We knew from the beginning that turning the idea of an urban garden into a reality depended on a lot of people sharing the idea. What actually brought the garden into existence was the fact that hundreds if not thousands of people have invested their time, passions and experiences into creating it.
We soon realized that this form of social urban gardening could be an important inspiration for future urban development. We considered Prinzessinengarten as a kind of laboratory, expressing the social desires and needs of local Berlin residents. In working, engaging voluntarily, and creating their own projects within the garden, people have helped bring this garden into existence.
The question for us now is 'how can this passionate engagement with the local and the informal, become part of the answer to the challenges for tomorrow?' The attraction of our garden is not so much in the design of an object, or a landscape, but in the self-designing forms of social relations.
PieLab was merely an experiment. It was just an idea.
It was the hopeful, and somewhat fanciful vision shared by fourteen young designers. Yet, in one year’s time, this notion that a pie shop and a design studio could share a single roof, that designerscould work together to launch a new enterprise in a small, southern, rural community, and that the people of that community would begin to embrace and take ownership over the venture is becoming a reality.
Who would have thought? Often times, deeply entrenched in the day to day operations, not even us.
MEGAL DEAL AND FRIENDS
THE READING ROOM
Everything we have in the Reading Room we got for free. Once you make it known to people that you are looking for books, bookshelves, carpets, computers and other stuff and will give it public meaning, you’ll be surprised at what people have, and are willing to give away for free. Nils Roemen, a Dutch social entrepreneur, invented a word for it - social abundance – which he defines as “those things which can be missed at one place where they are of no use, but which can be of value in other places (…) This is not so much about money, but about material stuff, ideas and access to all kinds of support”.
Working with what you can get your hands on can lead to a space with feels like a mess. But add professional craftsmanship to the equation, and you can turn it into a welcoming, warm and ambitious space. Through the help of a befriended interior designer we were able to do the latter.
MAURICE SPECHT AND JOKE CAN DER ZWAARD
"You have to be ready with poetry and pragmatism.
And you have to be ready to see the world you want to see, commit to the change and be bold about it.
Art is a very complicated thing today. Sometimes it's about things that hang on walls, and sometimes it's one's desire to have an effect in the world. I believe that all the work I do is art, and artists should make art in the biggest ways possible. That's the best thing they can do for the world"
THEATER GATES, DORCHESTER PROJECTS
"At it's heart Transition is an invitation.
It suggests that this is a time that calls for creativity and inspired action, and provides simple tools and principle to start to bring that into being"
ROB HOPKINS, TRANSITION
Our principle is that local protagonists are the experts, and our concept is based on the local community. Although artists, ExRotaprint is not intended as a space for artists alone. From the outset we viewed it as an opportunity to create a common space for people with different occupations, and different backgrounds and histories.
The coexistence of manufacturing, creativity, and job services provides a mix that enable mutual exchange and critique, and seeds future growth.
DANIELA BRAHM & LES SCHLIESSER