Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece and Cyprus, seen with new eyes - from the sea. Art by Lucas Rampazzo.

Launch: Friday September 2, 15.00 AMS/IT, together with the Blended Learning Advisor of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Technical University Delft (TU/Delft) The Netherlands

Register for the audio realm (ZOOM) via

Connect to StudioBlended on Instagram, and our gallery for visuals to couple the launch 

The idea for a South South European ‘Peer to Peer’ for university teachers, originates from the time that lockdowns started lifting, and we woke up to a new Europe in higher education. Does it make sense - to believe, the South is in the unique and optimal position to develop capacity, in the South? Might they have similar experiences, challenges and inventiveness?

We take our time to explore this well.

We approach the North and South of Europe without compartmentalising the regions, but rather seeing the fluidity of their borders, and exploring each other’s worlds, history, present experiences, needs, ideas and hopes. You can see this beautifully reflected in the graphic art created especially for the event, in which Lucas Rampazzo sees the South with new eyes, from the sea, and as a single borderless line.

Our focus in finding common ground is on (technical / pedagogical) teacher training of university teachers and South-South capacity development through hardcore listening, dialogue and peer exchange. 

To ground the exploration, our umbrella is in the technical field of architecture, urban planning, urbanism, climate.

We aspire to connect Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece (incl Cyprus), organically over time. We do so through our pilots, teacher training and clientwork.

The envisioned ‘Peer to Peer’ listening, exchange, dialogue exists of researchers and university teachers (which are not mutually exclusive and even seasonal).

Ours is an open-ended endeavour, which takes shape in the present tense, through our dialogues and pilots.

Why South-South
South-South refers to the initiative to ignite capacity development of university teachers that follows a two-way direction especially within the South of Europe itself (peer to peer exchange). Thereby the dialectic, the contradiction, the comparison, are not ignored but actively sought as a rich way to explore the boundaries of these worlds and their lived realities, worlds, histories, dreams. Coming from an applied/practical and technical angle, a SouthSouth orientation can enhance our understanding of teacher training in this context, to integrate both its limitations and its qualities, and integrate them with inventiveness and innovation. Resonating with the realities and cultures of both the South and its universities is considered a priority.

It is a matter of finding the right angle with regard to the South-South initiative for capacity development of university teachers. Tension arises from the assumption of a homogeneity in the South. It risks losing the opportunity for heterogeneous networks where different ideas and solutions can be discovered. We must steer clear of zoning which creates differences instead of promoting broader tables.

On the other hand, there may be a niche that does not yet exist yet and could be tested using the South-South concept as a way for peer to peer exchange. This would shortcut interference from different contexts which would complicate the focus of the discussion. The assumption made is, then, that there is a homogeneity of characteristics, and that through this angle the subgroup is preserved in such a way that solutions to any issue can be discussed effectively. A critical point to bear in mind, is the difference between the north of the south, and the south of the south.

What is being undertaken to date?
Our participatory action research (PAR) in the Conference on the Future of Europe infuses the orientation of our exploration. Find the report here.

We are currently following through with our 2+ year pilot with teacher training through audio pocast: ‘how to design a resilient curriculum’. This podcast is part of the StudiOpedia - the backbone of our resilience course

We use the opportunity of the release of a next episode, to also set up another pilot alongside, a ZOOM call, where peers and experts from the South (mainly), dialogue about the content. It is a wonderful way to both develop capacity, and connect to new (at least to us) teachers in the South. We focus on the technical fields of architecture, urbanism, planning and climate mainly.

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Rationale of the ZOOM encounters pilot
The ZOOM encounters are very much part of the exploration of the (non)sense of SouthSouth capacity development. To keep it doable and focused, within the 2+ year project, we will focus our synergies on 4 countries, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece (Cyprus). Here, through existing networks at European and local level, we will actively seek to bring together teachers at universities in metropolitan areas with teachers in peripheral areas. In the South of the South, DiARC UNINA in Naples, will offer a strong Southern base and truly different lived reality.

As StudioBlended we prepared with a participatory action research (PAR). One of the things that came out very strongly from the PAR, is the bleeding, the exodus of young people from the South, to the North. Our ZOOM audio realms are definitely a way to strengthen the base, in the South, through peer and expert exchange. Sharing with peers may bring eye openers, new inventiveness, encouragement and innovation.

As proven by our PAR, it is not always easy to reach out in the South, for a variety of reasons including workloads of university staff. This too, is why we opted for audio podcast, which can be streamed in a moment good for the listener, and are moreover short (10-15 min.).

The vision for the audio podcast pilot, foremost, is to make teacher training accessible to all university teachers, and raise awareness of the importance of solid training in technique and pedagogy. We give exposure to the interdisciplinary and wonderful field of teaching.

The vision for the pilot with the ZOOM encounters is moroever, in a very natural way, to identify frontrunners, who inspire to innovate in teaching in their contexts, across Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece (Cyprus), and to make the human and professional connection that extends beyond time-horizons of project funding.

We will start to develop a common discourse, a common methodology, that makes it easier to collaborate in agile ways, such as around European Programs. We are open to exploring new projects through funding at European level such as innovative approaches to Teaching Academies.

If you believe in this project, and would like to enable StudioBlended to ensure consistency and continuity for young and medior university teachers alike, especially in the (South of the) South of Europe, why not support this unique project directly via our non-profit foundation? Feel free to contact us with your questions, suggestions or support ideas. In some countries you may benefit from tax advantages (e.g. in the Netherlands)

Who leads?
Blended operates as the lead of the network, in the person of Tikvah Breimer (MSc MEd MSc), lead and founder of the foundation and senior consultant and teacher trainer.

Veronica Olivotto (PhD candidate), Expert Climate Change Risk and Adaptation, is advisor to the network.

The envisioned network has its base in the South, of the South of Europe - and as such is infused with insights by dr. Mattia Leone, architect and associate professor, Department of Architecture (DiARC) University of Naples Federico II, Italy. Also co-director of the Urban Climate Change Research Network - European Hub (UCCRN) and Coordinator Erasmus+ UCCRN-EDU project.

Curious? Passionate about higher education in the South of Europe too as a lecturer or specialist? About resilience, and teacher training in this context? Interested in partnering with us?

Feel free to connect Tikvah directly to make an appointment for a call 

We are here especially for you in technical and human resilience by design. #StudioBlended Keep asking: does it make sense? This is your day, in your life - enjoy every moment.

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