Abstract “Insight into a transcultural project Europe / South Asia”

ABSTRAKT for Cumulus Working Group, Paris 11&13 of April, 2018

Proposal from  Zurich University of the Arts (Andreas Kohli) and Aalto University Helsinki (Martti Raevaara, Minna Suoniemi).

Key words
Art, transculturality, students, network, distance learning

This presentation provides an insight into the process of the two transcultural projects “Accidental Tourist Guide” from autumn 2016 to summer 2017.
The project focused on self-awareness and self-reflection in a transcultural context, discerning differences in aesthetic perception, and understanding differences in intercultural development processes in the fields of education and design, as well as the forms they take.
On a meta level, the project involved the continuous observation of the methods used. The different communication methods and formats — on the one hand, dialogue via “virtual tunnels,” using Skype and other online communication channels, on the other, different kinds of actions in real space — were also observed, documented, and evaluated.

The presentation shows an insight of the strengths and weaknesses of the projects’ settings, strategies, methods, outcomes, and reflections, and thus should also facilitates discussions of further concepts.
The presentation also addresses some of the difficulties of cooperation that can arise when a project is carried out under the same conditions and with equal participation together with different universities from different cultures.

The cooperation partners of  “Accidental Tourist Guide” have been Zurich University of the Arts, Hong Kong Polytechnical University, Aalto University Helsinki, Hong Kong Baptist University. The cooperation took place in Connecting Spaces in Hong Kong, a hub and an exploratory platform for collaborative projects of the Zurich University of the Arts.

The projects are documented in a publication that reflects the students’ original experiences. Additional texts are based on project and action research diaries, on interviews with the project participants, and on questionnaires and chat protocols. The aim is to show different and intimate views of the project, and to provide the opportunity for critical analysis. The publication is accompanied by two internal workbooks from ATG 2016 and 2017 respectively, containing detailed diaries by participating students.
The documentation is also supplemented by numerous videos and is available online: https://medienarchiv.zhdk.ch/sets/accidental_tourist_guide