New Materialist Pedagogy: Speculatively Realising a Transdisciplinary School of Art, Design and Architecture.

  • Spencer Roberts (Speaker)
  • Brent Hardy-Smith (Contributor to Paper or Presentation)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


This paper attempts to unite transdisciplinary thinking and transdisciplinary practice in a pedagogical context, by applying Deleuzo-Bergsonian thought to a number of contemporary pedagogical concerns. Through an exploration of overlaps and oppositions between broadly relational and broadly object-oriented perspectives (e.g. process-relational philosophy, speculative realism, object-oriented ontology, and actor network theory), it outlines a series of concrete strategies for rethinking existing approaches to teaching – attempting to collapse the boundaries between the lecture theatre, the physical studio and the virtual learning environment.

Recently the Department of Art and Communication at the University of Huddersfield (UK) has begun to explore a transdisciplinary agenda through the design and construction of a building explicitly designed with the cultivation of transdisciplinary practices in mind. Resisting the notion of discipline specific studios, the building has been envisaged both as a flexible meeting space, and as a home to a diverse array of technical and material resources. Alongside its physical architecture, an alternative approach to technological infrastructure is being envisaged, which is focused upon the incorporation of more relational, dynamic and rhizomatic modes of thinking with respect to the construction, implementation and integration of virtual learning environments - ultimately producing an ontologically flat, qualitative, scalable and transdisciplinary studio environment that blurs distinctions between virtual and physical studio contexts.

With this in mind, this paper will explore the Deleuzo-Bergsonian underpinnings as well as the potential pedagogical impact of this flat-ontological approach to the architecture of studio teaching and to the formation of transdisciplinary studio cultures - exploring the way in which the resulting pedagogical model positively affects student-tutor relationships, whilst promoting creativity and innovation with respect to student project outcomes through cross disciplinary processes of working.
Period4 Dec 2019
Event titleAnnual New Materialism Conference: New Materialist Reconfigurations of Higher Education
Event typeConference
Conference number10
LocationCape Town, South AfricaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational