In the past two weeks, right in the conclusion of the spring semester and the first year overall, the Master’s programme has put together the courses of Urban geography and Social and Cultural Geography through an urban laboratory titled “I live in Florence”. The laboratory was organized in collaboration with the LaGeS.
Despite putting in actual dialogue the topics touched upon within the two courses throughout the semester, the urban laboratory has put in practice principles of active learning by engaging with creative methods in human geography. The students have explored methods such as individual biographies and life charts, mental mapping, one-to-one interview, field observation and urban diary, reflexive notes, as well as place-based storytelling and story boards. The final visual products of the laboratory are short films shot and edited by the groups of students, through which the latter narrate their own experience of, and relation to, the urban space of Florence.
The laboratory has sought to facilitate the emergence of the subjective, situated dimensions of the urban experience, to highlight the potency of creative methods and of continuous reflexivity in research practice, as well as to create links between the individual urban experience and the social, cultural and economic issues that affect the city of Florence. To do so, students have been involved in activities on the individual, the inter-personal, and the collective level, while the urban laboratory has taken place at the Casa del popolo di San Niccolò, in the center of Florence. Conducting such an educational activity in this specific spatial context not only has revealed the catalytic role of non-academic places in a socially sensitive and open active geographical learning, but has also allowed for powerful connections to the local micro-contexts of the city of Florence.
The urban laboratory will be concluded on June 21 at the Sala room of the cinema La Compagnia (Via Camillo Cavour, 50/R), where the students’ short films will be screened and discussed together with the students.
More information and pictures from the Laboratory are available at the following link.