Ukrainian cities have undoubtedly been victims of the ongoing war. They are now vulnerable more than ever, facing drastic demographic changes, lack of infrastructure and access to services. But despite destroyed housing, public facilities and common spaces, cities in Ukraine still are and will continue to be homes to over 31 millions people*. Even after the war ends, the cities will still carry the signs of the military actions and suffering, being the living sites of memory. When rebuilding them, we need to plan for the long-term perspective, ensuring that we think about inclusion, rational spatial planning, ecological friendliness and the needs of the urban dwellers. And make them liveable again. How in this context can we create opportunities for entertainment, play and emotional wellbeing? How can we feel good while being in the urban fabric that “once was”? Where in the city can we find comfort? Can we reimagine and give new meanings to destroyed spaces and objects in the cities so they can serve communities in new ways? Entertainment and leisure are crucial to our health and wellbeing, however due to the war participation in culture and arts has plummeted in Ukraine making cultural institutions, initiatives and creative sectors vulnerable. Urban reconstruction needs to be aimed at designing a healthy environment to live, remember, feel and play – and should be led by Ukrainian creative minds who perfectly know how to do it. So, how can we heal the cities so that they can heal us in return?
Your group will be asked to work together in order to deliver prototypes* of interventions, initiatives or forms of documentation that would address above challenges and explore the question: can a city have healing powers? Joining your perspectives and skills, think how, through engaging with urban fabric and urban culture, we could enhance the wellbeing of urban dwellers and bring the joy back to the city streets. Look for the inspiration within new technologies, social and environmental sciences, public art, architecture and beyond. Potential outcomes of this path might focus on (but don’t be limited to these):
The scope of the concepts is practically unlimited, however some examples of the projects that you might end up with include: business models, service concepts, touristic activities, community engagement strategies, architectural concepts, digital and analogue tools, speculative scenarios, strategic design proposals, products, games, events, audio/video documentaries, manifestos, podcasts and more.
* By prototypes we mean samples of your creative concepts that could be tested and presented to an external audience – they might be tangible models but also sketches, visualizations, storyboards, video documentation, digital mockups, etc. Prototypes need to give an idea of how the concept would work in real life but they don’t need to be perfect nor cover all aspects of the project. They should be bold, intriguing, understandable, and open to future iterations. The prototypes should demonstrate a creative mix of the diverse competencies your group members bring to the table to enrich the proposal.