For years, the collective Todo por la Praxis has been working on intervention, mutual support and networking together with projects or processes of citizen management in different spaces of the city of Madrid, linked to a multitude of agents. All these processes, with which we share affective bonds and territorial environments of action have a common denominator: learning by doing.
After these years and our experiences in the Campo de Cebada, Esta una Plaza, Antonio Grilo, Cinema Usera and many other processes, we consider the need to find a space or ecosystem where to merge all the projects and learning acquired. In many of these cases we find methodological connections, similar research, replicable practices, communicating people and affections and intermixed processes that we think it is important to finish hybridizing from a pedagogical position. On the other hand, we found the need to generate a network from which to connect affectivities, share resources and enable the interconnection between different experiences.
This is the starting point of the Do It Yourself Institute, an ecosystem of programmes, projects and processes that connects acquired knowledge and allows direct learning in connection with citizen initiatives and actions.
In our search for options to physically house this proposal, we found an industrial warehouse in Vallecas that met the conditions and at the same time plans a declaration of intentions in the choice of location. The choice of Vallecas connects us with a neighbourhood to which we are originally linked, but from which many emotional and territorial connections that we have been working for years are derived. This is one of the motor neighbourhoods of the neighbourhood movement in the city, which made possible the processes of social, neighbourhood and urban transformation in the eighties. At present it is a neighborhood that concentrates a great social and activist capital coming from those neighborhood movements.
This is one of the many motivations that bring us closer to this territory of struggles, resistances and actions of change, to connect us in a more direct way with the different processes, being participants of a contextual reality to which to contribute in a direct way and by which to let ourselves be affected. The IDYS space is located in a small urban industrial estate and therefore connected to the adjacent industrial fabric and its professionals.
This has allowed us to build a direct relationship with trades (blacksmiths, carpenters, etc.) of which we always feel apprentices in our practice. In this way, we generate a network with the fabric of proximity with which we also share resources, tools and knowledge.
These are the main motivations that moved us to open a space like IDYS in the district of Vallecas in an old blacksmith’s shop. The opening of the space took place in 2015, enabling the space in resilient format and starting a program of workshops that connected experts and citizen initiatives. In 2015 we developed a dozen workshops that allowed us to connect with the reality of the neighborhood of Vallecas: neighborhood associations, youth associations, social movements, schools, and so on.
In this new phase we strengthened the project and reformulated some questions that allow us to continue growing and formalizing an open extitution. The engine of the space is the IDYS School, a training framework that raises the development of pills and itineraries. The pills have a specific learning in different areas of knowledge and the itineraries imply a more holistic knowledge that is developed in different phases. The intention is to continue researching pedagogical processes and social methodologies in order to connect learning with intervention in a more direct way. This raises a new way of doing in which it is empowered to build collectively by introducing the formative aspect, which drinks from the basic workshop schools, but from methodologies of diagnosis, co-design, collective construction and social management.
The new IDYS also includes new projects such as Fablab IDYS, which provides a learning environment and resources for citizen initiatives linked to the affective map to continue developing their projects. Another novelty is the IDYS Residence that allows us to have a resource that raises the interconnection of projects and experiences in a direct transference of knowledge with agents of the affective map and its challenges. And finally, the IDYS Archive as a framework for research with which to build an open source repository, a common bank of knowledge on strategic lines around collaborative practices.
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