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Publication Meeting of Minds on Placemaking, Co-creation and Storytelling now available

11 Jul

Placemaking is about people, about living together, about a sense of belonging and carving spaces together, about co- creation and sharing stories. And it is crucial for society, especially now as it enters a new dimension in times of a global pandemic that affects us all. What will placemaking look like after COVID-19? What did we learn and what can we take with us to the future? How will we socialise, move from one place to another, (inter)act with and in public spaces after the pandemic?

These questions guided a series of four online sessions which were held between the 7th and 30th of April (2020), connecting placemaking with the future of cities, tourism, the arts, urban design and digital storytelling. Experts and other interested persons were brought together across borders to discuss possible ways forward by learning from good practices. The response was overwhelming, both from the speakers that were contacted to take part, and from the diverse participants eager to share and exchange ideas.

The discussions were rich, intense and generated much food for thought. This publication is the result of an inclusive thinking process with all participants, offering a reflective and critical lens on placemaking. It works as a toolkit, gathering the presentations and giving insight in the main topics and strong examples that emerged from the discussions. It also lists key points to consider whilst working with communities and involving people in a co-creation process. This series ends with a non-exhaustive reading list as there are many interesting papers, reports and links to learn from.

Thank you to all the speakers and participants, because without them there would have been no publication. A special thank you goes to Nika for helping Stefan and myself with proofreading.

We hope you will enjoy wandering through this publication and get inspired. You can access the publication here.

And you can have an impression of the meetings thanks to this nice feature by Maltarti.

Meeting of Minds on Placemaking, co-creation and storytelling

1 Apr

We are excited to share that between 7 and 21 April, Experienced Design (being Stefan Kolgen and myself ;-)) will facilitate 4 online meeting of minds on placemaking related to urban design, tourism, arts and digital storytelling.  Each session takes about 1hr 30min and includes two presentations followed by discussion and reflection.

With the current crisis at hand, it seemed important to us to see what placemaking means now and how it will evolve once the crisis is over. So get inspired by the guests speakers and join the discussion.  Your insights are crucial 😉

The platform that will be used is Zoom. Participation is free and everybody can join, but  there is a maximum of 100 participants so you need to register  here  and let us know why you want to join in. We will provide you with the link to the meeting and will explain how to participate once you are selected. The link will be e-mailed the day of the session.

Note that the sessions will be documented, so by the end of the series a small digital publication will be available with the main outcomes of these Meetings of Minds.

Thank you already to the 8 experts that were willing to take part in this series. Here is some extra information on the sessions:

  • Session 1: 7 April 19:00-20:30 – Placemaking and the future of cities:

In this session we will focus on liveability and sustainability of cities through the lenses of digital placemaking and destination marketing.

Guests: Dr. Jo Morrison – Director of Digital Innovation and Research at Calvium Ltd (UK), Frank Cuypers – Senior Strategist at Destination Think! Professional Services Inc. (Canada/USA/Europe)

  • Session 2: 9 April 19:00-20:30 – Placemaking, co-creation and the Arts: 

In this session we make a connection between placemaking and the arts.

Guests: Kristina Borg – Visual artist and Art Educator (Malta), Nusquam Productions – Mariangela Ciccarello & Philip Cartelli (Europe/USA) and Stefan Perceval (Head of theatre company Het Gevolg).

  • Session 3: 16 April 19:00-20:30 – Placemaking and Urban Design:

In this session we will connect placemaking and critical urban design.

Guests: Joanna Frank (President & CEO Center for Active Design – New York) , Jacques Borg Barthet – Director of Practice at AP- Architect and Urban Designer (Malta)

  • Session 4: 21 April 19:00 – 20:30 – Placemaking and Digital Storytelling 
This session looks at placemaking within (digital) storytelling.
Guests: Dr. Shreepali Patel – Director of Storylab & filmmaker (UK), Stefan Kolgen – Transmedia expert (Belgium/Malta)
Keep also an eye on our facebook page , as we will be posting more background on the guest speakers and the cases they will present in the series of events.
See you online!

Corpus Adflictum

3 Nov

The last couple of months have been a nice drive towards the solo exhibition of the much talented artist Aaron Bezzina. It has been an honour to be involved into this process. Challenge and being challenged led to an amazing result for all involved. It has also be a joy to do this curatorship with Stefan. We are still a strong team ;-).  More to come …

But enough about that. Let’s focus on the ‘now’ . This exhibition is for sure a must see, and it is not just because I say it ;-). The title Corpus Adflictum refers to the fact that humans quite often self-inflict oneselves to conform with society. It also refers to what drives humans to do that/or not in a playful way.

Thank you to Gudrun Rombaut to brainstorm with us about the title and to make sure we had the correct text on Aaron Bezzina’s gravestone for the 1st of November.

Here is the text that we wrote for the exhibition:

CORPUS ADFLICTUM

CORPUS [Latin, noun, body, matter, substance, corps, flesh, physique, form] ADFLICTUM [Latin, adjective, afflict, crush, damage, ruin]

Machines and mechanical objects play an important role in Aaron Bezzina’s oeuvre. If something like machine art exists then this exhibition is most certainly an example of strangeness (and familiarity), distance (and proximity) and rejection (and love or intimacy)[1]

Bezzina uses the imaginary in a very down-to-earth way. He uses simple interfaces that are recognizable and that can boost ones ego. His work refers to the language of machines, rather than being machines. It refers to the 19th century aesthetics of industrial apparatuses and focuses on their mechanics in a playful and intriguing way.

Whereas his larger scale work keeps the roughness and rawness of the materials used, his small objects are polished and finalized in great detail. They become precious objects. Objects of desire. Objects one wants to touch, to own and to understand how they work even if it comes with a challenge.

This solo show immerges the visitor into an act of voluntary harm and bodily sacrifice. In today’s society it seems to be socially acceptable to display and advertise the perfect body and its modifications at the cost of self-affliction. We have become responsible for the design of our own body [2]. One can say that the body has become plastic, a lifestyle accessory, a thing to be sculpted, shaped and ‘stylized’[3]. Adding something to the body or transforming is part of the action guided by the self.

Thus the body becomes an object, an apparatus, a machine and the movement of the body becomes a mechanical motion. The action taken is an instinctive one. It is something one wants and feels the need to do. The action is totally driven by the desire to control oneself even if it contains a risk. It would be a risk that one is willing to take.

It is that desire that interests Bezzina. He questions through is work what drives people’s desire. He wonders what people would do if there were no rules and regulations. Would they go for the action or not. This exhibition offers the choice to engage with the apparatuses or not. It is at your own risk and/or pleasure to involve yourself with the mental picture of the machine.

[1] Broeckmann, A (2016) Machine Art in the Twentieth Century, The MIT Press, p.30

[2] Giddens, A. (1991) Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Stanford University Press, p.102.

[3] Hancock et al (2000) The body, culture and society: An Introduction, Open University Press, p. 8.

 

The show is on at Valletta Contemporary till the 4th of December. For those who are in the neigbourhood go and see it! All credits are to Aaron. He did a great job 😉