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Eco Island Lab Gdansk

Concept and plan

The Eco Island Lab takes place in Gdansk, Nowy Port, from July 1st-11th, 2015.

Be part of developing the life forms on the island lab. Bring what matters to you and co-inhabit the island with other participants. During this period, Stine Avlund and Oleg Koefoed from Cultura21 (Copenhagen/Denmark) will be present to facilitate.

The lab is about discovering, building and inhabiting what begins as a fiction, a place that only exists in our minds. As we work together, we will try to enter into a number of questions, one by one, and see where this will lead us.

The outcome of the Lab will be an island. This means it will live on water, it will have its own territory, and it will be somehow separated from land. It also means that it will make ecosystems possible, and it will invite some life forms and be repulsive to others. It will intervene in the existing life and systems around it, in the water, the air, and the city. It will eventually make a cultural statement. But we do not know how it will look, what life forms it will prioritise, or what statement it will make. For this, we invite citizens and people in Gdansk to help us.

Starting with a primary island-base, we will work on inhabiting the eco island lab. The participants and possible visitors are the makers. Anyone can participate. We will, however, limit the number of participants to 15 per day. As we don’t know exactly who will come, we do not exactly what disciplines or world views we will connect. This is why we work with more generic questions. Every day, the work of the people there will influence the specific tuning that every question will get.

Overview of the process

The lab works as several cycles inside each other.
We will go through a full cycle every day: we start with a morning ‘check-in’, introducing the people present and their interests, and looking at the focus that we have planned for the day.
Every day, we will start with a generic question that is specified by the people present.
Together, we will produce an element of inhabitation and produce communication of the day in a form that can be shared: text, photo, video etc. Every day will end with a check out.
Participants can also choose to keep working on what they did the day before, so the cycles can also overlap. Feel free to join as many days as you like.
The ten working days form a cycle of their own. We arrive, meet, discover, share, create and commonize, and finally prepare for leaving and receiving.

Day 1 (1/7)
Arriving and meeting
What do you bring to the island to inhabit it?
(exploring the area and the site, finding artefacts, bringing more from home, intervening)

Day 2 (2/7)
Seeing and sensing
What do you want to measure/understand and how would can you do it?
(defining questions, exploring methods, relating to the items and the place)

Day 3 (3/7)
Building and cycling
How do we use the materials and conditions that we have at hand?
(recycling, upcycling, rebuilding – the island is a body in water and above, how do we use it?)

Day 4 (4/7)
Living and inhabiting
What do you do where you inhabit, and how does it connect you?
(beginning to design the island, exploring how it can be liveable, exploring the connectors)

Day 5 (5/7)
Inviting and sharing
What would you like to be able to share and how?
(Defining the social space, inviting, connecting to people, creating sharing space)

Day 6 (6/7)
Connecting and combining
Combining forms and things – what do they call for?
(exploring the stuffness of things, connecting them, understanding complexity and choices)

Day 7 (7/7)
Deciding and listening
How do we maintain openness and listen to the future?
(scenarios for the island, making technologies of listening, sensing decay and emergence)

Day 8 (8/7)
Moving and testing
How does it work, what can we improve?
(prototyping, choreographing, navigating, identifying uncertainties, [bis])

Day 9 (9/7)
Passing and planning
What can the island lab do in the next two months?
(potential for exploring, recording and sharing, community benefits)

Day 10 (10/7)
Leaving and receiving
How does the lab live on when we are gone, what can it give in return?
(identifying actions, defining roles, adopting elements and processes, planning collaboration)

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