A live project in Cochrane, Patagonia, termed a journey or travesía, whose aim was to reshape an important threshold between the town and its wilderness setting involved a group of staff and students from PUCV (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso) sharing a life in common for a fortnight in November 2013. Taking errantry in post-colonial discourse on identity as its theoretical point of departure, and using the Cochrane project as a case-study, this paper examines an apparent paradox: that in a travesía the creativity of wandering must be allied to a strictly organised plan of campaign. Exploring how and why such a shared journey stimulates not only the acquisition of metis (practical wisdom or artful cunning), but a new capacity to ‘make the land speak’, it draws attention to the risk-taking negotiation skills on which wayfarers depend. Importantly the travesía is shown to be a form of learning-to-build whose arena for insightful play transforms design into an essentially collaborative transaction. Finally, the paper discusses why, as a kind of time-limited ‘trial’ away from Valparaíso to prepare students for the battle of practice, the travesía chooses some but not all the limits and opportunities of ‘liveness’.
Previously, it was shown that undergraduate student experience is enhanced by collaborations in teaching between institutions across the 1992 divide (Freestone et al., 2012) and thus postgraduate research experiences were hypothesised to be similarly enhanced. This study investigates the views of Ph.D students regarding collaboration between institutions. Ph.D students from a UK pre-1992 institution, the University of Oxford and from a UK post-1992 institution, Kingston University were randomly selected and semi-structured interviews, questionnaire responses and field notes were used. The opinions with regard to attending two collaborative research institutions were positive and optimistic from both groups, however, the reasoning and opinions differed. Kingston University, being a modern university was perceived by its students to have a more relaxed attitude in its research community. Collaborative institutions were favoured due to the more specialised laboratories however the travel between institutions may be a burden. Ph.D students from the University of Oxford are keen to establish international collaborations to enable more exposure to other laboratories abroad. They consider disadvantages to be about the intellectual property that comes with collaborative ventures. Both the pre- and post-1992 institutions studied mutually agreed that the expanded opportunity to learn additional novel research methods is an asset for the research graduate.