Designing our environment always involves a social dimension, as it creates new relationships between various actors: people that are responsible and people that are affected, experts and ordinary citizens, representatives of pro and contra. In this sense, design is not only a tool that improves the aesthetic qualities of our environment but, at the same time, something that can be used to create social value. The Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HfbK Hamburg) has taken this perspective as their objective and is engaging with Savamala through two projects.
Projekat Alat / The Toolkit ProjectSavamala today is stuck in a state of stagnation. But considering its attractive location and its historical substance, it is only a question of time until new investment, new residents and new life styles will change this city quarter. Can old-established traditions of life and work survive this change?
Projekat Alat is an attempt to trace, understand and archive local everyday practices. Students from Hamburg University will communicate with Savamala residents in order to learn from them: for example, how to conserve food, how to re-use residual materials, or how to solve structural problems of commercial or residential buildings and apartments. This re-discovered local knowledge will be documented in an “open-source manual”, which will contribute to uncovering the fragile and invisible everyday knowledge of citizens and highlighting its local cultural value.
Za Javni Dizajn / Public Design SupportThe “Public Design Support” project is a contact point where Savamala residents can find advice and active support for their own design and construction demands and requirements.
Students of Hamburg University are renovating a suitable space in Savamala to host the project. Here, Savamala residents will find a new place in which they can discuss their design and construction problems and, together with the students, work out practical design options and establish an open dialogue with the neighbourhood to collectively find solutions to their problems. The “Public design support” project will therefore not only enable the development of construction and aesthetical design but also the creation new intercultural exchange in the neighbourhood.