School of Commons is a community-based initiative dedicated to the study and development of self-organized knowledge, located at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Promoting a broad, integrative understanding of knowledge, we focus on matters surrounding the production and mediation of knowledge with a focus on self-organized practices and knowledge decentralization. The content and position of SoC is defined by our community rather than a predetermined program; research is conducted in our three labs (LEARN, MAPP, and READ), all of which are run as peer-based collaborative endeavours with annually changing members. Our labs bring together a wide range of participants, guests, and contributors who share their curiosity, skills, and visions. We offer personal support, financial resources, and an active community of peers and experts engaged in a wide range of topics.

With SoC, we hope to establish a community of practitioners in which reciprocal exchange, peer learning, and a friendly atmosphere are the main ingredients. We want our participants to feel like they are part of a larger whole, in which their presence is valued and necessary. We aim to develop a programme that is open to all, making the knowledge and practices that arise from our labs publicly available. We encourage working across different age groups, disciplines, and (educational) backgrounds. SoC’s programme is developed bottom-up rather than top-down; instead of providing a fixed curriculum, we encourage our participants to actively shape our programme, either by organizing and hosting events themselves, or by inviting guest speakers and tutors that are relevant to their research. SoC is there to support and help organize the educational programme you would like to have.

Marea is the founder of  School of Commons and has been leading the project since its beginnings in late 2016. She is interested in the future of learning, education and its institutions, peer-to-peer learning and especially transdisciplinarity and method transfer between disciplines.

Josephine is an artist and educator based between Zurich and Rotterdam. They were deputy project lead at School of Commons between 2020-2022. They’re interested in the complexities of collectivity and engage in art, education and collaboration as ways to initiate creative resurgence. Their artistic practice is closely linked to their work as an educator, which is influenced by non-hierarchical, collaborative methods. They are especially dedicated to creating safer, more inclusive, and more accessible environments for learning.

Fernando built the website.


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