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White, S., Walker, S., Boys, J., Hammond, M., Hall Patch, P., 2019.

You, Different, Somewhere: Affective Architectural Pedagogies

Output Type:Conference paper
Presented at:Affects as pedagogy: Relation between, space, time and bodies
Venue:Barcelona, Spain
Dates:21/11/2019 - 22/11/2019

&rchitecture claims Spinoza as an ethical and aesthetical guide for architectural education and practice. Written as a collective '(and) rchitecture' brings together experience in activism, feminism, disability, critical theory, ageing and community-engagement, alongside architectural pedagogy and practice. & is a powerful little symbol - it opens out into the next step, argues for inclusion and demands to be continued. Rather than starting from within the discipline and moving outwards, &rchitecture emerges from what already is different (in the world).
If 'Spinoza gives us the body as a model' then the compositions of affect that constitute bodies of all kinds offer a way of positively thinking through our individual and collective capabilities in terms of relations of difference. The central political consequence of this is the Spinozist cry that 'We do not even know what a body can do!' is in establishing the originary importance of relations of difference in the productivity of creative processes: because we cannot even claim to know what a body can do, it is only through the active - propositional - composition of our bodies with the speculative affects of other bodies that we can design what we are individually and collectively capable of. Understanding our interactivity as Beings (and bodies of all kinds) to be constitutive of each other's potential capability places an undeniable ethical 'core' in all productive creation.
This paper reads this positive conceptual framework through a description of its 'application' to architecture in terms of a design-research methodology characterised as '&rchitecture' articulated in a teaching and learning environment at the Manchester School of Architecture. We ask, how can our pedagogies ensure that thinking through affect can clarify the definition of positive action? How can we understand, practice and teach architecture as starting from the different (and differential) capacities of what 'bodies' can do? How can we understand the affects of architecture in the context of the affects of Being and the composition of collective territories and spaces? We frame these questions with reference to both professional and pedagogic practices from the perspective of 'bodies of work', 'non-
compliant bodies' and 'collective bodies' to discuss the relationship to architectural habits, social discrimination and collaborative practices.