The story in a few words
A belated kick-off event in Floridsdorf, Vienna
A belated kick-off event in Floridsdorf, Vienna
Due to the covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns- the planned Summer School in Floridsdorf and the opening event that was tied to it had to be cancelled. As an alternative, the team of Social Design made an effort to bring the “urbanize! Festival” - a long time collaborator of the Social Design Studio - to Floridsdorf. Between the 14th and 18th of October 2020 more than 20 events took place around Schlingermarkt (walks, concerts, workshops, exhibition and games) and hundreds of guests from Floridsdorf and elsewhere came to take part in them. This was also the opening of the “Real Labor” in Schleifgasse 11, a space in which students and place city collaborators work daily and interact with passers-by and guests, who seem excited and amused by this new window front in floridsdorf. Here is an overview of some of the most important events for Placecity that took place under the umbrella of this widely known festival:
SOD created a postcard exhibition of 12 different motifs exploring common spaces in Floridsdorf (Collective, Communal, Consumer Free (Floridsdorf Places of Community in Pictures). By going through the archives, pictures of some of the most important spaces for the history of the district (Schlinger Markt, Wasser Park, Franz Jonas Platz…) were printed on postcards and exposed in Real Labor. To this day, the postcards are available free of charge and a very successful tool to communicate and interact with locals (at least 3 strangers a day stop and come into the Labor to pick some up). They serve as an excuse for inhabitants to come into the space and serve themselves and are a reliable tool to talk about public space through the prism of the past.
1 m2 Market
was invited by SOD to take part in urbanize! as a response to the criticism of a younger generation of inhabitants that felt like the market was no longer relevant for them. The project references a law that states that every Viennese inhabitant is allowed to sell products 3 times a year on a market for the small fee of 1,00 to 2,50 EUR per 1m2. During the festival, Ana Mumladze & Bana Saadeh proposed Georgian and Palestinian food that was completely sold out- after just a few hours (50% of buyers were here through urbanize! but the other half were regular market clients, and market-sellers), which was in accordance to what we learnt in our case study (some interviewees prefer to go to Hannover market for its diversity of foods). An information we did not fail to relay to the Gebietsbetreuung. On another day Lena Michalik and Eliza Chojnacka sold very successfully preserved foods (they sold about 20 jars in a few hours), which were very much in accordance with the taste of the usual visitors of the market. This project found a very strong echo among locals as was confirmed by informal talks with passers-by on the following days who had noticed and approved of seeing fresh faces at the market and were amazed to learn about this law and curious about taking advantage of it themselves.
1 m2 Market, (c) SOD
[ ə ɡeɪm ] II – DIY & Right to the City
was a workshop that took place at Furore Soft, and through which participants could learn how to create games for public space. The workshop was only visited by non locals (the workshop holders did not specifically aim to invite outsiders), but the mini-golf game that was created was used in the streets by the workshop participants as well as locals. To this day, the mini-golf is at Furore Soft and a tool around which games and interaction will be organised.
Construction Choir Collective
On 3 different days, the Construction Choir Collective was rehearsing and performing in public space in Floridsdorf. The choir was a great tool to create space by inhabiting it through action. Locals and passers-by were attracted and curious to see something happening. The take-away was that choirs are a great player to invite into the call for action of the project because of the instant atmosphere of exception and festivity that they create.
Furthermore, PlaceCity has placed a puzzle of 6 flyers in different spaces in Floridsdorf for locals to find. The idea behind the flyers was to create during the festival a tangible relation to the main points of interests we defined for our open call, as well as to start advertising it. It was a tangible translation to our analysis that: what would strengthen the centre of Floridsdorf would be to create many potential strolls and end points.
The six different flyers that were distributed in the central area of Floridsdorf, together formed a map of Floridsdorf. The flyers used drawings to imagine various possible placemaking activities, provided information about the project and the planned dates. Short texts on the backpage intended as teasers as well as stimuli for thought and discussion. These were linked to the question and illustration on the front page. The flyers were also given personally to local businesses that had already been involved in the project during the scoping phase as well as to interested passers-by. The people who distributed the flyers engaged the interested people in a conversation to motivate them to participate.
The personal approach to the local shop owners in Floridsdorf was important in order to remind them of the project, inform them about the open call and its aim as well as to discuss together with them how they can become placemakers themselves. In addition, they are important multipliers to reach the local population. At the same time we did not find the method convincing enough to want to experiment further with it. The distributing of the flyers in different places and over enough time is very labor intensive, and only makes sense if enough people are involved!
Flodo Futures 2100 - Utopie
The particular goal of strengthening the centre was developed through an artistic approach by the SOD-Team especially for urbanize: Flodo Futures 2100 - Utopie.
With two of the Floridsdorfer Teens from our Futuring Workshop we developed a performative-walk through the main attraction points we had defined during our study. The preparation was stretched over several workshop-days during which the teens developed two visions for the centre of Floridsdorf, one utopian and one dystopian. Afterwards, the two teens who decided to give the tours were given the help of a coach to learn how to perform in front of people. We consider this a very powerful place-making tool: giving teens the agency and confidence to create a discourse around their own surroundings and to walk guests and locals through the district. This changed their own perception of their surroundings from a place that they had no agency over, to a place that they define and describe rather than letting themselves be described and defined by the space. Moreover, their Flodo Future approach changes the often heard narrative of “Everything was better before” - a sentence repeatedly used by residents to describe a certain feeling of loss and unfamiliarity concerning their surroundings - towards a narration of the future. Rather than concentrating on what has been lost, it gives visitors an idea of what might come. And thus, agency to be actively part of building this future. Over 60 visitors came to listen to the tours, many of them were locals.
No Risk No Fun _ a workshop on collaborative projects in Vienna and the world
On Saturday 17.10.2020, PlaceCity presented itself in an online workshop “No Risk No Fun _ a workshop on collaborative projects in Vienna and the world” and discussed participation and collaborative projects in Europe together with students of Social Design and other key speakers. Questions on placemaking and gentrification were raised, these will be further discussed within the project.
Why was the active participation in the festival a special highlight for PlaceCity Floridsdorf?
Concerning Communication and Dissemination, urbanize! was a key event because it made PlaceCity project visible in two dimensions: Firstly it created a buzz and a festive atmosphere during a week that made locals aware of the project and the newly adapted former vacancy “Furore Soft”. Secondly, being the most important event of the year for urbanists and placemakers in Vienna, it drew attention of professionals to the district and the specificities of its center. It was an expedient yet playful way of spreading the outcomes of the research that we had undertaken so far, and generating interest in what was yet to come. To give an example: We later learned that the idea givers of “Freche Sprüche”, one of the projects implemented within the Open Call, first got to know about us during the “Flodo Futures” walk.