Trojan Horse is an autonomous educational platform (1) based in Helsinki.
1. We appropriate the word school as a mutually comprehensible term we use to communicate our inclination in learning and unlearning processes. We are not particularly attached to this terminology and we are hoping to come up with other words that can describe our practices in more organic and inclusive manners. Overall we wish to demystify the idea of the school, abolish the normalized structures and encourage people to join the discussion, regardless of their positions.
Trojan Horse organizes summer schools (2), live action role-plays, workshops and reading circles exploring the boundaries and preconditions that define the field where architects, designers, and artists operate today.
Trojan Horse aims to create flexible yet steady structures that support critical design discourses over a longer time span while remaining open for cross-pollinations and changes.
Trojan Horse encourages designers and architects to do more experimental projects, research-based work and form bolder political statements.(3)
Trojan Horse is currently organized by a group of five people in collaboration with its participants. The content of the events is a result of a collective effort, shared between the facilitators, participants, and everyone whose work supports our gatherings. As any collective or experimental endeavor, Trojan Horse still requires time, thought and effort to develop. Its identity is hybrid and under constant formation.
2. Each summer we aspire for a safer space for discussion, structured around a temporary communal routine away from the city. We spend several days living together and we form friendships. Our learning sequences depend on asking questions, facilitate peer-to-peer education, introduce and test various research methodologies, care for each other and form support structures that cross national and professional boundaries. A strategy itself, Trojan Horse rigorously explores the joys and the freedom of informal learning. These experimentation zones vary, depending on the interests, the knowledge and the urgencies of the participants.
3. The possibility to define one’s own practice is based on one’s position. Those who come from more privileged backgrounds can develop their professional identity more freely, when others face a more discouraging reality. There is a lack of support structures for smaller groups, collectives and associations. Exchanges between autonomous initiations and established institutions are narrow. These structures shape the design and working culture of today and impact our shared futures.
Trojan Horse is currently kindly supported by Arts promotion Center Finland, Finnish Institute in Estonia, Greta & William Lehtinen Foundation and Miitti-project. We have also been supported by Grafia ry and The Finnish Cultural Foundation.