Archive
TRADERS

The Office for Public Play organised a symposium on the role of the designer as ‘contractor’ in participatory design projects with children and young adults. The symposium took place on February 22th and was hosted at HDK Academy of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg.

This half day symposium assembled MA child culture design-students and stakeholders of the Björkås’ activity park as means to prepare for developing this participatory design project. The three invited speakers, Kerstin Bergendal (artist, PARKLEK project), Amanda Larsson (artist, Magisk trädgård project) and Markus Miessen (architect and spatial designer, Crossbenching practice), shared their perspectives and knowledge by presented their work. This input served as base for further reflection and discussion between the students, stakeholders and invited speakers to kick off the collaborative process. The main question that directed the presentations and discussion focussed on the role of making contracts that prescribes ways of working as well as making contracts / contracting (as verb) as a way of performqing participatory design practices and this in relation to the different actors involved in such collaborative, participatory design processes.

poster_50x70_170216_F

Read More

TW5_Book_of_Voice-Illustrations_coverThroughout the fifth TRADERS Training Week, ‘Modelling in Dialogue’ (TW5), which took place in Gothenburg 23-25 May 2016, Ida Liffner and Marthe Roosenboom of Studio Goja were invited not only to document vignettes from and participate in the proceedings (primarily lectures and an artistic workshop, reading group and dialogue) but also to be free to ‘speak’ through their illustrations.

These ‘voice-illustrations’, then, made on-site and re-assembled in full here in a 170-page digital publication, constitute an ambiguous accentuation of the already expressive aspect of representation. The mode and degree of inflection of voices is ostensibly indeterminate though more-or-less graspable by way of participants’ own memories.

Special thanks to Mohamed El Sioufi for the inspiring spark which led to this.

The Book of Voice-Illustrations is available as a pdf at this link (46mb).

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

About TW5: (full report at a later date)

Modelling in Dialogue was the fifth and final ‘Training Week’ (TW) [formally: ‘Training-through-Research Synergy’ or ‘TRS week’] of the EU project TRADERS.  TW5 foregrounded artistic and cultural approaches to dialogue and participation, emphasizing the role of multivocality in both design aims and methods as well as the strategic role of institutions–especially those of the public sector–in supporting and advancing societal change in collaboration with artists and designers.  Children’s and youth’s rights and perspectives, along with pedagogies linked with art, design and participation were also featured.  A variety of academic, artistic and cultural actors, including the public, were engaged.

This three-day event was designed, planned, coordinated and hosted by TRADERS ESR (Early Stage Researcher) Jon Geib in collaboration with his host institution, Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Architecture and TRADERS associated partner, Göteborgs Stad Kulturförvaltningen (Gothenburg Cultural Department).

The TW5 Program is available as a pdf at this link.

 

Read More

Children of Dampoort in dialogue about their rights for child friendly space in the city

Office for Public Play invited a group of children, aged 9-12 year, to explore, imagine and rethink their neighbourhood’s public space in relation to child culture and child friendliness. Dampoort is neighbourhood in Ghent in full transition. An urban renewal project was drawn up to revive the neighbourhood into one with more qualitative living: better housing, sustainable mobility, encouraging entrepreneurship and a greener, more climate-neutral neighbourhood. Citizens were invited to participate in this process, initiated by the city of Ghent.

Office for Public Play had a particular interested in children’s position in this context. How do local children experience their current neighbourhood? How they envision change? How to actively involve a group of local children related discourses that may contribute to processes of decision-making? Within the Pace-setters & Front-runners project, Office for Public Play initiated a series of playful dialogues: within the multicultural child group and between the children and other actors involved, such as their parents and local policy makers.

The concept of desire lines or ‘slow paths’ was used to explore informal ways of city planning (how do children playfully appropriate and envision public spaces) and rethink child friendly places in the city (slow paths being paths that are not accessible for cars).

In a first stage, the children explored and re-explored their neighbourhood through a series of play activities and ‘re-looking’ (Herrekijkers) exercises. This generated the ‘Front-runners Map’ with criteria for child friendly space in the city. In a second phase the children focussed on narrating imaginary places. Their stories, together with stories about child friendly places written by parents and policy makers, were collected in the ‘Invisible Paths’ book. These stories were used as material to initiate dialogue with Schepen Decruynaere, local policy maker for Education and Youth. The playful dialogue was triggered by a chair dance and shaped through role-play. Another dialogue was shaped with Schepen Watteeuw, local policy maker for Mobility, where the children negotiated their list of rights they want to acquire for child friendly space in the city.

Dialogue-shapers is part of the Pace-setters & Front-runners project by Trage Wegen VZW and zZmogh and a design researcher ‘Office for Public Play’. Dialogue-shapers was hosted at Pastory.
More information: www.officeforpublicplay.org and www.gangmakersenkoplopers.be


W_DSC05483
W_DSC05918
W_DSC05649
W_DSC05635
W_DSC05584

Read More

Proposal & Call for submissions to a collection of essays to put forward the notion of [urban interfaces] as the lens through which to explore how situated media, art, and performances constitute and construct contemporary urban public spaces. TRADERS researcher Naomi Bueno de Mesquita (Design Academy Eindhoven) has formed part of the core team of [urban interfaces] – a platform for a critical investigation of urban interfaces for creative and participatory engagement at the crossing of academic research and cultural practices – since September 2014 and will contribute to this essay with a paper for the track Urban Navigation. Important deadline for this call: July 1st 2016

UI call black new

Read More

On the 22nd of April 2016 TRADERS researcher Naomi Bueno de Mesquita organised a workshop together with Wouter Meys, Maarten Groen and Nazli Cila from Citizen Data Lab at University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam. Jelle Vrieswijk (a communication multimedia design student) assisted in the graphic communication and documentation.

In the workshop Creating Grassroots initiative blueprints by mapping the city, the tools Buurtinzicht and the web app Measuring Java were explored. Both tools were specifically designed for this day. With the collected data and other data-sets a story was built around a specific issue in a co-creation mapping session. The aim of the day was to engage with the following questions:

  • How participatory tools can be used/useful to make a blueprint of a specific issue on neighbourhood scale.
  • How to mine and map data, using a variety of data-sets (open data, social media data and collected data) as to build a story around an issue.
  • How the created blueprints can be used to support grassroots initiatives.

The workshop formed part of the conference Design & The City (Amsterdam). Design & The City explores citizens-centred design approaches for the smart city. The central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepeneurs and policy makers towards more liveable, sustainable and sociable urban futures. The workshop took place on the last day of the conference on the FabCity Campus on Java Island in Amsterdam. FabCity is a temporary and freely accessible campus open between 1 April until 26 June 2016 at the head of Amsterdam’s Java Island in the city’s Eastern Harbour District. Conceived as a green, self-sustaining city, FabCity comprises of approximately 50 innovative pavilions, installations and prototypes. Students, professionals, artists and creatives are developing the site into a sustainable urban area, where they work, create, explore and present their solutions for current urban issues. The participants come from various educational backgrounds, including art and technology academics, universities and vocational colleges.

Website_map lowres copy copy

Read More

The Research Show at A-Venue 6 April –23 April 2016

The Research Show presents work in progress from art and design researchers who are currently pursuing doctoral studies at HDK and Valand Academy, both artistic faculties of the University of Gothenburg. The exhibition features works by André Alves, Eva la Cour, Kerstin Hamilton, Annelies Vaneycken (Office for Public Play ), Arne Kjell Vikhagen, and Eva Weinmayr. The exhibition has been curated by Cora Hillebrand, Ram Krishna Ranjan, and Mick Wilson.

The lunchtime talk on April 20th, a conversation between Arne Kjell Vikhagen and Annelies Vaneycken, explores current research ideas of “play” and “game” in art and design practices and research.

DSC04978 DSC04966

Read More

On the 13th of January 2016 the event Mapping the world : design and conflicts was setup by Design Debates. Four mapping experts (artist Jan Rothuizen,  designer Joost Grootens, researcher Leeke Reinders and design researcher Naomi Bueno de Mesquita) presented their work/ research. The presentations were followed by a debate in which the different approaches of/takes on maps and mapping were discussed in a world that is facing conflicts. Questions were raised such as: What is the role of maps and the activity of mapping in a world that is more and more dealing with conflicts? How can maps help us to get a better understanding? How do mapping practices deal with questions of power? Is mapping itself a political activity?

The programme of the evening can be viewed here: http://www.designdebates.nl/

“Maps have become an increasingly active and explicit part of everyday life, particularly in a world where the possibilities for (re)production of graphic images have multiplied. Reality can be viewed in different ways, it just depends on whose eye, from which viewpoint, and the interests underlying their observations and actions. (Leeke Reinders).

What is the role of maps and the activity of mapping in a world that is more and more dealing with conflicts? How can maps help us to get a better understanding and is mapping in itself a political activity? Furthermore, technological developments also make it more difficult to achieve a single and dominant viewpoint. Information travels fast and there are plenty of advanced techniques available for the creation and manipulation of maps. Maps themselves have also become more flexible. They’re in our minds, in the car, on our mobile phone. What is the role of maps and mapping in a world that is facing conflicts?”

The moderator of the evening was David Hamers (lecturer at Design Academy Eindhoven and supervisors in the TRADERS programme).

IMG_3851

 

Read More

How to explore a site by opening up senses for unpredictable exploration?

The Office for Public Play was invited by “De Andere Markt” to contribute to the discussion on how to reconfigure work in Genk, starting from the “Kolenspoor” as a case study. This was part of the TRADERS Autumn School, November 10-13 2015. A collective of eight designers, artist, researchers and peers – with a background in play and games as approach for working on participatory art and design projects in/on public space – was formed for exploring this question during a working table at the Autumn School.
Working table with Janneke Absil, Oswald Devisch, Ruth Matheus Berr, Selina Schepers, Maxime Vancoillie, Andy Vandevyvere, Winglam Kwok and Annelies Vaneycken.

Work/labour is an essential part of the origin and history of the city of Genk. After closing the mines at the end of the 80s, the Ford succeeded being the main employer for many Genkenaars until this automobile manufacturer had to close its doors in 2014 as well. Since then, Genk and its broader region are left with huge rates of unemployment.

The Kolenspoor is a former rail track connecting different mine sites in Genk and its surroundings. Since the closure of the mines, most of the track is left unused. Only a small part of the Kolenspoor is still official in use to transport goods from/to an adjacent industry zone. Locals use some parts of the Kolenspoor informally, e.g. to extend their gardens for cultivating vegetables, keeping domestic animals or dumping waste. Other places are abandoned and overgrown by nature.

IMG_8054

The aim of the working table was not to come up with new design solutions on how to re-use the Kolenspoor but to explore how the track, as public place, is currently used and how it can be re-imagined by creating and sharing stories. The track allows us to explore its relation as public meeting place and place for informal work. The working table generated a play model that aims to open up senses for unpredictable explorations

The play model exists out of a set of simple instructions and work principles.
Instructions
1. make two groups at a chosen place of departure; 2. walk away from each other in opposite directions; 3. make a trail by leaving traces; 4. return in one hour to the place of departure; 5. find the traces and trail of the other group; and 6. retrace the found trail 7. share stories and discussion.
Principles
1. when making traces we advice to work with “lost and found” material and with respect of the environment 2. when exploring use various ways of documenting your exploration, like e.g. notes, sketches, letters, photos, video, maps, …

IMG_1207 IMG_1208

Despite of its simple rules, the play generated different paths and collections of objects, users and stories. The making and seeking of traces triggered a broad spectrum of senses opening up speculation and imagination. Curiosity and a soft sense of competition drove the exploration of the site in various directions. The performativity of writing and reading the traces on sight happened in conjunction with ‘talking’ as means to generate a collective experience that is partly documented and, later on, is expressed, shared and passed on through stories. The play and making of the stories were not seen as goal but inherent to the process of the exploration. The informal mode of walking and collective making of traces invites the players to express very subjective and possible opposing ideas and reactions. The play helps the players to create stories, real and fictional, and therefore helps them to re-imagine multiple interpretation of the track/site. In addition to sharing stories and reimagining the site, the play contributes to a collective learning process that makes the players look differently at the track and may make them act differently during the further process of the project.

In contrast to other proposals, this model demands the player to make traces instead of only finding traces. In addition, this model does not aim to classify the found traces in relation to a predefined goal, defined by the designer(s), but create a collection of multiple storylines, real and fictive, and multiple possibilities, realistic or utopian that represents the diversity and subjectivity of the individual participants.
Another element that distinguishes this play from other ways for site exploration is the second phase in which a group searches for the trail(s) and traces made by the other group. Mystery arises when one tries to find out if a certain signal should or could be interpreted as a trace left by the other group, a trace left by previous visitors or as a non-trace. Mystery acts here as play signal for entering imaginary worlds. Furthermore, it is unclear if the trace that was intentionally left was meant as marking or as message. “Is this a trace of a meeting, of a path, of a ritual, of an event, … or is this just my imagination?” The ambiguity of the traces allows multiple interpretations and new possibilities and thus opens up the participatory process for diversity and subjectivity of the individual participants.
In comparison to other forms of exploration, this model does not only pass on its stories through forms of documentation like e.g. maps, photos, videos, but the stories are passed on as well, directly or indirectly, through the traces themselves. This means an ongoing exploration of the traces and site. In this way, the temporary or more fixed traces might also trigger and involve other publics than the actual players after the exploration play has finished.

IMG_8177 IMG_8176
IMG_1142
51°00’14.5”N 5°31’53.2”E51°00’10.8”N 5°32’07.7”E

Because of its simple rules, the model can be transferred and adjusted to explore different types of spaces. The model is available as PDF; download, print recto verso on A4 and fold using the instructions.

foto 3 foto 2 foto 1

 

Read More

2nd TRADERS International Autumn School
9-13th November 2015, Genk (BE)

 

From the 9th to the 13th of November of 2015, the second international Autumn School of TRADERS took place in Genk. Under the title “On the role of participatory art and design in the reconfiguration of work (in Genk)”, the program included a diverse series of lectures, working tables -guided by each TRADERS’ ESR-, local projects to contextualize the work and reflections, and non-work activities like an informal night tour around the garden-cities (cités). Tuesday and Wednesday most of the lectures took place, whilst two were programmed for Thursday (one of them cancelled due to the speaker’s illness); on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning-midday the group of participants divided into 5 groups and joined one of the working tables, organized by each of the TRADERS’ researchers. The results where presented on Friday at 15h, followed by a group reflection by Liesbeth Huybrechts and Carl DiSalvo.

 

Monday 9th of November

On Monday the 9th of November we hosted an informal welcome and drinks to the Autumn School in De Andere Markt, the shop-front working as a living lab by the host researcher of TRADERS. Veerle van der Sluys, as director of LUCA School of Arts (Campus C-Mine) gave a first welcome and impression of Genk; Pablo Calderon Salazar, the host ESR, briefly described the context of the Autumn School and its relation to Genk; and Jan Boelen who, besides being the creative director of Z33, was born and grew up in Genk, gave his personal recommendations for the work of the week, particularly to look for the frictions in the city.

Wim Dries, Mayor of Genk

Wim Dries, Mayor of Genk

Tuesday 10th of November

On Tuesday the 10th of November, the official program of the Autumn School started with an introduction by Jessica Schoffelen, co-coordinator of the project, who gave a brief background of how TRADERS came into being and it’s connection to Genk, the host research group (Social Spaces) and the local projects. Wim Dries, current mayor of Genk, gave the opening lecture of the AS, by recounting what he calls the three industrial revolutions of Genk (coal, manufacturing and creative industries), and by inviting us to look for ways of re-building Genk society from the bottom-up. In contrast with the politician, the Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk followed with her lecture, which described a process of creation of a neighbourhood cooperative in a marginalized neighbourhood of Rotterdam (Afrikaanderwijk). Then, Pelle Ehn, one of the pioneers of Participatory Design in Scandinavia in the 70’s, gave a historical background of how the three living labs they created in Malmö came into being and how did they work. At last, sociologist Pascal Gielen described the challenges of creative work in current (repressive) times. On the evening the group of participants took walking tours around Winterslag 1 and 2 (two of the three garden cities of the neighborhood).

Jeanne van Heeswijk, Visual Artist (NL)

Jeanne van Heeswijk, Visual Artist (NL)

Wednesday 11th of November

On Wednesday the 11th of November the program started by a lecture by designer and design educator Carl DiSalvo, who was also present during all the week. Carl gave a framework for understanding social design today and its potential as –what he calls- a prefigurative practice. Then, Wim Embrechts, interior architect from Brussels, described the creation of a project to empower youngsters in a marginalized neighbourhood of Brussels by encouraging them to develop their own skills and interests. After, Hilde Heynen, one of TRADERS supervisors, brought a missing topic –until now- in the different TRADERS’ for a: gender. Hilde described how the modernist city –and its public spaces- have fostered some kind of gender discrimination; she also made reference to Hanna Arendt and her differentiation of labour, work and action. After Hilde’s lecture, we visited the two projects that would serve as context for our work in the coming days: Betty’s Garden and De Andere Markt. Then we returned for the last lecture of the day, given by other of the TRADERS supervisors, David Hamers. David shared his research in two types of environments: former mining region in Poland and suburban towns in the United States.

Carl DiSalvo, designer and educator (USA)

Carl DiSalvo, designer and educator (USA)

Traders-11nov-20-BB

Hilde Heynen

Thursday 12th of November

Frank Moulaert was the third TRADERS supervisor who gave a lecture during the Autumn School. He spoke about (the role of) social innovation in a post-political context. He did so by framing what he understood as SI, taking as reference –and contrast- Ezio Manzini and the SPINDUS manual, which he contributed to. He stressed the importance of understanding the socio-political context of such projects. In the late morning (11h), given the cancellation from the other lecturer (Rianne Makkink) due to illness, we started to work in the different working tables, led by each of the TRADERS ESR’s.

Traders-12nov-7-BB

Frank Moulaert

Working Tables

  • Naomi Bueno de Mesquita – Mapping labor: participatory practices as mode of inquiry in reconfiguring work.
  • Jon Geib & Michael Kaethler – Problematising post-Fordist instrumentalisation of Art and Design labour.
  • Pablo Calderón Salazar – To Intervene or not to Intervene? That is (not) the question.
  • Annelies Vaneycken – Desire Lines of Genk: exploring play as means to rethink mobility and work (in Genk).
  • Saba Golchehr – Genk’s economical shift: from mining coal to mining data. Strengthening the social networks of local entrepreneurs for future economic resilience.

Traders-11nov-37-BB

Friday 13th of November

Friday saw the last day of the Autumn School, with a continuation of the collective work within the working tables and a public presentation at 15.00 in De Andere Markt. After, at 17.00, a collective and open forum was made to reflect on the input and work from the week. The forum was moderated by Carl DiSalvo and Liesbeth Huybrechts.

Traders-13nov2015-13-BB

Final Reflection (Liesbeth & Carl)

 

  • Should we be expected to ‘do’ social innovation? What is our role as researchers?
  • Grounded theory?
  • Awareness of the ‘three pillars’ of social innovation? Include important issues (matters of concern) into our projects / processes. Politicize. Gender! How to integrate these issues? What is still missing? Diversity, race, multi-disciplinarity…?
  • Frank’s lesson: “how do we engage with an existing structure?”.
  • The first (serious) discussion within the design community about ‘work’ (Carl DiSalvo).
  • Similar perspective as ‘Hilde’s’, but in the realm of art. Design is solving problems, while art is creating them.
  • How to inform artistic / design practices through design / art. Artists might see designers as a threat.
  • Is there a clash between design and design research? Reflect on practice.
  • What are the ‘sites of doing research’? Has it shifted from the office / atelier to the public? How is the work you are doing opening new sites of design (practice and research)? How do we learn to act in contemporary logics? Iterative process of action-reflection.
Read More

During Dutch Design Week 2015 (17th – 25th October), research associate Naomi Bueno de Mesquita at Design Academy Eindhoven (TRADERS researcher in Multiple Performative Mapping), invites you to participate in the cartographic exploration What Moves You? A collective realtime mapping of the transformation of the city during Eindhoven’s Dutch Design Week. DDW’s visitors – YOU! – collectively become the authors/ creators of a map that shows the feelings that circulate during DDW.

HOW IT WORKS

1. Visitors of DDW are asked to use a web-application on their mobile phone (ddw.performativemapping.net) and designate a feeling to a DDW location.

2. A picture is taken of the ‘thing (object, place, person,…) that triggered this emotion.

3. The data is uploaded and directly visible. The realtime map demonstrates the areas of Eindhoven (comparing the different venues of DDW) that are more or less emotionally laden, what emotions are felt where, and why. For example, many pictures of the same object tell us that the work in question triggers an emotion that is felt collectively, but in case a work has many different adjectives linked to it, it tells us that people experience different emotions that are all triggered by the same work.

FB

HOW IT IS PRESENTED

During Dutch Design Week Naomi walked in Eindhoven between the different venues with a measuring wheel on which a projector is mounted, this way; doubling as presentation device. The measuring wheel is to be seen as a metaphor for the way in which Naomi measured and (asked visitors to) map(ped) feelings that circulate during Dutch Design Week. The object is designed by Karianne Rygh and Rinze Borm. It makes the digital component of this research tangible and part of a performance in which visitors of DDW are triggered to participate. Throughout the week, the realtime map was projected on the urban fabric in different places in the city. Naomi carried a device which tracked her movement so that people could find her anytime of the week if they wanted to ask her for an update of the map or to discuss the research.

presentations

Naomi carries a tracking device with her with which the walked tracks can be followed via a website. Visitors can visit her anywhere to get an update on the map or to discuss the research (such as here under the bridge).

CONCLUSION

Read More