Alternative workshop formats

Agile City is currently developing a summer school programme for July 2016. In relation to this we’ve been researching tools that generate ideas in a concise and imaginative manner. We’re interested in whether these can be understood and applied to either temporary or permanent projects and we are considering if similar processes could be used for developing and testing ideas within an urban context.

A Lab is a place to experiment on a specified topic. Focus a group of skilled individuals to create new work or research and dissect a topic with an unlikely group of partners – with the aim of creating and learning from each other.

BMW Guggenheim Lab:
BMW Guggenheim Lab was a mobile laboratory about urban life ongoing from 2011 to 2014, it travelled from New York to Berlin and Mumbai. Part urban think tank, community centre and public gathering space, the Lab’s goal was to explore new ideas, experiment, and ultimately to generate forward-thinking visions and projects for city life. Through the themes; Confronting Comfort, Making, and Privacy and Public Space, this global project explored how people relate to cities and public space today.

BMWGuggenheim mobile Lab in New York City

BMW Guggenheim mobile Lab in New York City

A screening at the Mumbai Lab. Photo: UnCommonSense

A screening at the Mumbai Lab. Photo: UnCommonSense

PAL Labs: 
A PAL Lab is a multi-disciplinary process whereby a group of people come together to address a topic of mutual interest, to come up with new solutions, new work, ideas, alternative practice or simply refine the topics they’re passionate about. PAL Labs is directed towards a creative and artistic audience but also aims to reach beyond these disciplines, connecting; artists, scientists, educators and creatives. It provides them with bespoke laboratories to cultivate brave new work, to challenge perceptions and to lead cultural policy through rigorous cross-disciplinary experimentation.

PAL Labs always involves artists in their events, to create a space where everyone works together to explore and experiment and to develop their practice and curiosity.

“A great Lab involves between 8 and 15 people coming together over 4-6 days in remote beautiful residential spaces, to address the key issues that the Lab Director has framed or to develop new work in specific areas e.g. storytelling, movement and geography, ritual, new approaches to education, creation of new theatre, developments in free speech in complex times.”

If you’ve participated in a Lab, and want to share your opinion; if you know of another model that uses a different method but with the same purpose; or if you invented one of these models, please get in touch via [email protected] or in the comment section below…