At the Educational Developers Caucus conference I first wrote about a few weeks ago, one highlight for me was a workshop delivered by Erika Kustra and Bev Hamilton from the University of Windsor. While some workshops focus on tips and techniques, and others on current issues, these two critical thinkers facilitated a highly conceptual process that got participants moving around to stations on walls to play with New Urbanism as a metaphor for mapping our institutions (where we are and where we ought to be). Rather than thinking strictly about physical space planning, we thought about the intellectual and conceptual traffic flow, borders, open
spaces, resources, and structures of our universities. Do we have a central public square? Is it library or a student centre, or somewhere else entirely? Do we have disciplinary suburbs or gentrified former urban centres? Who can enter the university study space with ease and who with difficulty? What are our untapped resources and which are sustainable? Are there gas-guzzling commuters in an intellectual gridlock, and where are the free-to-borrow bikes to get around all our curricular options, or where are the perambulatory paths of the mind? These are the kinds of questions that led to fascinating new mappings of our real and ideal campuses. I hope that some time we can invite Kustra and Hamilton here to take us through a similar exercise, as it was one of the most freeing, challenging, and stimulating workshops I’ve ever experienced.