Creatieve woekerpraktijken

While people and artisans used to use natural materials from their immediate environment as a matter of course to create everyday utensils and utilities, today’s students have a detached relationship with materials. Too often, they only start from an image of materials that can be ordered online. As a result, they lack any awareness around the origin, tactility and emotional attachment that should be attached to the choice of a material. Therefore, this Summerkamp aims to radically counter this. We are going to encourage students to first look, experience and feel when selecting materials, and then harvest and incorporate it into a creation.

Specifically, during this summer camp, we want to explore in practice how we can design based on the natural materials available from urban wastelands, wastelands where nature has been able to proliferate undisturbed for several years. These often contain more biodiversity than conventional agricultural areas or planted forests. With this, we want to make a contemporary translation of a vanished normality. (*)

We build meeting hubs or mobile spatial constellations in which more than one person can be present – which also creates a mutual connection. To do so, we work with natural materials, harvested from urban sprawl and connected thanks to the Soft Connection Lab’s making techniques. The lab has since built up substantial expertise around textile connection techniques that – when scaled up – break free from their classical context and can be used very diversely and in a variety of design fields.

The different phases are: discovering together the material possibilities on the weedy site under the guidance of the botanical expert, discovering the City Makers’ cooperative, demonstrating making and joining techniques with the basket weaver and members of the SCL, dividing the groups, starting the design process in co-creative groups, evaluating and reflecting on the processes together, implementing the final results and setting up a show moment.

Pictures by: Giada Cichetti, Soft Connection Lab, Denniz Futalan

Date: 4 – 9 September 2023

Location: De Stadsmakers

More information and joining via: Helena De Smet

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