Sophie Dyer is a researcher and designer.

She is a freelancer (medieval mercenary), a past contributor to Airwars and a co-producer of the experimental documentary unit, Concrete Flux.

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Test Unit: Learning Platforms

Unit facilitator with Neil McGuire at the week long architecture summer school.
(June 2018)
Agile City
Civic House
Glasgow

Unit facilitator with Neil McGuire for the week-long architecture summer school. Download the group’s documentation, Meditations on a Circle, here.

Extract below:

LAUREN I’m really proud of our hole.

So much emotional and intellectual strength went into the development and the design of our circle. Through the process of ‘doing’ we proved that co-operation is not self-evident but a political act, one that takes generosity, care and intent.

[…]

BRIANA What does it say about education?

GIO I think it is a sort of an anti-education way of doing.

BRIANA It is but then it is also reinforcing the institution because it’s a circle.

GIO It’s a contradiction.

BRIANA It isn’t formless.

GIO The circle can be both. I think it’s one of the most common shapes found in nature.

BRIANA That’s true.

GIO Digging, I realised how man has destroyed the land, the soil, the ground because we found a lot of shit inside [the ground] and I didn’t imagine it [would be like that] because … I don’t know … it’s soil! It’s not plastic!

BRIANA To find all this [plastic] is shocking. It is disgusting.

GIO Yeah, disgusting.

BRIANA We didn’t take it out. We left it there. You know? We know we kind of put it back in.

GIO Yeah.

[…]

MIRANDA A circle needs to keep moving for it not to become rigid. A circle needs to have ways in and ways out for its inner space to be temporary and non-oppressive. Neither full nor empty but a leaky space – leaking in and leaking out. What in biology [lessons] we learnt was called a Semi-Permeable Membrane.

Sometimes, I find circles frightening. I’m not sure why sitting in a group circle and having a discussion is something I find so difficult – I think it’s partly the fault of school … and some other things. It’s a kind of stage fright.

BRIANA In the dance workshop there was a point when we split into pairs (like cells dividing) and face-to-face, we mirrored each other – changing our movements in unison, without one person leading the other. But sometimes one person would prompt a movement, or a body part, or a direction. You had to read the other person, react in the present. [The movement] dissolves as soon as the next [begins] but its traces remain. ●

Unit participants: Briana Pegado, Robert Mills, Charles Myatt, Rosalind Peebles, Miranda Stuart, Lauren La Rose, Gemma Crook, Maeve Dolan, Giovanni Sambo