In this article we argue that, for educators in design, urbanism and sustainability, the responsibility of connecting emergent design practice and changing societal needs into pedagogical activities demands that attention be given to ecologies of learning that explore the interplay between what is and what might be. As such, this futuring imperative brings into play a mix of modes of situated learning experience, communication and tools from design and learning to query the planned and built environment as a given, while offering alternate future visions and critiques. In this article, we argue for agile pedagogy that enables students to co-create as citizens in public spaces, through agentive multimodal construction of their identities and modes of transformative representation.
Our core research problematic is how to develop, enact and critique design-based pedagogies that may allow designer-educator-researchers and students alike to co-create learning ecologies as dynamic engagement in re-making the city. This we take up within the wider context of climate change and pressing societal and environmental needs within which design and urbanism education increasingly needs to be oriented. Our inquiry is located within a shared practice of design pedagogy across two continents, and climatic and disciplinary domains between the western cape in South Africa and the far north of Norway. The main finding of this research is that pedagogies that are enabling of and attentive to the interplay of an assemblage of relational context-sensitive modalities can be conducive to sustainable and futuring design-based urban engagements.