MakerLab Milan 2012:Reflection
|May 9, 2012||Posted by Pedro under MakerLab Milan||
Design for public space in the public space: We want to create designs that have an impact in the public space. We want to democratize design so that is accessible to all. Because design is not a method to make things expensive, it is a method to improve the things that humans interact with, to improve the way we live.
Therefore our design brief is about design for the public space, and our workshop is set up so that is open for the public to come in and join
Engagement with locals: We want to design there where we are, with the people that will use it, and for the community. By decentralizing the process of designing and making we share the cost among all, in this way making the design accessible to all.
Therefore we do not just look at the design of the -object- but we design the whole process and facilitate points of engagement for the general public.
Why to engage the public: In the web we have seen how numerous projects are quickly growing with relatively low budgets but creating high impacts. This is because the public grasp the possibility for engagement, and the quick and successful development of the -products-. By opening the process to the public we are able to multiply the pool of knowledge, and by finding topics that are of common interest, we engage them in the development multiplying the speed at which the outcomes are produced.
We also have to understand the many ways in which the public can get involved, which is not just as developer, but also giving feedback or even just getting inspired, and sparking another project. We learn this at this last MakerLab, where it was the first time where two of the projects developed by us, were presented at the public actions as experiences for passers by, and not as a workshop to take part in.
Why to do it in the public space: We are inspired by what is happening in the web, but also know that this kind of collaborative approaches were happening before the web existed, they were just not so well spread. We believe that the public space is ultimately where people meet in the physical world. In this very space we can provoke the changes to the structures of our cities and the way we interact in it. Good examples are Urban gardens and FabLabs, so why not create laboratories where we can design and prototype solutions for social challenges?
We believe the appropriation of the public space is not so much about occupying it, but about re-shaping it to cover our needs from today.
Why use local resources: While importing skills, materials and cultures from other countries is a great inspiration, it also creates a dependency. We do not want to go to a new place to make the solutions for people that we do not know, in a place that we do not know with materials that they do not have. Rather we see that we can benefit others by sharing our skills, so that the locals can propose solutions for the challenges they face, with the resources they have available. In this way we spark solutions that will continue to evolve once we are gone.
Why do it again: The email from Luca Tarasco resume what we did and our feelings after this MakerLab:
It has been a deep experience.
Not only creative people, but beautiful people.
If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t ever walk the whole night throughout the city, never knew that having a twin sister would affect your blackberry internet connection, that Malta was actually a country and not only a sicilian beach.
I wouldn’t ever talk about vitality of languages with no vowels, never knew that you can play a guitar with a dead finger and definitely I will never look at plastic chairs in the same way anymore!
I wouldn’t ever knew that Saltapini sisters have taken their gorgeousness from the landscape they live in, that portuguese girls are so good in pretending to understand italian and korean girls not that precise as they look.
I wouldn’t ever knew that yellow strings were that versatile, that you can built a magical atmosphere with mere wood and screwdrivers.
And that giving dinner to 36 persons could be that satisfying.
Thank you all!
On the MakerLab Milan 2012 page we have written down the details about the process, the people that took part, our supporters and some of the projects that came out during the residency.