Projects

Face Your World, StedelijkLab Slotervaart

Amsterdam, Slotervaart, Jan 2005

public presentation
public presentation
Duration: 01.2005 - 07.2011
Location: StedelijkLab Slotervaart (UrbanLab Slotervaart), Amsterdam
Participants: 600
Visitors: 3,000
Number of events: 2
Additional Presentations: Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (15.10.2005-16.11.2005)

The Face Your World (2002) project, conceived in Columbus, Ohio (USA) also 3.8, pp. 23-24, offers children a collective learning environment in which they can learn how to investigate, as well as adapt, their living environment. The Interactor, a 3-D multi-user computer environment, allows children to 'engineer' their surroundings. On the initiative of SKOR (a Dutch foundation for art and public space) and AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts), Van Heeswijk and architect Dennis Kaspori developed a practical educational model for participation in urban renewal aimed at secondary school students (specifically VMBO-level, lower secondary vocational education), devising a completely new version of the Interactor in collaboration with IJsfontein.

Face Your World StedelijkLab Slotervaart started in early 2005 in the Staalmanplein neighbourhood, an area undergoing drastic urban renewal, including the planned creation of a park about 13,500 m2 to serve as the district's new public heart. Van Heeswijk worked hard to ensure this commission went to Face Your World, in order to create an urban-planning process based around intensive participation by local residents and striving to invest urban regeneration, usually based on economic principles, with existing social and cultural capital. From January through July, Face Your World set up camp in an old gymnasium, on the site of the future park, transformed into an 'urban lab': a place to discuss and work on the design of the park with students, local residents and other interested parties. Each day, pupils from the Professor Einstein Elementary School and students from the Calvijn met Junior College (a VMBO school), along with neighbourhood residents, explored their surroundings with Van Heeswijk and Kaspori and invited experts. Collectively they worked on the design of their future park, addressing not only what facilities should be available, but also how it should look and their personal roles within it. StedelijkLab Slotervaart provided a learning environment as part of a public process of planning for the neighbourhood's future. Six months later the participants presented their design to the local authorities and other local residents. After some minimal modifications, the borough council officially approved the communal design for the 'Staalman Park' on 1 March 2006. The whole project and the way in which it interrelated several complex issues - urban renewal, practical education, neighbourhood participation and the role of art in public space within the concrete context of a design project - was presented and discussed at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The model StedelijkLab is to be set up at four new locations, two in the Netherlands and two abroad.

related blogposts

Design Staalmanpark receives green light

Mar 2006

related essays

Playing the City

Mar 2008


websitewww.faceyourworld.net

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