The Invisible College
Kilmahew / St Peters
2011 - 2013
First referenced in the 17th century by the natural philosopher and scientist Robert Boyle, the concept of The Invisible College was initiated by a group of intellectuals dedicated to furthering knowledge through experimental investigation. It was described as an “institution without walls” with no fixed home or declared identity.
Nearly four centuries later, the idea of the college was given a new twist with a research network that connected academics, educationalists, contemporary artists and a wide range of individuals.
Live research was led by different arts & humanities disciplines including geography, history, social anthropology, environmental art, landscape architecture, architecture and philosophy. It used the woodlands and the partially ruined form of St Peter’s Seminary as a new centre of learning that is fluid and adaptive in its structure and programme.
The research followed an inspiring programme of seminars, talks, research projects, debates and creative commissions. Operating as a flexible learning system, it built creative connections between diverse communities (academic, artistic, local, national and international). Breaking away from traditional higher education models, research was undertaken with individuals from the across the academic spectrum, from professional academics to local primary school children.
2011-13 Research programme
This 2011-13 research programme was built around three themed research workshops. Each workshop culminated in an open public talk which shared the research findings so far and had invited guest speakers relevant to the theme being explored.
Integral to the programme was the online community at www.theinvisiblecollege.org.uk, formed by written and visual research and reflections from each activity day and made freely available.
Four of the Public Talks from the first season of the Invisible College that can be watch above by clicking the ‘Play’ icons or below.
Caitlin DeSilvey, University of Exeter on Orford Ness, September 2012:
Andy Wightman, writer, campaigner & researcher on Land & Democracy, June 2012:
Tilman Latz, landscape architect & co-creator of Duisberg Nord, March 2012:
Tim Edensor, academic and writer on modern ruins, March 2012:
Local dialogue, expertise and input is a cornerstone of The Invisible College. Local residents have been involved in our landscape or heritage groups including managing and expanding the Kilmahew Productive Garden.
How to turn and abandoned building into an ‘Invisible College’
by David pollock
31 Aug 2012
Watch a video of Angus Farquhar’s recent lecture at Glasgow School of Art HERE
Invisible College and Site development background (pdf 5.7MB).