October 2017
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Bricolage Lab Experimental Design Camp (Bricolage Lab)

Bricolage Lab responds to ongoing social, economic and environmental crisis, looking how design, the global market and consumerism intersect and impact local communities in different ways. Inspired from Michel De Certeau’s examination of bricolage in the Practice of Everyday Life, the program looks at forms of creative and subversive practices that seize opportunity in threatening and limiting circumstances.

Team:

Emily Radosavljević & Dubravka SimonovićPartners: Italian Cultural Institute, Impact Hub, VSLPU, Nova Iskra, Designed.rs, Kulturforum OKDR, Creative Mornings, Kabinet Brewery, Drugstore

Project supported by:

Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information

Bricolage Lab Experimental Design Camp is conceived as a community-integrated mobile classroom, that combines theoretical and hands-on activities which focus on creative development in response to timely social, ecological and environmental issues. The majority of the program was created for enrolled participants, while segments of the program were open for public participation. International guest lecturers, visiting speakers and mentors join in throughout the program to lead activities related to their fields of expertise. Its longer-term vision is to create a pool of thought leaders, creatives, contributors to eventually cooperate on future projects working at the intersection of creative practice and social enterprise. With mind to these community issues, we also find it vital that this classroom interface, connect and network with people in the field, and have an impact in the society. We are happy to connect with Impact Hub and other organizations who can help provide the expertise and support to integrate creative ideas with economic, social, ecological or community action.

Participants initiated their own works, projects and activities while involved with the program. Some were short-term exercises and works completed during program, and others are envisioned to be longer-term projects that require many stages of development, with the help of supporting organizations in the future. Participants were inspired and quickly formed bridges between their outside personal or professional work, often forming new ideas for actions in the future. Participants also bonded with workshop collaborators and had talks to plan joint side activities that would last beyond the program. New projects ranged from design solutions to socially-engaged oriented research, to technical education and efforts for intersectoral organization for local responses to the refugee crisis.

Throughout the program, new collaborations and partnerships were formed. This was done at the institutional level as well as the personal level. Some organizations were new to working together with outside organizations, and the project served to first create a network for community and networking in the applied arts. Through this longer-stage project, we formed the personal basis of a support group for creative and personal expansion and project development, where participants can reach out to others in the group for help on a project they are trying to develop.

The program opened new perspectives for the participants, who were able to see new opportunities, and rethink their position and professional practice, concerning both the use of material and non-material resources. The program opened up some participants to new media or new interests, and for others engaged skills that they did not know they had.

In the future, we’d like to affirm this community sense and also engage with new forms of learning, as we involve former participants as future contributors in ongoing project activities. We are open to envision new opportunities for how this program might take course in the future. In the next Bricolage Lab, we would be open to have a more academic approach, and with it, college credit that is given by an academic institution to ensure consistent attendance and participation. Because the program was informal and voluntary, it had a fun and inspiring approach but also simultaneously lacked studious commitment of assignments and tasks. We are excited for the possibilities for envisioning the next Bricolage Lab in the future, and are open for ideas, opportunities and recommendations.