Open Space


Open Space is a creative and communal approach to facilitating workshops. It is a format where the participants generate the topics and angles for discussion. These will be brought into smaller groups where they will be debated and discussed. If at any time a participant feels that they are not contributing, aren’t learning or simply are irritated by the discussion, they can move to a different group. 

The most important principle of the Open Space is that anyone who joins should be passionate about the topic and actively create something out of this passion and interest.
Here is more about the history of Open Space and its guiding principles. 

At the ELIA Biennial, we invite the delegates to join the Open Space and create a marketplace of topics.
As an example, you can bring the following varied topics into the Open Space:

  • You have an idea for an international project-proposal and you are looking for partners.
  • You want to exchange ideas on how to motivate supervisors to participate in training workshops.
  • You want to learn how others have introduced a PhD-curriculum at their art schools and exchange ideas.
  • You want to offer a jam session in dancing (or piano playing, or singing, or drawing).
  • You want to organise a political action for Rotterdam that takes place during the conference.
  • You want to gain knowledge about archiving, documenting and publishing work of students and research with the help of The Research Catalogue, a platform that facilitates online multimedia documentation. 

Among the varied topics proposed by the delegates, there will also be a few pop-up sessions in the Open Space. These will include a presentation of the new upcoming initiative of ELIA; a discussion on The Research Catalogue as Online Multimedia Repository for Higher Arts Education Institutions by the Society for Artistic Research; a walk through Rotterdam entitled  ‘Grenzgang – Laying a Keyword Path’ by Markus Schwander, Beate Florenz, Tabea Lurk and Daniel Brefin (Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel), discussing methods of artistic research as they relate to the fluctuating space of the city; and an interdisciplinary community project The Rotterdam Collection, based on The Darling Collection performed in houses and other locations of Rotterdammers, by Jan Grolleman (Fontys School for Fine and Performing Arts), seven residents from the area near De Doelen, with different backgrounds, and a group of students.

The Open Space will be moderated by Silke Lange, Associate Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. 

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