESRs should become clear, even in a non-verbal way. The individual presentation of the doors was followed by a discussion in groups of 3 (4) ESRs and supervisors. The workshop was an important step in strengthening the research design of the ESRs so that they will achieve a satisfactory result in the given time.


Lectures Thursday


R E V I S I O N   The Arne Jacobsen Foyer (1963)[1] at the famous Baroque gardens of the `Herrenhäuser Gärten´ near the Faculty Building was the location for the second day of the meeting. In the spacious and light-flooded foyer, the workshop `Revision__Structure. Content and Outcome´ took place, divided into three phases and three groups. The ESRs presented self-selected crucial and critical concepts, analyses and manifestations of their research project, in order to discuss these in subsequent 45-minute talks with 2(3) other ESRs and supervisors, to reflect and get supported in a re-vision of their goals and proceedings so far and in regard to finalizing. As a basis for work and discussion, the ESRs were provided with table islands where they could physically spread out the documents, they had brought with them. As the supervisors rotated between the groups throughout the day, the ESRs received a wide range of feedback. Furthermore, the repetitive selecting, arranging, repeating and questioning of the research material they brought with them gave them the chance to reinforce, remove or discover existing and new research traces. As a complement to the intensive discussions at the tables, the surrounding gardens were used for a walk and talk during the lunch break.



P E R S P E C T I V E       The last day of the Intermediate Meeting in Hannover was dedicated to the final phase of the research network and in particular to the future perspectives of the ESRs. After the morning meeting of the Executive Committee of TACK, the supervisors – on site and digitally monitored – gave advice on possible funding, guest research stays, collective projects and other opportunities, which could open up perspectives for the ESRs after having finished their PhD. In a one-hour discussion round, the supervisors presented proposals in a short pitch that were suitable for different ESRs. This also addressed the differences and challenges in funding concerning the different EU countries and the UK. Afterwards the students were given the chance to ask specific questions concerning their post doc perspectives. The last item on the agenda on Wednesday included a presentation about the next steps concerning the content, editing and publication of the TACK book.


Workshop Friday #2


The coming months will be a great challenge for the ESRs. The completion of their PHDs is within reach and yet requires once again the bundling of all forces and a focused view. The meeting in Hannover, as the last joint meeting before the grand finale in Zurich, tried to prepare the students for this time in the best possible way. With different working atmospheres, analogue methods and culinary delights, the ESRs were given the chance to step out of their daily research routine to reflect on their work so far and once again gain new perspectives on what they have already achieved. Intensive days of joint discussion and (self-)critical questioning also contributed to the ESRs becoming more courageous in (re)structuring their work and forcing their research ambitions.


Sarah Wehmeyer and Margitta Buchert