An increasingly topical and global phenomenon, the ancient art of assembly making has regained interest in democratic theory and generated a nascent "industry" of participative formats, among which popular and citizen assemblies. However, many important aspects of a successful assembly remain under-researched, especially on larger scales. Moreover, in depth interdisciplinary approaches seem to be rare.
Focusing on the conditions for inclusive and egalitarian deliberations, our inquiry aims to deepen the understanding of epistemic and civic benefits of assemblies, the role of emotions and collective affects, as well as the place of conflict and dissensus in the deliberative processes. A special attention is given to the forms of assemblies exploring the relation between the spaces, architectures, choreographies of the bodies and the knowledge and effects they produce.
While there is a growing ambition to standardise the deliberative procedures, certainly useful for improving the quality of the practice, we are committed to support experimentation, vital for advancing knowledge. We plan to design and organise assemblies where contributors from a variety of fields such as social science, activism, art, design, and architecture, together with other interested citizens, will jointly work to develop forms and protocols for experimentations.
A series of public events will accompany the process in order to open the discussion on the conceptual, methodological and political aspects of assembly making. Our goal is to transform the topic into a matter of public concern and call to invest into experimentation and innovation of these promising forms of collective policymaking.