Sustainable Design Lab
Green, revitalised, sustainable: 4x design for the cities of the future
How can our cities become more sustainable? This was the question 15 designers from Hamburg, Riga (Latvia) and Mikkeli (Finland) asked themselves at the Sustainable Design Lab from March to June 2021. COVID-19 notwithstanding, the designers worked together tirelessly across borders to create impressive prototypes that aim to make our cities a little better. Here we give an overview of the prototypes developed.
What should the inner cities of the future look like? Monika Zabel, designer (Urban Pilgrims), curator and advocate for sustainable living, answers with her installation "Studio Klimaschoen." What at first glance looks like a retail space for fashion is much more than that: the studio is an experiment that wants to temporarily fill vacant buildings with art and culture and thus make inner cities more vibrant. The pieces exhibited by Monika Zabel are based on natural materials, carefully curated, and have previously been featured at international art exhibitions such as the Venice Art Biennale 2019 and the Fashion Art Biennale Seoul 2018 and 2020. The designer works in Hamburg and New York City.
Think the topic of creative interim use is exciting? Then check out our new funding program "Frei_Fläche: Raum für kreative Zwischennutzung". It is aimed at creative professionals who are looking for affordable free and experimental spaces. Landlords who want to avoid vacancies and revitalize the neighborhood of their property also benefit from the funding.
The clear goal of the designers from the Greenteam: More green spaces for our cities! To this end, they developed two prototypes, which, when used in public spaces, are intended to provide a better quality of life. "Save the Rain" is a movable pop-up garden with an integrated bench that catches rainwater and can be used in combination with movable walls. With the "Flexigarden", a modular seating and planting system, the team wants to strengthen neighborly communities. What’s special: The "Flexigarden" is to be used on parking spaces and thus draws attention to the fact that public space can be thought of and used differently and in a new way. Parking space is thus to be supplemented with encounters and recreation. Want to learn more about the designers and their work? Follow Justine Plateau, Anja Cambria, Olga Vertjajeva, Inga Romberga and Luisa Wolf on LinkedIn.
"We wanted to play with sunlight and shadows to create a sense of green where it is normally not present," team Komorebi tells us at the Sustainable Design Lab's big final presentation, Sustainable Design Night. Gray tunnels, concrete passages, dreary cityscapes - Elisa Hillgen, Sara Mattila and Annika Salmi want to counteract these with two prototypes. The team is inspired by nature and works with naturally generated shadows, which are more appealing to people than artificial light. To do this, they install shadow-casting elements in less attractive urban spaces such as train stations or concrete squares.
Anna Indriksone shows us how to transform mobility and create new hierarchies in urban space with her project "Loophole." "People need social connections to thrive," she argues during Sustainable Design Night, and her prototype presents a way to create space for that to happen. "Loophole" draws eyeballs with its curved shape, bringing people together who can decide for themselves how to use the multipurpose installation. As a bench? Bus stop? Meeting point? Everything is and should be possible. The prototype wants one thing above all: to invite people to sit down and relax. Preferably together.
About the Sustainable Design Lab
We invited 15 designers to participate in workshops and lectures on the topic of sustainable urban development and to develop prototypes together with like-minded talents from the Baltic Sea region. Why all this? In 2015, the United Nations committed to 17 global goals for a better future. One of them is goal number 11 and its message is clear: make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The Creative Ports initiative has unveiled the Sustainable Design Lab, a program that gives creatives in the Baltic Sea region the opportunity to get a little closer to this goal. Creative Ports has set itself the task to connect the cultural and creative industries of the Baltic Sea region internationally. As cooperation partners of Creative Ports, we have implemented the program together with the Danish Cultural Institute in Riga and the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (xamk). The Sustainable Design Lab is a free training and networking opportunity funded by the European Union's Interreg Baltic Sea Region program.
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