Facilitating Participation – Practising Agency

Jasmin Schaitl
Angewandte Performance Lab, Angewandte Performance Lab
2024S, artistic Seminar (SEK), 2.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S05134



Tools to Craft Participatory Situations for Encounters On-Site and Hybrid Encounters

A hands-on, interdisciplinary course focusing on "Facilitation" and taught by an international team at the University of Applied Art Vienna Performance Lab.

Understand. Embody. Reflect. Put into Practice.

Students in this course at the University of Applied Arts Vienna,  Performance Lab design and mediate participatory situations emphasizing knowledge transfer and independent learning in non-frontal environments. Students are invited to explore the integral and intricate role of the mediator/facilitatorin physical, hybrid and digital environments. The course emphasizes the role of the facilitator, meaning someone who provides support, direction, or supervision, often in an indirect or low-profile manner.

During the course, led and accompanied by Jasmin Schaitl, we will explore, reflect on and discover implications related to an active mediator/facilitator's role in implementing and managing participative situations. By means of hands-on research, we will create a reflective setting to share and apply methods to create participative situations. We will learn more about the complexities of participation, how it can be designed, inspired, and provided, and how to manage it autonomously, thereby strengthening the ability to act and make autonomous decisions from within a supervised situation.

In accordance with the instructor's expertise and together with invited international speakers, we will explore the diversity and complexity of "mediation" stemming from performance, extended choreography, architecture, didactics and education, collaborative theater, cognitive science and practices in mindfulness. This will take place in various formats such as on-site, online, hybrid learning, machine learning, and AI.

When observing a decision-making process, "participation", for example, can be regarded as a constantly moving relationship-based method that needs to remain self-regulating. The mediator involved in this type of process often stays more in the background while the actual experience is being created and managed by a variety of involved aspects. These aspects may include people, objects, materials, transient immaterial influences, nonhuman and digital processes. The course seeks to introduce a transdisciplinary approach that facilitates this kind of constant movement and extends beyond the artistic context to embrace all aspects of communication, decision-making, interrelationships, social structures and more.

How can a low-threshold introductory situation be turned into a learning situation?

What kind of intangible elements (such as time, emotions, experiences) come into play during participative situations?

At which point does a mediator/facilitator intervene, and when does the mediator/facilitator move to the sidelines?

How do digital learning environments change participation and mediation?


Whether in the arts, education, didactics, technology, politics, or other disciplines, the ability to facilitate/mediate is a vital skill to foster change and progress in society. In an age in which active participation and agency are crucial, individuals who understand the complexities of facilitation can play an integral role in not only creating adaptive living conditions, but also shaping sustainable social dynamics.


Invited Experts and Topics of Laboratories:


- KICK OFF, Introduction and Lecture with Imani Rameses

- LAB #1, Lea Pelosi:
#learning-autonomy, #co-creation, #participatory-learning-approach

- LAB #2, Asher O'Gorman & Philipp Ehmann: 
Choreographic, Playful Methods with Materials and Objects
#com:pose , #material crush, # thing world 

- LAB #3, Charlotta Ruth & Jonas Bohatsch:
Digital Enhancements & Hybrid Co-Presence

- LAB #4, Jasmin Schaitl & Viktor Fuček:
Inner and Outer Spatial Relations of Body, Architecture and Mind
#mindfulness, #haptic, #immaterial-processes, #spatial-relations

- FINAL LAB, all Experts:
Presentation, Sharing, Feedback, Reflection


Funded within the frame of theTRANSFORM Calls „New Courses in Teaching“.


Examination Modalities


- Continuous presence, and active participation in all Laboratories, and 2 of 3 sub group meetings.

- Creating and facilitating a participatory setting (in sub groups). Sharing and facilitating it during the Final Laboratory in June.

- Handing in a short written reflection on the participatory character of the lab, as well as filling in a

questionnaire about their experiences on participation and the role of a facilitator in the diverse fields


Max. Number of Students: 15

Language: English (German possible)



- Rameses, Imani/Ruth, Charlotta/Schaitl, Jasmin: „Withdrawing the Performer. Facilitating Participatory Sense-Making“, in: reposition 2/2024 (publication in progress). NOTE: will be handed in printed version at the beginning of the course

- Hanna De Jaegher/Ezequiel Di Paolo, "Participatory sense-making: An enactive approach to social cognition." in: Phenomenology and the cognitive sciences, 6, 2007, pp.485-507.



Students are not required to possess any prior educational or artistic experience.
Students should, however, be interested in unconventional learning methods and non-frontal education. The course provides valuable understanding for students majoring in education, social sciences, and arts.

Given the broad range of applications involved in the subject area of "Facilitation/Mediation", we welcome JKU students (and students from other universities) who are majoring in, for example, computer sciences, engineering, and business, as well as all students at University of Applied Sciences Vienna who are studying at, for example, the Institute of Art and Society, or majoring in architecture.

Key Words

facilitation, designing learning experiences, participatory sense-making, hybrid and digital co-presence, play objects and interfaces, performativity, agency


08 March 2024, 13:00–14:30 APL Angewandte Performance Lab, Georg-Coch Platz, Hochparterre, left , "KICK OFF, Introduction and Lecture, with Imani Rameses"
15 March 2024, 15:00–18:30 APL , "LAB #1, Lea Pelosi, Facilitating-Learning-Frames" (guest lecture: Lea Pelosi)
18 March 2024, 14:00–18:30 APL , "LAB #2, Choreographic, Playful Methods with Materials and Objects " (guest lecture: Asher O'Gorman, Philipp Ehmann)
12 April 2024, 13:00–14:30 APL , "Sub Group Meeting with Jasmin Schaitl"
19 April 2024, 13:00–14:30 APL , "Sub Group Meeting with Jasmin Schaitl"
22 April 2024, 15:00–17:00 APL , "LAB #3, Digital Enhancements & Hybrid Co-Presence " (guest lecture: Charlotta Ruth, Jonas Bohatsch)
29 April 2024, 15:00–17:00 APL , "LAB #3, Part 2, Digital Enhancements & Hybrid Co-Presence " (guest lecture: Charlotta Ruth, Jonas Bohatsch)
16 May 2024, 12:00–17:00 APL , "LAB #4, Inner and Outer Spatial Relations of Body, Architecture and Mind" (guest lecture: Jasmin Schaitl, Viktor Fuček)
27 May 2024, 14:00–15:30 APL , "Sub Group Meeting with Jasmin Schaitl"
08 June 2024, 10:00–15:00 APL , "Final Lab with: Lea Pelosi, Charlotta Ruth, Philipp Ehmann, Asher O'Gorman, Viktor Fuček, and Jasmin Schaitl" (examination)
09 June 2024, 12:00–15:30 APL , "Final Lab with: Lea Pelosi, Charlotta Ruth, Philipp Ehmann, Asher O'Gorman, Viktor Fuček, and Jasmin Schaitl" (examination)

Course Enrolment

From 05 February 2024, 00:00 to 31 March 2024, 20:17
Via online registration

TransArts - Transdisciplinary Arts (Bachelor): Artistic and art technology foundations: Artistic and art technology foundations 180/002.01

Expanded Museum Studies (Master): Electives: Free Electives 537/080.80

Studies in Art and Culture (Master): Free Electives: Free Electives 568/080.80

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas 1-3: Study Area 1: Artistic Strategies and Approaches to Art 569/020.01

Design: Specialisation in Fashion Design (2. Section): Fashion Communication and Fashion Business: In-depth Free Electives 584/207.80

Fine Arts (2. Section): Artistic Practice in Technical Context: Free Electives out of Artistic Practice in Technical Context 605/203.80

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Artistic Strategies and Approaches to Art: Deepening and Application 700/001.20

Art & Science (Master): Methods and Practices of Transdisciplinary Research: Praxis and Theory 776/002.16

Co-registration: not possible

Attending individual courses: not possible