FIXING the Neighbourhood: Investigations in Suburban Tokyo (Sketching for Usable Cities) by Chris Berthelsen

This is a wonderful project, showing how design can really be used for the benefit of a local community. Design is about making things real, to actually do something, make something, and the kids in this project learn how to use design in a way that makes them learn what they are supposed to learn, and at the same time contribute directly to society.

I really see how this connects to my project. I want more and more to learn people about creativity and design skills, that makes them able to go out there and do things themselves.

WATCH IT!!!
PS: Emilys project is found here.

Time has started to fly, and I almost have no time to think, or BLOG! So now I will try to update some of the things that has happened lately. First up is:

An “Harves event” that I did 14th of October! It was a market-event with vegs, fruits and herbs from the gardens where I have mine; Telthusbakken. People donated everything from apples to carrots, and the money went to a good cause. More than a month has passed, but I have gotten som time to reflect upon it!

The main purpose was for me to get out there, and get in touch with people that maybe wanted to grow their own food, and also to bring people who already grow together with the people who does not. Unfortunately the weather was horrible that day: rain and wind and almost zero degrees! So what is normally a very busy location on sundays was almost empty this day.

But still I learnt some things from it which shaped my project. This was just a small test, but I got a lot from it. The main thing I learnt was that it was hard to actually get to talk to people about my project, because the market in itself was “in the way”, and people was more interested in the goods than in me, all though I tried to be active and talk with them. Luckily I had my “seed-kits” that I gave out, and which gave me a reason to talk about my project. I wanted to have the site more social, with sofas and those kinds of things, but in that case I would need more shelter than what I had. I also think that it would be possible to create a more social setting if I had done this earlier in the year. And then it would also be easier to get more stuff from the gardens.

On the other hand I am happy with the seed-kits that I made: It has information about the seeds inside, how to dry them, store them over winter, plant them etc. And also my contact information. As mentioned it gave me a reason to talk with people, and also something that actually has the possibility to empower people. I does certainly not work as a business card though, since none of the 40 that I made has  created a contact with people. So I HAVE TO have a mailing list in the future, to get peoples contact information. The seed kit is though something that can be developed and grow through my project, and to have these “help yourself”-kits is really something that can empower people. What kits can my project help develop?

I was not able to engage the people in the garden to join the market to be the “expertise” that I wanted to join with the visitors. But maybe it is easier next time; when they see an example of how it could be. It is also a very big job to collect this amount of stuff to sell in one week, I felt that I had maybe very little. And what people like to buy is often processed things like jam. I think an even closer collaboration with the garden itself is necessesary to create a successful situation like this, and to start planning earlier.

Conclusion:

I realize that there is so much knowledge out there about growing food in the city, people are always tipsing me about new projects and other people doing things about this etc; it is some kind of a trend. So I think that the people are already there, but that they don’t have a place to gather to share their knowledge, and also a place for new people that are interested can meet the experienced people.

I also see this as a part of a seasonal thinking: foodgrowers don’t necessarily grow food the whole year, but there is always other things to do. In the autumn; harvesting, preserving and perhaps selling the goods that is grown is the activity. I want to built my project up around exactly this: how the activities are different in the different seasons.

Photos:

foto: Torgil Pålsrud

I am for the moment in JAPAN!!!!!!

It has been my dream for many years to go here, and finally it has happened. I am actually all by myself, but so far it is no problem at all. Today I will get a guided tour in the gardens and temples of Kyoto!
See you

Watch the FANTASTIC series Earthrise here! This is the two last episodes of season three.

The first episode is about Detroit and how they transform their city into becoming a leading example of what urban farming can do to society, and how we need to think about how we are living our lives in the future!

The second episode looks at how we can develop more sustainable and closed small economies based on use of for instance energy and food resources. Alternative currencies can also build a local community, as in Brixton, which is a part of the Transition Town movement.

These series is fantastic! Go HERE to watch all episodes ever.

Thanks, again: Ferdinand.