Falsework School

The British Standards of practice for falsework, BS 5975:1982, defines falsework as “Any temporary structure used to support a permanent structure while it is not self-supporting.”

Scenes of aesthetic and political education.

The Falsework School, a project of Hic Rosa Collective, is a moving site of alternative community education in art, culture, and politics.



As a project of the Hic Rosa Collective, the Falsework School is committed to educational experiences as collations of concrete moments of study, thought, expression, and practice that dismantle the walls between teacher and student, artist and audience, participant and observer, and theory and practice. A typical learning day will be conducted like a facilitated community of study and practice. There will be a close study component, as well as guided discussion, ending with the production of a work of art or writing. While hailing from various academic contexts, we maintain that community education is not an extension or dilution of the academic classroom but an occasion to practice education without the various conceits, prerequisites, and instrumentalist and technocratic qualifications that beset institutions. Our approach to community education includes:

  1. A concern not with methods of teaching and learning wielded by expert teachers and educationalists in a formalised system, but with what we all do do every day, how we read, write, speak, and relate; with what it is to teach and learn in any situation, whenever or wherever it may be; and how we might change these toward a more just world.
  2. An emphasis on relations within spaces we occupy, and communities we build and inhabit. A focus away from possessing knowledge toward how a community recognizes something as known. Activities of reading, studying, and working in each other’s company allow the distinctions between doing, meaning-making, and knowing, and between various kinds of physical, mental, and emotional work to collapse.
  3. A belief that community education is not supposed to perfect the object of knowledge for a community, but educates the community about itself and about the relations of power and inequality within it, making room for it to confront that knowledge. The fundamental premise of equality among learners in the educational space, with no qualifications or expertise placing one above the other, is what allows the inequalities within the wider community to become visible and able to be reflected upon. Hence, we are working not to instruct toward equality but to educate through equality, resisting institutionalizations of inequality and injustice, old or new.
  4. A hope that, in the Berkshires and wherever else The Falsework School “pops up,” this is an effort at collective study and self-reflection around social inequalities and injustices because it seeks to not replicate certain burdens of teaching and learning, presenting and spectating, evidence and ignorance, and their bearers, but to collectively own the task of building an ethos of equality and justice that works outward from the space of education.