V4participation Workshop in Lublin
About a month ago, ARCHIP teachers Henry Hanson and Lynda Zein participated in a V4participation project workshop in Lublin, Poland. Following is Lynda's report:
The workshop was held in Lublin, Poland from the 23rd till the 26th of April within the V4participation project, granted by the Visegrad fund. It discussed the topic of pavilions located in two estates, Mickiewicza and Słowackiego, LSM Housing Cooperative in Lublin. Through engaging inhabitants of estates in the design process, participants were exploring socio-spatial narratives of those buildings and were working in multi-disciplinary groups on possible processes and potentials of those spaces.
The workshop was organised and coordinated by the project partners, the Open territory foundation (Paulina Paga, Karol Kurnicki and Rafał Lis)) and the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (Cezary Klimaszewski), with the engagement of the Lublin University of Technology (Hubert Trammer and Marcin Semeniuk). It gathered 32 local students from the said universities from three departments (spatial management, landscape planning and art education) with the partners’ representatives, Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Serbia (Milica Kostreš and Ranka Medenica), New Cultural Neighbourhood, Novo kulturno naselje, Novy Sad, Serbia (Marko Jozić), KÉK- Contemporary Architecture Centre, Budapest, Hungary (Eszter Dávida and Tímea Szőke), Centre for the Future, Slavonice, Czech Republic (Tomáš Heczko) and ARCHIP (Henry Hanson and Lynda Zein).
The workshop started with guided tours, given by architects and sociologists, of the LSM Housing Cooperative and their pavilions. This two-day event aimed to explore the possibilities of integrating the concept of participatory processes in the educational practice of planning and design of the built environment. Students were divided into multidisciplinary teams and were involved in fieldwork, conducted within the large urban housing estates of Słowacki and Mickiewicza neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Lublin. They focused on the deprived pavilion buildings which used to be a constitutive part of the neighbourhood identity, offering services and spaces for gathering and social activities in the past. They are today mostly abandoned and neglected, with an unclear perspective related to both ownership and programs. The thematic focus of the workshop was based on the idea of the practical experience of citizen involvement that would lead to the definition of more sustainable solutions for the pavilions as gathering communal places, which are currently lacking in the area. This idea was explored within three specific sub-themes: Market at Wilenska Street (with the focus on architecture and heritage), Pavilions at Balladyny 10 (with the focus on exploring the future scenarios of use) and Social spaces of Mickiewicza Estate (with the focus on exploring the economic viability).
Students had the opportunity to engage with local community, talk to inhabitants and get an insight into their memories, associations and habits, as well as their needs and preferences related to future use. This experience provided the students with tools for understanding value, challenges and essential role of public and civic involvement in urban interventions. The conclusions drawn from the work with inhabitants, through a PechaKucha presentation format, presented processes for defining viable scenarios for the pavilions.