These are the workshops below:
by Carlos Jimenez on July, 19, 2010
(click here to see the expected process: Humour_workshop_process_ASSIST 2010.pdf)
Some authors  suggest that the words “humour”, “human”, and “humility”, they all share the same Indo-European root, ghôm- (“humus”), related to fluid and earth. In ancient and medieval physiology, humour was considered as “any of the four body fluids” (blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy or black bile) whose relative proportions were thought to determine state of mind (good humour). In conclusion; good humour was linked to good health. So, etymology gives us the main clues for our first conceptual approach in this workshop. In other words, the challenge is about how to (re-)connect humour (health, laugh, being-well, balanced) with human (society, culture, values), humility (bottom-up perspective, modesty ) and humus (territory, process, life cycle thinking) as a projectual principle in Design for Local Development.
In line with emergent transdisciplinary perspectives to embrace complex flows of resources (materials, energy, information, knowledge, people…), Design is evolving from a traditional form configuration approach (vertex) towards a systemic innovation catalyser (vortex). It can be considered as a sort of useful meta-discipline to ongoing processes in search of emergent paradigms for wellbeing, such as sustainability. Thus, design process for local development can be properly defined as a strategic activity referring to different disciplinary levels (services, communications and products) to promote systemic innovation processes (environmental, social, economic, technological) starting from the territorial resources.
Somehow, what pretended here is a conscious, etymological recovering for the “the thing’s” original meaning; The Thing was the governing assembly in ancient Germanic societies made up of the free people of the community meeting in a place called a “thingstead” (it could perfectly be this summer school). In English, this term is attested as “assembly” around year 685, and the meaning of personal possessions as “objects”, “articles”, or “valuables” first appears in 1300 . So, the departure point for us, constituted as a “learning community” is to co-design ideas, proposals and desirable future scenarios in a collaborative way. Design understood as a socio-material assembly, as a walk, both physical and mental.
Humour is an intangible cultural heritage. It can be exchanged for free, consuming no material resources nor generating waste and acting as a wellbeing catalyser. The citizens of Gabrovo are notorious for their unique sense of humour. They are regarded to be both good at moneysaving and bargaining, and know how to get something out of nothing - an invaluable lesson taught by their ancestors; upon the very hint of a crisis they set their sense of humour going, for they are left with no other alternative. The city is currently known as an international capital of humour and satire reinforced by cultural institutions such as the “House of Humor and Satire” (www.humorhouse.bg) for whom “The world lasts because it laughs”.
In this sense, our working hypothesis along the workshop will be that of considering humour as a local resource for local development in multiple dimensions, but more specifically in these two:
 Kurtz, Ernest and Ketcham, Katherine. “The Spirituality of Imperfection: storytelling and the search for meaning”. Ed. Bantam, 1993
 As S.W. Gilbert says: “The ordering principle of the universe will never be found in the laws promulgated by Senates or Congresses of Deputies; it will be found as you turn, on a Sunday afternoon, the humus pile you’ve been tending gently during the Fall months, in preparation for Spring planting.
 Barnhart, Robert K. The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology. ISBN 0062700847. 1995
BENYUS, J. Biomimicry: innovation inspired by nature. Ed. Harper Perennial, 2002ç
BENTLEY, T. Learning beyond the classroom. Routledge. 1998
BONSIEPE, Gui. El Diseño de la periferia. Ed. Gustavo Gili. Barcelona. 1981
FUAD-LUKE. Design Activism. Beautiful strangeness for a sustainable world. Earthscan, 2009
GALLOPIN, G. (ISTS: Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability). “Sustainable development. Challenges for Science and Technology”, keynote speaker at ICSMM. International Congress in Sustainability Measurement and Modelling. Terrassa (Spain). 5-6 of November, 2009.
ILLICH, I. Tools for conviviality.1973
MAFFEI, S.,VILLARI, B. “Designer as a Learning Enabler for Strategic Design Processes in Local Development” in European Cumulus Congress Proceedings (2006).
MARCHIONI, M. Comunidad, Participación y Desarrollo. Teoría y metodología de la intervención comunitaria. Editorial Popular. Madrid, 2007.
MARGOLIN, V. “Design for Development: Towards a History”, en Design Research Society ‘WonderGround’ Conference. Lisboa, Portugal. Noviembre de 2006
MCDONOUGH, W., BRAUNGART, M. Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things”. N. Point Press. 2002
MERONI, A. (Ed.) Creative communities. People inventing sustainable ways of living. Edizioni POLI.design. Milano, (2007)
MANZINI, E., JÉGOU, F. Collaborative services. Social innovation and design for sustainability. Edizioni POLI.design. Milano, (2008).
PAPANEK, V. Design for the Real World. Human Ecology and Social Change. Bantam. 1973
SANTANA, Antonio. “Desarrollo Sostenible y participación”, en Jóvenes Rurales por la Sostenibilidad. normal""> VV.AA. Agencia Insular de Desarrollo Rural AIDER Gran Canaria. 2003
THACKARA, J. Wouldn’t it be great if… Dott 2007. Design Council. London, (2007).
THACKARA, J. In the bubble. Designing in a complex world. The MIT Press. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, Massachussets, 2005
VON HIPPEL, E. Democratizing innovation. The MIT Press. Massachusetts Institute of Technology London. 2005.
VVAA, Hacia un perfil de la sostenibilidad local. Indicadores comunes europeos. Informe Técnico. Ed: Dirección General de Medio Ambiente (2000).
By Nadezhda Savova on May, 30, 2010
NOTE!For this workshop participants are encouraged to bring and share stories, fables, recipes, rituals, sayings, and objects and crafts related to bread-making and consumption items (bread covers, bread stamps, grains, etc.) rooted in their own cultural background or familiar contexts.
The workshop “Walking with Collective Architectures” explores in a trans-disciplinary perspective three major chronotopes and processes: 1) walking as a way to shape and examine our tangible and intangible environment, and be shaped by it in the recyprocal process; 2) “community” as denoting the common, the shared public spaces where relations of power and asymmetry define the inequality but also dynamism of “sharing” and coexisting in public spaces; and 3) “architectures” as the physically built environment and how it affects social relations, where in the particular case we will explore the space of the Bulgarian community cultual centers called chitalishte, walking through but also “with” their physical architecture in order to understand how it structures the architecture of cultural and social interactions.
The workshop has a trans-disciplinary character, since it exaimnes the broad notion of “community building/sense of community” as the sphere of intersections among a variety of fields, both local and trans-national. Our methodology of walking through community architectures is an approach that combines action and research to produce a polyvalent vision of what and how impacts the way people make meaning and in particular connect to a notion of “community” and “belonging” through their participation, as well as non-participation, in collective amateur/voluntary arts activities.
The questions we will be asking while walking through and with the community art buildings will strive to disentangle the factors that constitute sustainability in social transformations, from ecological and social justice to environmental action, cultural and biodiversity, etc.through the means of communication and engagement of community arts.
First workshop: first ASSiST evening, August 21st, 19-20:30: the group will move to the city center to walk around the building of one of Gabrovo’s community cultural centers (chitalishte). There the participants will engage with the multimedia interactive presentation of different community architectures for the arts from around the world (based on personal research and work and examples from the I3C associated networks) as we discuss bringing a trans-disciplinary perspective on the issue of how space and architecture animate or impede social interaction. The cases will be grounded in the concept of heritage kinaesthetics (Savova 2009, Anthropological Quarterly) to denote the various forms in which people animate the “aesthetics” or the simple “looks” of things, places, and social relations through the activation of the senses and the shift from "aesthetic" to moving "kinaesthetic" in the everyday sensory maps, from smell to taste and urban walking.
The methodology will build on Andersen's “Talking while Walking” research technique and develop an approach I denote as the Eating while Walking methodology, exploring the phenomenology of “eating public space” and how this indigestion of reality connects to or disconnects us from the surrounding ecology? Each participant will be carrying along a loaf of local round bread (pitka purlenka) which each one will dip in different substances (honey, salt, local spices, etc.) to examine how the architecture and the diverse tastes and smells of the community cultural center affect people’s participation in its activities? What are the elements that can make the place and the house more welcoming and open, warmer and inspiring, enabling people to connect to the house on a more regular, deeper level?
2) Second workshop: second ASSiST evening, August 22nd, 19-20:30: evening collective bread-making as a social sculture (and dinner) at the Bread House Cultural Center (http://www.international3c.org/breadhouses.html, www.bread-art-house.org) created by me (Nadezhda Savova) in cooperation with the local community ; the Bread House was recognized by Slow Food International as a model for a holistic education centered on the crossroad between food, art, and the senses; over the two evenings and our walks across community architectures, we will examine two distinct models of a community cultural centers, with different architectures (and possibilities for walking and exploration) and management, operations, but also with distinct ways of engaging the senses and society: the first one, through the size of its spaces (spacious rooms and overall building) and second one with its smells (of fresh bread and fire in a small space).
The methodology of discussion in this last part is Kneading while Talking methodology as all participants will engage in collective bread-making around a large roundtable at the center and will fill the baking time with discussions and improvised forms of art to understand how people engage in such activitites on a regular weekly basis and what collective bread-making means in daily life and as a way leading to sustainable, ecological and more creative living.
All participants will be requested to bring along (from their countries) a small notebook with white (blank, not striped) pages and use the notebook as a tool to document in images and writing their experiences of eating while walking and kneading while talking. The workshop participants are encouraged to bring and share stories, fables, recipes, rituals, and sayings related to bread-making from their cultural background.
By David Knaute on May 15, 2010
Walking is part of everyday life. But although many people suffer from limited mobility, it is still considered as a ‘banal’ activity, which does not deserve further consideration. More than that, it is often denigrated as the last mean of transportation, which should be used only when no other mean is available. When people walk for particular reasons, the term is usually replaced by other verbs (jogging, trekking, strolling, etc) or simply eluded, stressing that it is not an end in itself. In some instances, people go walking with the intention to pass time, relax, do exercise, but once more walking merely appears to be a break between more important activities. However, when taken seriously, walking becomes a powerful element in contemporary societies. In a time when all our movements are dictated by man-made vehicles and our daily schedule organized to fit the pressing realities of modern life, walking represents the ultimate act of resistance and the path to freedom. It should not be forgotten that it is one of the essential characteristics of human beings and the only natural gift that can be performed without the support of any technological input. One can even walk barefoot and without wearing any clothes…
When it becomes an activity in itself, walking also carries many opportunities which are not available otherwise. It is firstly a unique manner to keep in contact with the earth, which is never as close to human beings as when those ones are moving on foot. The perception of time and space is true only to the walker, since other sorts of mobility disrupt reality. At the extreme opposite of the ladder lies the plane which has the potential to transport people from one part of the planet to the other in a matter of a few hours. While walking, each square centimetre of earth can be observed and felt. Each second makes sense and can be received by the individual with the same intensity as a heart beat. Walking also brings about unique experiences as far as awareness of life and death is concerned. The walker engaging him/herself on long distances will face hunger, thirst, muscle-ache, tiredness while becoming detached from material things which are neither needed nor available anymore. The consumption of goods belongs to those who stand still. In other words, walking is relying on essentials. On a metaphysical level, it opens many doors, from the elevation of the spirit to philosophical thoughts to self-reflection. Walking also develops a sense of humility and invites the individual to gratify every moment of life. This is followed by a greater respect for the environment and all living beings. Last but not least, walking allows some of the best social interactions and intercultural experiences. Being a universal act, it is understood by everyone and every people, and its rhythm accommodates time for dialogue and mutual sharing. In other words, it is the antonym of aggressivity, it is an act of peace, and it incorporates all the elements required for a sustainable world.Walking is part of everyday life.
But although many people suffer from limited mobility, it is still considered as a ‘banal’ activity, which does not deserve further consideration. More than that, it is often denigrated as the last mean of transportation, which should be used only when no other mean is available. When people walk for particular reasons, the term is usually replaced by other verbs (jogging, trekking, strolling, etc) or simply eluded, stressing that it is not an end in itself. In some instances, people go walking with the intention to pass time, relax, do exercise, but once more walking merely appears to be a break between more important activities. However, when taken seriously, walking becomes a powerful element in contemporary societies. In a time when all our movements are dictated by man-made vehicles and our daily schedule organized to fit the pressing realities of modern life, walking represents the ultimate act of resistance and the path to freedom. It should not be forgotten that it is one of the essential characteristics of human beings and the only natural gift that can be performed without the support of any technological input. One can even walk barefoot and without wearing any clothes… When it becomes an activity in itself, walking also carries many opportunities which are not available otherwise. It is firstly a unique manner to keep in contact with the earth, which is never as close to human beings as when those ones are moving on foot. The perception of time and space is true only to the walker, since other sorts of mobility disrupt reality. At the extreme opposite of the ladder lies the plane which has the potential to transport people from one part of the planet to the other in a matter of a few hours.
While walking, each square centimetre of earth can be observed and felt. Each second makes sense and can be received by the individual with the same intensity as a heart beat. Walking also brings about unique experiences as far as awareness of life and death is concerned. The walker engaging him/herself on long distances will face hunger, thirst, muscle-ache, tiredness while becoming detached from material things which are neither needed nor available anymore. The consumption of goods belongs to those who stand still. In other words, walking is relying on essentials. On a metaphysical level, it opens many doors, from the elevation of the spirit to philosophical thoughts to self-reflection. Walking also develops a sense of humility and invites the individual to gratify every moment of life.
This is followed by a greater respect for the environment and all living beings. Last but not least, walking allows some of the best social interactions and intercultural experiences. Being a universal act, it is understood by everyone and every people,
and its rhythm accommodates time for dialogue and mutual sharing. In other words, it is the antonym of aggressivity, it is an act of peace, and it incorporates all the elements required for a sustainable world.
The profile of three famous long-distance walkers will be presented to highlight the creative potential as well as the potential risks/limits inherent to such an activity:
By Barbara Lounder on May 12, 2010
You are always alone (the subject), but always accompanied (by memory, culture and history, if not other people). The walking stick is an aid and a reminder of this. Walking, when mindful or “attended to”, serves as a poultice. It warms, soothes, eases, while drawing out the toxins, the broken down cells, the byproducts of trouble. Isn’t that why we go for walks when we are sad, angry, lonely? Walking and melancholy go together, but walking and imagination and desire also go together. Sometimes walking is accompanied by euphoria.
A walking stick may be thought of as prosthesis (an artificial foot or leg, allowing us to extend outwards from our bodies, to probe and test before making footfall), and also as a “locative medium” (to situate one’s self in the landscape, while passing through it. The walker is the moving point in the topography).
The proposed “Walking alone and together” workshop will include activities which explore independent ambulatory movement, and interdependent (assisted) walking, using walking sticks which are “adapted” during the workshop (using attached bells and rattles, wheels or casters, lanyards and other straps for attaching multiple sticks to multiple walkers, blindfolds, coloured paints, etc). The workshop will explore walking singly, in pairs, small groups, and then in large group or “net”, in which various spatial relationships are explored, such as loose groups of unconnected walkers, pairs connected by sticks, and then larger groups connected by sticks. Walking will be accompanied by talking (as talking and listening are exteroceptive means of gaining spatial information when vision is blocked). Talking as sound and talking as language will be investigated, exploring how we navigate by listening to vocalizations when we do and do not understand the language being spoken. Some of the walking will be done silently (as in walking meditations, but also as a way of concentrating attention using other sensory stimulae). Walking and proprioception (following, stalking, and tracking) will be included in the activities. The workshop will conclude with reflections on what was experienced, including the relationship of walking and trust, fear, courage, self-discipline, judgment, patience and pleasure.
By David Haley on May 10, 2010
Man walks deep in thought
His path absorbed by the ground
Man thinks deep in walk
On the moon man walked
Some small steps, some giant leaps
Meanwhile, down to earth
Man breathes many breaths
A thousand species expire
Alive to be pleased
With the sun behind
Footprints grow ever longer
Is this rainbow’s end?
Clouds form, thunder rolls
The man walks into the wind
Sunset, no rain falls
Eyes streaming, breath short
Dry river meanders by
Walk into the sun
Walking as field study as performance as artwork as ‘life as a journey’ metaphor, through observation and reflection - slow thinking – ‘making time as a matter of urgency’ to generate dialogue through improvisation, conversation and experiential knowledge
with a local guide(s) - the non-expert expert - using interpretation, semi-structured inquiry, indeterminacy and being ‘lost’ to explore, place as living organism, ‘commons’ as a right and phenomenological drawing – being sensitive to the way things draw
themselves – towards eco-economic value systems and questions of the personal and collective at scale and participating in spatial planning, to consider ‘leverage points’ as places to intervene in the system.
I perceive our ability to survive climate change as the enactment of an evolutionary narrative. My interdisciplinary research attempts to integrate quantitative and qualitative methodologies into the creative process and this informs my practice; to generate poetic dialogues that resonate as creative interventions in pursuit of aesthetic diversity to develop communities of inquiry for an eco-centric culture.
Crystallise and then dissolve e rarely mentions the dependence of migrating species on ecological connectivity. Increasing urban dwelling and development exacerbates the situation, so as an expanded urban wildlife aesthetic, this ecological artwork (AWOTWS), explored conflicts between nature and culture as a consequence of Climate Change. The project synthesized natural and social science methodologies with arts practices to further question the lack of cultural diversity and biodiversity in spatial planning policies (Mayer Harrison & Harrison 1998). AWOTWS also addressed the decline in experiential knowledge (Lakoff & Johson 2002) and increasing dependency on remote electronic data.
Walking has played an important part in my ecological arts practice and arts –led, practice-based research since 2004 when I initiated A Walk On The Wild Side (2004/9). The initial programme of nine walks in Manchester began with the fact that Climate Change public discourse rarely mentions the dependence of migrating species on ecological connectivity.
AWOTWS developed twelve filmed, arts-led, field study walks to promote observation and reflection among the participants. Each film presented narratives for an eco-centric culture that consider Manchester as a living organism and an eco-sculptural form within the Mersey Basin. The art form becoming the methodology, a dialogical intervention, an extended performance and empirical inquiry – ‘a transformative reflective practice’ (Habermas 1972, Kester 1998).
In 2007, three of the films were edited to produce one 18-minute film for exhibition in the BBC’s Breathing Places Festival on the ‘Big Screen’ in Manchester (est: 35,000 audience); an eco-arts exhibition at Taipei Artists Village and the MIRIAD China Tour (Beijing, Xiamen, Guongzou).
AWOTWS received Arts Council England ‘seed funding’, promotion by Architecture Week 2006 and Manchester Science Festival 2007. Presentations about the project included: a keynote lecture to the Israeli Eco-Arts Forum, University of Tel Aviv (2005), funded by the British Council; refereed papers to Art, Nature, Culture, Washington State University, (2005), Bergen National Academy for the Arts (2004) and Sustainability City, Urbis Manchester (2007).
AWOTWS was developed with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Enterprise, Urbis, Mancunian schools, environmental and community organisations.
Subsequently, I applied the Wild Walks form to two Climate Change/river based projects, Rivers from the Future (2007) in Mid-Pennine Lancashire and Tide Turns Waters Dance in Tamshui, Taiwan. A programme of walks in Liverpool, Walk The Talk To Forest, have been initiated for my Trees of Grace (2009 cont.) project to consider a thousand-year long project to create an ‘analogue forest’ for the whole of the Mersey Basin with ginkgo biloba as the ‘keystone’ species of tree.
Walk the Talk to Many Futures will further my own practice by building on previous walking strategies and applying them to a European mountain cultural and geophysical context. I hope to use this experience to gain critical feedback into this form and process of walking-as-art from the particular set of participants the Summer School will offer. I hope the participants will share this rare time and space to listen to themselves, to each other and to the environment that they embody.
‘At the heart of embodied realism is our physical engagement with an environment in an ongoing series of interactions. There is a level of physical interaction in the world at which we have evolved to function very successfully, and an important part of our conceptual system is attuned to such functioning. The existence of such “bas-level concepts” – characterized in terms of gestalt perception, mental imagery, and motor interaction – is one of the central discoveries of embodied cognitive science.’
The incorporation of a simple form of Tai Chi Chuan/Qigung exercise will extend that experience by drawing energy from within the walkers and drawing energy into the walkers, thereby extending the physical language and the art of walking. As a whole system, the event will be a form of ‘ecopoiesis’, the process of ‘ecopraxis’ and learning through ‚ecopedagogy’.
Walk the Talk to Many Futures will be appropriate for all levels of ‘average’ fitness and ability (i.e. endurance and stamina should not be an issue). Access will be dependent on the local terrain, but is intended to be appropriate to the widest possible participation.
A local guide(s) will lead the spatial/physical way. The artist will lead the inquiry for participants to discover questions through the walking process, about themselves and about their potential futures.
Practicing a simple form of Tai Chi Chuan/Qigung will act as a ‘warm-up’ (energise) and ‘warm-down’ (meditative release) to help prevent physical stress and injury. It will, also, promote internal and external sensitivity and connectivity.
Time will be taken to stop for interpretation and to observe, reflect, gaze, sketch, photograph, examine, ponder, and of course discuss what we encounter.
Research is being conducted into the particular cultural, geophysical and ecological characteristics of the Summer School location. You are invited to contribute any knowledge you have about Gobrovo, the surrounding area and the people.
 LAKOFF, G. & JOHNSON, M., 1999. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought. Basic Books, New York pp90
 HALEY, D., 2001, March 2001: Reflections on the Future – “O brave new world”: a change in the weather. In ed. REMESAR. A., Waterfronts of Art I, art for Social Change, University of Barcelona, CER POLIS, Spain www.ub.es/escult/1.htm and CD ROM pp. 97-112
 Ibid., HALEY, D. 2001.
Walking has played an important part in my ecological arts practice and arts –led, practice-based research since 2004 when I initiated A Walk On The Wild Side (2004/9). The initial programme of nine walks in Manchester began with the fact that Climate Change public discourse rarely mentions the dependence of migrating species on ecological connectivity.
By Insa Winkler on May 9, 2010
At the first summer school in Bulgaria a practise based case study about the topology, criteria and indicator of mapping a worldwide heritage walk is supposed to be started. The goal is to label sustainable locations that focus special on bio- and cultural diversity instead of uniformity of our globe. Our walking focus on sensation for the different types of landscape like nature reservation, (agro) - industrial fields, human settlements and the agricultural space given as a human heritage corridor for future generations.
A walk of the group should be based on discovering, looking, finding, reflecting and analyzing the landscape and environment of Gabro. Our journey of research, feasible in the time schedule, may lead us to some point to a cultural, sustainable and typical site - specific heritage.
With a JPS digital camera we will create a map with personal credits to our workshop area, but we will also discussing “the collective point” of “highlighting something”. Ideally we will publish this coordinates and pictures in the web. The development of a webspace is planned to become a growing atlas of a sustainable walk and the mapping of expedient cultural heritage resources for comprehensible use.
Everybody is invited to subjoin optional existing GPS guided web spaces to make this sustainable transformation happen. The concept also intend to bring participants into a team working situation and exchange their educational background through the indicators for sustainable human heritage as well as developing creative objects to mediate the results and share this internationally.
What are indicators for the worldwide heritage walk map (wwwhw-m).
How do we approach on the mapping through walking in our environment?
How can we label personal and collective heritage?
What is the case of the wwwhw-m in Bulgaria?
What will be the best option to mediate the wwwhw-m?
By P. Radhika on May 6, 2010
The workshop intends to open up thinking about ‘walking’ by focusing on a closely tied object, that of the pavement/sidewalk/footpath. Recent civil society interventions aimed at ‘sustainable development’ have argued for the protection of pavements and the need to encourage walking in cities in the context rapid urban growth in developing countries like India. We find at the centre of this discourse someone who is recognizably a ‘citizen’.
The workshop asks what are the meanings of the ‘pavement’ for ‘non-citizens’ i.e., the large migrant population from villages & small towns who inhabit the city, for whom the sidewalk, pavement takes on a different significance. The pavement could be 1. dwelling places for the homeless or extensions of homes for the poor, 2. places to generate livelihood—production & trading (food, newspapers, jewelry). 3. a place for the cultural-political performance of cities (fairs, protests).
The state has responded variously to these different uses of the pavement. However, since the 90s with newer ideas of the 'citizen' who should inhabit the city, there is a slow evacuation of the 'non-citizen' from the city's imaginary & culture—evident in court judgements that see the squatter as 'illegal', in urban planning that focuses on fly-overs & high-speed ring roads. If pavement culture constitutes a city's culture, there is a danger of that culture disappearing with pavements being decreased in size or removed altogether. How does one address this disappearance? One of the possible ways the workshop will explore is through the reclamation of public spaces through cultural performances.
The session will involve going through a collection of photographs that showcases the different uses of the pavement, a recent court judgement on squatters. Participants can bring to the session related material, textual and visual, from their own contexts especially anything interesting about pavements.
Outcome of the workshop:
The specific case presented here about streets & pavements could enable a wider reflection on:
The last two issues have been concerns that are part of an academic-advocacy initiative that we at CIDASIA Research Programme, CSCS are a part of, along with "Maraa", an organisation that intervenes in urban environment and cultural policy in Bangalore. The initiative focuses on the need for action-research methodologies for policy intervention.
These are initial thoughts from my end and can willingly take different routes & directions with your inputs…
By Laurent Malone on April 27, 2010
This interdisciplinary workshop involves several subject matters, such as architecture, urbanism and music, making them interact with one another. Conceived as a cooperation project, it strives to bring about an encounter between local culture and a process of territory exploration. With its rich industrial past, Gabrovo is an economically derelict city, waiting for new strategies concerning its still available spaces, with unresolved identities, in the expectation of a redefinition or a development project.
My suggestion is a collective walk with the participants of the workshop and the city's inabitants, according to a mental axis crossing the industrial heritage and its memory. During the act of walking, the city workers' memories and tales will be gathered, by inviting each one to tell his recollections of the places formerly «inhabited», in comparison with the encountered architecture. Thanks to the presence of musicians / walkers, these tales will give birth to a collective song spreading itself across the whole city.
A new way of inhabiting these places and reflecting upon their future. The act of walking becomes a collective performance, allowing the involved group to experience the space physically.
Brief biography of Laurent Malone (www.laurentmalone.com) Artist, publisher (http://integral.laurentmalone.com/editions/) and director of osservatorionomade-marseille and Lives and works in Marseilles.
Laurent Malone is a photographer who works on the analysis and documentation of urban space transformations, based on itineraries mapped out in different cities. Walking is at the center of the photographic process developped by him.
In New York as well as in other European and Asian cities, Laurent Malone carries on an obstinate chronicle of urban transformations, with a special focus on the non-planned uses of public spaces, such as the occupation by female Filipino workers of a motorway footbridge or the Hong Kong Central Bank, the crossing of NY in a straight line in the direction of JFK Airport (with Dennis Adams), the occupation of a wasteland in Marseilles, or a walk in the direction of Corviale (Rome)... These observations of the public space constantly bring back urban architecture on the scale of human occupation.
Typology of suggested workshops : pluridisciplinary, based on the urban walk as a means of reading the urban space in a critical way.
Osservatorionomade-marseille is an interdisciplinary research project, offering different types of actions based on specific practices of territory explorations. Thereby, the actions develop a sensitive cartography of particular territories, communities and their memory.
Through the act of walking, listening and exchanging, the project gives great importance to an experimental approach. Generating evolutive and self-organized processes, the practices aim at reinforcing social ties and environment relationships, presently absent from those neglected territories, a methodological direction, walking as a way of surveying.
In this project, the act of walking is considered as a critical tool to help discovering the city’s unconscious, and getting to know a territory as well as interpreting it symbolically. Walking becomes a public process of exploration and knowledge of the urban context.
Walking with other people is a way of getting acquainted with the city and its identities, of creating room for looking, listening and speaking. It also gives the opportunity to meet the other and put the public space in motion. www.osservatorionomade-marseille.com
By Sacha Kagan on October 15, 2010
During the summer school, despite the absence of Hans Dieleman, I took the opportunity at some point in the week, to read an extract of a text from Hans, about some things that he would have talked about. Several participants have asked me to publish that text. Please find it below:text extract from Hans Dieleman's proposal for ASSiST 2010 (was read to the participants in his absence...)
About the Keynote Speech that did not occur, extract from a text by Prof. Dr. Hans Dieleman, Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM), Colegio de Ciencias y Humanidades, Centro de Estudios sobre la Ciudad
Bringing sustainability from the realm of ideas, dreams and visions to the material world of action, consumption and production will depend on the ongoing realization of series of numerous concrete projects, such as Local Agenda projects, Global Action Plan projects, Cultura21 projects, Cultural Centers projects, action philosophy projects, and so on AND so on. Also, and even more so, realizing sustainability will depend on freeing creativity, developing vision and liberating people. So eventually realizing sustainability is about the question if we can really all become artists in the way Joseph Beuys looked at artists: free and creative individuals, armed with visionary and imaginary powers, creative abilities and the will to realize their own dreams and create their own destinies.
In the last decade art and artists are more and more involved in sustainability projects. In some cases art serves in a traditional sense as an exhibition of artworks that is organized along the realization of the project with the aim to illustrate the theme and to enrich the project (recycle art, climate change art). In other cases art is equally used in a traditional sense as a way to free creativity and/or to create an element of fun and leisure within the project. ´Freeing creativity´ is often materialized in the form of a painting workshop or sculpture workshop or any other sort of art-based workshop, for children usually but not exclusively. And finally and more recently we can find many projects, all over the world, that are different and less traditional. I think of social sculpture like projects, and socio-artistic interventions of various sorts. In these projects the main 'material' of the artist are social or environmental problems along with the ideas and dreams and discussions of the people in relation to these problems. It is not creating a traditional work of art to illustrate, enrich or empower. Here solving a social or environmental problem has become the work of art. Looking at art as solving social and environmental problems is what interests me. Yet still something is missing. I don't like art projects that can be separated and ARE separated from, let us say, no-art-project. Community projects, whatever. Our world is still very much divided along the good old modernistic schemes and borderlines.
But in the traditional modernistic world artists create their art in special places (ateliers, workshops etc) and art remains a separate sphere of life. It is the sphere of creativity all right and we can watch and admire the results in museums, cinemas and-the-like. In the contemporary modernistic world we invite artists to do “their creative thing” among us, as part of sustainability projects. It is more sympathetic and yes, maybe these artists help others to envision, imagine and eventually live their dreams. And they can even help create concrete solutions now and then. But my dream is to not be dependent on people that we have come to label artists. And certainly I do not want to be dependent on what we call artists within projects that otherwise still use pretty standard planning scheme. Here is the challenge. Not to work with artists but to become artists ourselves (again).
The keynote speech will present the idea of artistic rationality and its application in sustainability projects. The key questions the speech will address are:
Exploring these questions is a major part of the speech. First I will give my answer that is, in as far as the first question is concerned, based on Donald Schön’s work complemented with my own knowing of art and the art creating process. And in as far as the second question is concerned I will present an alternative to the standard planning scheme incorporating what is in my opinion ‘artistic rationality’. The two introductions I will give will, I hope, be the starting points for discussion and from there on I hope we can collectively explore the idea further, during the summer school. It is very much a work in progress.
I worked with different notions of rationality throughout my PhD period and always had Donald Schön‘s book “The Reflective Practitioner” in the back of my mind. Mainly because I liked so much the title and strangely enough I never really used the book. After I finished my PhD I engaged myself in “Art and Sustainability” with an epistemological interest without really diving too deep into it. A few years ago I was driven to the idea of ‘artistic rationality’ and all of a sudden Donald Schön‘s Reflective Practitioner started to make sense. Schön discusses in the book that professionals are not merely using formal knowledge and solid data in their decision making processes, as they usually claim they do. This key idea of Schön was very consistent with the findings in my research throughout the nineties and in my own PhD research on managers not taking ‘rational’ decisions in matters of Cleaner Production. They pretended they were but really they did not. Schön labeled the ways of working of the professional ‘art’, and explained why it has all the characteristics of how the artist works. Or how we usually think the artist works. So what Schön is implying and what I was seeing in my PhD research is that professionals and managers are ‘artists in disguise’, pretending to be ‘rational’ in the shallow sense of the word but in reality not following these rational schemes. I think we are all artists, most of us in disguise, trying to force ourselves in scientific schemes to look ‘scholarly’, ‘professional’ or ‘knowledgeable’. Victims of modernity, Deprived of half of our abilities (emotions, intuitions, etc.) and poorly prepared to create. And what is true for us as persons is also true for many planning-towards-sustainability-projects.
When we think of ´art´ it is pretty standard to distinguish among processes and works of art. The works we all know and range from visual objects (paintings, photo's, sculptures), linguistic objects (metaphors, literature, poetry) until music and performance-based and multi-media objects (theatre, dance, websites and the like). Of course the real interesting part of art is the process behind the making of the works. This process is best characterized as an activity that aims to explore our reality. Art as enquiry. This is all pretty common knowledge. But then, what is happening during these processes of enquiry? Here is where ‘the secret’ can be found. In presenting my ideas I will talk about ‘the artist’ and of course this is a stylized imaginary artist. And yes of course, I generalize. But don’t worry, I am merely exploring. Trying to help to get to a common understanding. This artist while creating art and thus enquiring in the nature of reality first of all opens up SPACES TO EXPERIMENT. In these spaces the artist explores, shapes, challenges and tests reality and images, thoughts and definitions of reality by means of giving form, changing form, mimicking, manipulating, constructing, deconstructing, etc. This is irrespective of the type of artist, painter, writer, performer or a social sculpture artist working in a community. All these activities can be seen as the creation of experiments with the aim to understand reality and sometime to change it. It is enquiry.
And, and this is my second point, this process of enquiry is very INTUITIVE AND OPEN. What will happen, what will happen to me, what will it tell me about the reality outside of me? Knowing and exploring is a principally open process, without hardly any rules. Maybe the basic rule is to be open. The artist allows himself to experiment surprise, confusion, disappointment while none of the unexpected is really ‘wrong’. While adding a color to the canvas may not produce the expected result, various options are open. Remove the paint, mix it, leave it there for a while, etc. How to continue after an initial step and after experiencing surprise or disappointment is principally open. It is up to the moment and the gut feeling of the artist. He can use formal logic, analysis, lateral thinking, emotions, induction, deduction, etc., etc. No hypotheses are confirmed or rejected or maybe they are, but not in the traditional scientific way.
And, and this is my third point, in all of this the art producing process is ultimately PERSONAL. It is working with all that is inside of the artist: knowledge and wisdom and emotional experiences. It is a huge repertoire of experiences that the artist gained throughout his life. It is like a collection of images and emotions and knowledge and skills and ideas and memories of practices and conversations that the artist stored in his memory. All of that is to be used without knowing out front how.
Fourthly the process is ultimately ITERATIVE. The artist is in constantly dialogue with what he or she is creating. He is not first making a plan and then executing it. The artist is creating while executing or executing while creating. Doing is not following ´knowing´ (diagnosis, analysis and then action) but knowing and doing are inherently integrated. The process is ultimately reflective.
Finally the artist INTEGRATES FORM AND CONTENT, WHILE LEAVING ROOM FOR INTERPRETATION. Artists form and deform and construct and deconstruct use literarily a language of forms and images as in painting and drawings, sculptures and installations, and
a language forms, images and metaphors using interventions, music, literature, theatre and the like. In most cases ideas are presented using forms and forms represent ideas. Here as well is openness, and freedom to interpret. I think what artist do is
close to what art students learn in their first year at the academy. They are told: forget what you learned and forget how you think you should paint, or draw, or sculpture. Try to be closer to yourself, try to discover what is inside of you and don’t
think about techniques. Not to start off, at least.
What I want to do in my intervention is to confront and compare the above mentioned rationality with the traditional Local Agenda 21 planning scheme. This is a very basic and universal scheme that we find almost anywhere. It is equally used in industry (and where not?) in ISO planning cycles and is based on a traditional Cartesian way of thinking. Separate the world around you in clearly definable elements. Separate emotions from facts. Think first and act later:
One of the key features that unite all the elements of what I call artistic rationality is that they do NOT separate emotions from fact, they do NOT start by first thinking and then acting and they do NOT separate the world in clearly definable elements.
One very important aspect is that the are based on a reflective way of working: doing – reflecting –doing again - reflecting, etc. What I like to explore with the participants of the summer school is the idea that the above mentioned elements can be used
as part of a methodology. This methodology then could have the following elements:
My dream is for people not to loose the natural capacity present in each of them to dream, to formulate visions, to integrate emotions and analyses and to ‘see’ using all the human senses. And is it because people lost this capacity they need to rely on artists now to do the work for them? It is almost like the impotent man needing a potent one to give his wife a child. No longer capable of creating! I think this man can be cured. And that is what my intervention is all about.
In presenting my ideas I will use many examples of artistic projects I know and I will focus especially on projects that depart from an alternative methodology or way of working. Three examples I like to give now are (1) the project “Walk on the Wild side” by David Haley, focusing on using all the senses and all the media we have to see and analyze a problem; (2) Organic management as developed by the Dutch artist Rini Biemans, focusing on the iterative aspects of working. Biemans works basically with what he can find and is open to change solutions when there is a reason to do so, and (3) the projects on ‘Gambiarra’ as developed by the Brazilian artist Chelpa Ferro. Ferro, like Biemans works with what he can have and formulates his work within the context of what is available. In a way related to the concept of ‘bricolage’. These are three examples but surely there will be more.