EMAL is a group of all together 48 researchers interested in studying learning and the body, or “Embodied making and learning”. “Embodied” refers to the unity of mind-body-surroundings as we interact and experience with others and with materials in the world. “Making” refers to the act of changing and influencing materials and situations (in a broad sense). “Learning” refers to the change and development of the individual when engaged in embodied interaction with others and materials. This includes a perspective on knowledge as an active process and as continuous change. The group explores basic conditions and consequences of being a body in the world, experiencing and learning through working in materials and with others.

The theme Embodied making and learning is studied in two main topics: the present basis for embodied making (as materials, form, design, quality, meaning, culture) and the practical consequences of this basis (as education, society, creativity, culture, innovation). Three perspectives are used into this theme: An aesthetic perspective, an educational perspective, and a participatory perspective.

The group was established by researchers and teachers at the department of Art and Design Education, however, the group is open for all researchers at the University of South-Easter Norway who are interested in this topic. Thus our research group now includes researchers from several campuses and representing:

  • Arts
  • crafts
  • Design
  • Outdoor activity education and dance
  • Music
  • Learning sciences

Being such a large group, EMAL’s core activity is organized in research intensive sub-groups, Clusters, according to specified interests within this large area. The four clusters are:

EMAL-Early Childhood Education

This cluster is lead by Kari Carlsen and Ann-Hege Lovik Waterhouse. The research is focussed on exploratory practices involving body, materials and materialities and on the prerequisites for such learning processes along with children in the age group 0 – 10 years.

EMAL – Digital

This cluster is lead by Ingrid Holmboe Høibo and Lovise Søyland. The research focuses on creative work with, in and through digital materials and tools. We examine how the body is anchored in experience and how materiality can be understood, developed and worked on in digital (online) teaching and creative processes.

EMAL – Teaching and Learning

This cluster is lead by Åsta Rimstad and Anniken Randers-Pehrson. The research is focussing on how learning takes place in and through embodied making and how teaching can facilitate learning.

EMAL – Making and Materiality

This cluster is lead by Kirstine Riis and Marte Sørebø Gulliksen. The research is focussed on making, and on the materiality in making. Research is done mainly through own or others’ creative action at work with physical, concrete materials.