This research is an activist one and inherently collaborative, and therefore implies an emergent methodology that takes into consideration the possible transformations that evolve through my interaction with the neighbourhood and its possible stakeholders. By choosing my own living environment for this inquiry, I am already immersed in the research context and can take up an approach of ‘embodied criticality’, inspired by Iris Rogoff’s ideas on how meaning is produced differently when living through things through the various relations being generated. What I find particularly inspiring about her approach is that it “brings together that being studied and those doing the studying, in an indelible unity” (Rogoff, 2006), allowing a collective process of experience and experimentation through which meaning is generated. This allows the production of knowledge that feminist theorist Donna Haraway describes as “situated knowledges”, assuming that knowledges are always generated from a specific viewpoint and therefore cannot be objective, in order to engage in a collective process of knowledge production. This approach also takes a critical stance towards the construction of truth through seemingly neutral knowledge produced from dominant Western viewpoints.
Furthermore, my research is practice-based and reflexive, which implies theory constantly being informed by practice and the other way around. This comes with certain ethical issues that need to be addressed and acknowledged: what are my changing roles and can they be separated from each other? How flexible are the lines circumscribing practice, research, and everyday life? As such, my collective practice with Common(s)Lab is based on a participatory action-research approach, as it takes shape as a collective platform for communal action, knowledge creation and social change.
Haraway, D., “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge, 1991.
Rogoff, I. (2006) “’Smuggling’ – an Embodied Criticality,” transversal. http://eipcp.net/dlfiles/rogoffsmuggling.
Reason, P. and H. Bradbury, eds. (2008) The Sage Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. Sage Publishers.