Dancing About Architecture, 2019

A performative interdisciplinary workshop on Dance, Somatic Practices, Architecture & Engineering
Principal Investigator: Professor Jools Gilson

Dancing About Architecture was a unique workshop within the Irish and international research ecology. It proposed using the methodologies and sensibilities of Dance / Choreographic / Somatic Practices as tools for experimenting with new forms of transdisciplinary collaboration, in a case study between Dance, Architecture and Engineering. The workshop was funded by the Irish Research Council’s Creative Connections strand and took place over three intensive days.

In broad terms, the project asserted that creative practice disciplines have untapped and exceptional methodological potential for transdisciplinary collaboration. It was critical to its success that participants were drawn from each of the disciplines of Dance, Architecture and Engineering. The workshop was led by a group of international experts in transdisciplinary collaboration from Dance and Architecture: Diego Gil from Senselab Montréal; Vicky Hunter, Reader in Site-Dance & Choreography at University of Chichester; choreographer, mentor and dramaturg Caroline Salem; and Ed Frith, architect specialist in Architecture & Performativity, Art University Bournemouth. 

Through a series of movement-based explorations, the workshop developed innovative modes of creative engagement through the entwined principles of Dance, Somatic Practice, Architecture and Engineering. Workshop leaders brought a range of embodied strategies to explore collaboration, and responses included site exploration, performance, drawing, improvisation and discussion. Dancing About Architecture demonstrated the potential of creative practice disciplines for STEM to STEAM collaboration.