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The fact that we inhabit the present submerges us in an atmosphere in which exists different ways of understanding what knowledge is; of perceiving the range of that which is presumed to be true; of what it is to construct identity and subjectivity. This challenge is due to the diversity of options and the difficulties in the development of the capacity to make our own decisions. “The action of knowing� has been de-territorialized from scholarly and academic spaces, and is now located in other scenarios, accepted by communities while at the same time confronting the conventional educational system. Casa Tres Patios (C3P) recognizes and assumes a critical position in this context, constructing its own proposal: Creative Communal Laboratories (LCC)1 , the pedagogical methodology that began to be developed in 2012, and which each year has been questioned and refined in the process of consolidating concrete actions for transformation. The methodology seeks to develop a consciousness of transformation in the participants in which knowledge, that intangible thing, is understood in relation to themselves, to others and to the world in an open, creative, questioning conversation that has different goals and levels of understanding, from the concrete to the abstract. The participants in the laboratories become conscious of their own knowledge, they transform it and resignify it in a collective constructive process that uses materiality, context and the opportunities for change that they encounter in order to organize them and to give them form. This publication is a journey through the state of the LCC in 2016.

1. Creative Communal Laboratories is the translation from the Spanish name for Laboratorios Comunes de CreaciĂłn, the methodology being developed by Casa Tres Patios. The initials of the original (LCC) will be used in this translation.

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LCC is the pedagogical methodology of the Foundation Casa Tres Patios (C3P) that has the development of the consciousness of transformation of the self and the context as its principal objective. This is the base that permits the methodology to address essential topics in the construction of a society such as human rights, identity, citizenship and processes implied in the negotiation of peace. This methodology articulates the theoretical and practical knowledge of the people involved in the educational projects of the foundation for the last four years. The planning is inspired by references from the arts, pedagogy and the social sciences, which are reflected upon and put to use in the activities designed for the participants. Thus, it is action and the recognition of other practices and disciplines that cement the intentions, assumptions and procedures that give life to the laboratories. 6/ LCC

In order to achieve this objective we develop laboratories in which the participants embark on an transformative adventure. They begin by manipulating, playing with and modifying diverse materials2. In this process, that of transformation of the material, the participants learn by doing and reinforce their self-respect and selfconfidence. They are then encouraged to recognize their own worldview and the worldviews of others in order to appreciate and respect difference and diversity. Then they are accompanied as they recognize and explore their context, they observe and describe situations in their families, in their neighborhoods, in their businesses, in their educational institutions, in the city, in the country and in the world. As they deepen their understanding of these situations, and their relationship to them, they construct a critical position regarding them. Finally, they begin the search for opportunities for change in which they formulate actions or projects that result from their own interests, fictions, realities and needs. Any idea is welcome as a strategy for social intervention, and the participants are encouraged to methodologically construct their ideas and their communities. CREATIVE? COMMUNAL? LABORATORIES? A laboratory is a space for experimentation in which the ideas of the participants converge in diverse creative and constructive processes that reflect the realities of those that inhabit them. Creative ▲ ▲

Emphasis on Surprise Fun

Spontaneity ▲ New Methods ▲ New Solutions ▲


Projects ▲ Novelty ▲

Communal Agree Dialogue ▲ Emotions ▲ Connected Stories ▲ Teamwork ▲ Common Objectives ▲ Convergence ▲ Meeting ▲ Diversity of Ideas



Trials Observation ▲ Exploration ▲ Questioning ▲

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Research Multiple Tasks

2. Materials can be thought of in different ways depending on the resources available, the group of participants, their interests and their experiences. They are not necessarily materials that are considered as artistic materials. They can also include technological, scientific or literary materials as well as theories and concepts, or any other basic building blocks which can be used to explore new possibilities.

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TRANSFORMATIVE ABILITIES Through a spiral journey the LCC’s aim to strengthen the participants’ abilities to:

ssRespect oneself and have confidence in oneself in order to recognize the value of one’s participation in contexts shared with others. ssLearn while doing as a strategy for understanding based on experiences that result from situations that provoke one’s interest and reveal or affect issues about oneself and one’s context. ssRecognize, respect and appreciate different ways of being, thinking and acting in people who occupy one’s context in order to consider new perspectives and to enrich one’s own knowledge and worldview. ssAuthentically express oneself in order to recognize, validate and verbalize one’s perceptions about the shared context. ssWork together in order to go beyond the limits of one’s own abilities. ssAssume a critical position in order to make decisions about oneself and one’s context based on reflections and concrete arguments. ssAct methodologically in order to be able to project actions in time and to be able to realize transformative projects rooted in personal transformation.

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The pedagogical methodology, LCC, began to be developed in 2012 and is the result of conscious reflection about the way that series of experiences can be transformed into learning. The evolution was originally based on artistic projects and is now focused on the participant as a subject of knowledge, personal growth and human development. The methodology has evolved from the use of artists projects that involved the participants to the conceptualization of a methodology that encourages the participants themselves to propose projects and to develop the abilities necessary to realize them.

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The methodology has been used in different projects such as:

uu Network of Visual Arts which was conceived in 2012 in association with the Secretary of Culture of MedellĂ­n as a project that uses art to develop a consciousness about citizenship in participants between 8 and 18 years of age. In the last 5 years more than 4,000 children and adolescents from the city and the surrounding rural areas have participated in the project. uu Life Skills, was realized as a pilot project in 2015 in the educational institution Eduardo Uribe Botero in the municipality of Rionegro, Antioquia. Approximately two-hundred children, between 8 and 12 years of age, participated in the project which employed the LCC methodology in order to instill a consciousness in the participants regarding personal rights in the context of life skills creating a first step toward the denaturalization of the illegal and violent dynamics in the contexts of the participants. uu LCC for a Culture of Peace was initiated in 2016 in three institutions in MedellĂ­n with seventy-five participants including 3 groups of participants of different age groups, children, adolescents and adults. It aimed to to construct a culture of reconciliation in the context of the period of postagreement between the FARC and the Colombian government. In this project the methodology was used to create spaces for dialog about the armed conflict in the areas inhabited by the participants, to stimulate the understanding and the appropriation of the key points in the Peace Agreement and to strengthen local peace initiatives in the areas involved in the project.

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CREATIVES The creatives are participants that by embarking on their process of formation and creative practice they learn to adapt to different material, sensory, emotional, psychic and spatial conditions. The creatives are technicians because they design workshops, mediators because they facilitate dialog between the participants, teachers when they teach and professors because they publicly declare their belief in the creative potential of human beings. They are also activators, pedagogs, mentors and caretakers‌. but none of these categories captures what they do, not even the word creatives. Their transformative journey is realized in un-learning.

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EARLY CHILDHOOD In their early years children begin the path for constructing relationships with themselves, with others and with the world, along which they will develop their own identity and present and future relationships. Through their activities, using experiments to develop self-confidence and confidence in others as a departure point from which they develop personal connections, they start with sensory explorations of a diverse range of materials, and they begin to recognize different ways to be and to act in diverse circumstances. CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS The children and adolescents that participate in the laboratories are recognized as people, with abilities, interests, stories and knowledge, who begin a transformative journey questioning, making mistakes, resignifying the known and taking part in collective and individual creations. Each participant begins processes that permit and promote selfawareness, recognition of one’s own knowledge, feelings and opinions through which they identify points in common while recognizing their differences. ADULTS Adults have an accumulation of life experiences and direct actions in response to their realities. They are not empty containers, nor are they full. They always have something that can be developed, matured and reconsidered. Their transformative journey is experienced by the resignification of dialog, by taking advantage of errors and by developing a respect for diversity. OLDER PEOPLE Older people are a sum of experiences, contextualized in different periods of their lives, from living memories of times, spaces and perspectives and of different places and people. For them, the journey is the constant movement between the physical world and memory, between emotions and thoughtful dialog. Opportunities for change are different, they represent a huge potential for transformation within their families and contexts. 12/ LCC


A spiral journey is a learning process, that according to A. Kolb and D. Kolb (2009)3, is always growing; it never returns to the same place; it explains the past and projects the future; it defines and illuminates that which has happened while leading to new discoveries. LCC promote this expedition based on 7 pedagogical premises, using 4 spirals or phases and 4 micro-spirals or intentions in each laboratory.

3 Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2009). The learning way meta-cognitive aspects of experiential learning. Simulation & Gaming, 40(3), 297-327.

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nn Care, well being and confidence (Enrique Chaux and Paulo Freire). Promote an environment of care and awaken an authentic interest regarding others in order to generate mutual respect and confidence. nn Questions and conversations as stimuli (Jorge Wagensberg and Diego Pineda). Questions motivate learning and creativity and contribute to critical and autonomous thinking. It is a tool that permits the involvement of others in the construction of knowledge. nn Error as guide (John Dewey). Being open to errors strengthens the lessons learned through experience. nn Process as a source of knowledge and experience (John Dewey and Jorge Larrosa). Promoting an interest in and appreciation for experiences that come from processes instead of the production of results is intended to cultivate moments of resistance and tension that stimulate new realizations which enhance developmental experiences. nn Problems as opportunities (Henry David Thoreau). Resignify problems based on their potential to stimulate creative thinking. nn Reflection as a way to recognize lessons learned (Matthew Lipman). Reflection as a way to organize the information learned from experiences in order to establish connections and nourish the understanding that we have about ourselves and the world.

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SPIRALS The cycle of learning through experience is a learning spiral. When a concrete experience is enriched by reflection it acquires a significance through thinking and is transformed through action. The new experience is made richer, more complete and more profound. Thus the LCC’s are composed of 4 spirals through which different abilities are developed.


Spiral 1: Transformation of materials Introduce the idea of “transformation” through the manipulation of different materials.

Abilities to be developed - Respect and belief in oneself. - Understanding by creating

Spiral 2: Exploration and recognition of one’s own knowledge and beliefs and those of others The participants explore their own knowledge and beliefs and those of their companions.

- Respect and appreciation for diversity

Spiral 3: Inspiration from the environment Observation of the environment in order to construct a critical position about the situations that can be observed in it.

- Individual self-expression - Development of a critical position

Spiral 4: Opportunities for Change Identify opportunities for change and execute projects that can effectuate change.

- Construct for the common good - Act methodically

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MICRO-SPIRALS In each Spiral, or phase, there are recurring tools, or microspirals, that are intentionally implemented by both the creatives and the participants in the course of the laboratory.

YY Inspiration: be alert to surprise, restlessness and curiosity. YY Planning: project actions in time (based on experience) in order to realize the inspiration. YY Do or Make: Act or Construct according to what was planned (while remaining flexible and receptive). YY Reflect: Recognize and analyze the lessons learned from the experience.

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“When th know b ey ask ques tio u becaus t rather beca ns, neverthe us le e them th they ignore e e they alway ss, they ask wit sw v e experie y are able to erything, bec ant to know h the best o f inten , to kn ause, b make a nce, re tio ow la e betwee s n the m tionships tha eries of new ing able to p more, to kn ns. Not beca erceive us ow relatio t they d aterials well, d nships ispose the mu everything e they alread is th c e o m v e selves . Also, d to be with th ltiplicit r betwe y initial and em gin not yo ex en the ma posure to tha to develop s that can be themselves aterials that f phenomen a re an jo provid m t e them before that he rity of cases, which they ig all theories, vealed throu d the materi wit gh als e n does n w ot und hen a child ore or that w lementary hy a process o , relationsh h the erstand ip a p h f , but a sks me a que ich surprise othesis, that questioning s bove a s . c s ll to co tion he ask them. I hav an now offe They are, e s nfront r the firs not only to fi been able to them an t hypo thesis nd a solution realize that in that he to an is has de velope sue d.”

elationsh ips The peaceful establishment of ca classroom s. Care is ring relationships An intera ct so ar In this way ion in which care mething that is co e especially relev an ex n acting an , the people involv ists requires the co structed in the inte t in the constructio d ed ra n the dispo to do this they ask always seek to u nstant flow of info ctions between p of siti eo , li n rm mutual u on to express on sten and observe derstand well what ation in both dir ple. nd e’s ec with atten th help of o erstanding and co needs, thoughts tion. Add e other needs bef tions. an th m it o lives; as w ers in the face of th munication. Care d emotions, with ionally, what is nee re th is e d e those wh receive that help challenges and d the result of the n e goal of facilitati ed is o ng em ee we establi a characte attend our needs, sh affectiv ands that we enco d that we have fo then r ri u e wellbeing stic of relationship we will be able relationships and nter in course of the our to extend we respo o s n taking ca f each person in th between people th d is re ca ci p ri roca ng an re e relationsh of or protecting st relationship. We d refers to an auth attitude to others. lly to en w C ip based u on mutual dents - protective ant to emphasize tic interest for th are is e w ac understan ding, resp tions -, rather abo e are not talking ab ut establi ect and af out shing a fection.

Caring R

e m so f i e to h m e ec in w gh e th j ub ea ou nc a e s e ar thr He ect, h t iv ng d. bj e," it si n su m sens pas wou ve i o s t a e", , a ct en like m ace an a p ap a, s to tr le, t h are pen n, a cip a g h w ory ap si rin s " nsit "it h k, a in p i r t, e a nc tr ere ma no rie ke a wh s a is e xp s li nd ave nce e e ce i ns a le erie h h t If rien ppe hic exp a e w e p h , ex ing me of th th in ct or bje su 17/ ch


CREATIVE COMUNAL LABORATORIES Direction C3P Tony Evanko General coordination C3P Sonia Sequeda Texts Carolina Giraldo Stefanía Rodríguez Elena Gómez Jorge Londoño Team editor Stefanía Rodríguez Estefanía Piedrahita Translation Tony Evanko Graphic design Nahidú Ronquillo © 2016, “ CREATIVE COMUNAL LABORATORIES ” FUNDACIÓN CASA TRES PATIOS - ANTIOQUIA, COLOMBIA CARRERA 50A #63-31 - T.57-4-5717798 www.casatrespatios.org First edition 2016 Printing: Especial Impresores S.A.S Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia. ll rights reserved. This book cannot be reproduced partially or entirely by any means without the previous written permission of the Fundación Casa Tres Patios.


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Profile for Casa Tres Patios

Creative Comunal Laboratories  

Casa Tres Patios (C3P) recognizes and assumes a critical position in its context, constructing its own proposal: Creative Communal Laborator...

Creative Comunal Laboratories  

Casa Tres Patios (C3P) recognizes and assumes a critical position in its context, constructing its own proposal: Creative Communal Laborator...