The Poetics Lab class is an intensive faculty/student seminar, play-space and transdisciplinary think-tank involving a small group of faculty and students from across the Institute. Selected faculty and students explore various aspects of an announced topic that has resonance for all the fields/disciplines involved; so far we have remained focused on practices and theories of PLAY as creative process (but if we get tired of that we may shift gears and decide to focus on something grim and serious-sounding).
The Class: Rationale and Goals
While Pratt is rightly focused on helping students acquire the necessary individual skills in their discipline of choice, the evolving nature of work and workplaces-- and of art, activism, and even everyday life-- increasingly require collaborative and interdisciplinary skillsets. While students develop skills that make them expert in their fields, it is vital that they also cultivate the reverse: the "beginner's mind" necessary to collaborate and to give oneself over to a problem/project rather than simply staying in one's comfort zone.
The official goals of the course are (1) to foster a culture that places high value on both disciplinary and trans- and sub-disciplinary engagement, (2) to encourage a creative process that is collaborative, team-based, primarily problem-oriented and project-oriented, and (3) to foster recognition of research, reading and writing as integral part of the creative process.