The Mackintosh School of Architecture has been taking part in a practice-based doctoral program in cooperation with a network of international architecture schools, as a partner of ADAPT-r project.
The core feature of the methodological model offered by ADAPT-r and the Mackintosh School of Architecture is that new knowledge is developed by reflection on, through and for creative practice.
The upcoming ADAPT-r Day(s) aims to give an insight into practitioners' diverse approach in conducting their PhDs, related challenges, and discoveries.
The Research paper-Chase event “Mentors, epiphanies and sidetracks of the research” urges the presenters to reveal their journey through the research and the practice through the words of mentors that have inspired and lead them.
"Then Telemachus answered judiciously:
'O Mentor, how should I go, how should I say goodbye?
I am not an expert of wise words.' "
In the Odyssey, Mentor was an old friend of Odysseus who placed him in charge of his son Telemachus, when he left for the Trojan War. When Athena visited Telemachus, she took the disguise of Mentor to encourage Telemachus to stand up against the suitors of his mother and go abroad to find out what happened to his father.
The mentor can refer to a wide range of cultural, academic, social and personal references, which encourage and inspire the researcher in their venturous practice, which is not, like the definition, a linear and straightforward trajectory but rather a complex journey.
In the creative practice research, a crucial role is played by the Tacit Knowledge which is an intuitive and heuristic thinking related to the operational aspects of the practice dwelling in the mental space of perception and memory. The discovery and understanding of it it is highly instrumental for the practitioner but, as Plato asks, "And how will you inquire into a thing when you are wholly ignorant of what it is? Even if you happen to bump right into it, how will you know it is the thing you did not know?".
Thus, particularly in this context, the role of the mentor in the journey is crucial, although seldom revealed or acknowledged in the proper way. In the light of these considerations, it is possible to outline different roles that the mentors can perform: the curator, the steward, the curious guide, the peer,...
The "paper-chase” structure of this event will aim to bring to the table this topic in an informal and challenging way, hopefully triggering a conversation and dialogue on some points of interest about this theme:
How do we teach and how do we learn in the creative practice?
What are the relations that can be developed with such mentors?
How can we transmit what we have learned by our mentors when we become the mentors?