Photo above: Design for the Living World class with guests at the opening of In Solidarity exhibition at Muca Roma, Mexico City, 2017
Design for the Living World is a cross-disciplinary class on participatory practice at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. Marjetica Potrč and her students have developed their practice together since 2011. They work in long-term projects in local communities across the world, aiming to create schoolrooms for testing methods of self-organizing and solidarity. Therefore, the focus of the class is always on people, not objects or spatial designs.
The class views art and design as tools of cultural change toward a new social agreements on matters such as public space, citizenship or collective decision-making. The individual projects can take varying forms, but are based on the following steps:
- Before arriving, students research without forming concrete ideas.
- After arriving, they first get to know the community through spending time with people and sharing experiences.
- Based on what they encounter, students and residents develop ideas (often for transforming a space) together.
- Together, students and residents take action and new social relations form.
- A project is successful when the community assumes control of the situation and the class becomes irrelevant.
All visual material is copyright © of Design for the Living World, HFBK.