Curious Hands: Moving Making to the Core of Education.


Making is thinking. This realization has recently created common ground for humanities and social sciences. An increasing amount of research into practice-based knowledge formation shows that to ‘make something with your hands’ develops (i) intellect, creativity, and skills in individuals; (ii) creates social cohesion across diversity; and (iii) enhances sustainable thinking on a local and global scale. Consequently, making appears a highly desirable competence to teach to future generations who face societal and environmental challenges. Yet, dominant educational systems attach little intellectual and economical value to making, regarding it as soft skill with low priority. Dependant on incidental funding, making nestles, most often temporarily, in institutional margins (art schools, alternative minor, pop-up fab lab). For making and its benefits to move from the fringes to the core of education, we need a detailed understanding and methodical inventory of how making is learned and taught. Curious Hands proposes to achieve such an understanding by applying a combination of participant observation, interviews, and visual ethnography to two unique infrastructures: (a) twelve workshops of an art academy, each of which teach making according to the affordance of distinct materials and technologies (wood, metal, digital etc.), and (b) the educational labs of four secondary schools, in which technology, art, and craft are taught cohesively. Based on the resulting specification of the container concepts embodiment, materiality, and process-based learning, Curious Hands trains teachers and develops distinct pedagogical formats for the integration of making in secondary and higher education.





Prof. dr. A.S. Lehmann

Verbonden aan

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Faculteit der Letteren, Inst. voor Kunst- en Architectuurgeschiedenis


01/09/2019 tot 31/08/2023