Director, Node Center for Curatorial Studies, Germany
Perla Montelongo is Director of Node Center for Curatorial Studies, her main focus is on designing alternative learning strategies from and for contemporary art. In 2010, she co-founded Node Center in Berlin, Germany, establishing it as a place for teaching, researching, and experimenting with subjects related to curatorial studies and contemporary art practices. Perla develops and defines Node Center’s structure which has included Collaborative Curatorial Residencies, an Online Educational Platform and the Innovators Grant for Research in Art and Education.
Since 2016, she has been developing pilot programmes for high school education, working together with teachers and students to give shape to the ‘House of Inventions’, an educational space and programme hosted in a public school in the north of Mexico.
House of Inventions: Art and Design Thinking as learning tools in formal education
(presented in Panel Discussion 3: School+: Innovative Strategies and Resources)
The House of Inventions is a programme within a public high school in Ciudad Juárez, México that applies a range of strategies to integrate art as a learning tool in education. In response to a perceived lack of creative thinking training in education – an essential skill for problem-solving – the programme aims to empower students to solve local issues by developing creative solutions to change their environment and communities.
The House of Inventions stems from a 2015 project by Node Center for Curatorial Studies, in which a team of seven ‘innovators’ from fields of art, education, neuroscience, physics and psychology came together for two months to research how to use artistic thinking as a tool for learning. Since then, the research has been tested in schools in México and Spain. Each version has been modified for different contexts in collaboration with the teachers and students, based on their specific needs and challenges. Perla Montelongo, the founder of Node Center and head of the educational programme, will share key insights from this journey: from how we structure the programme and collaborate with teachers and students, to how art can be used to learn other school subjects and for problem-solving; in sum, how art is a small but essential part of the puzzle in shaping new ways of learning.