2018, Jalandhar, India
Designweek at Apeejay College of Fine Arts

 

The Whynotcooperation was returning to Jalandhar for the 6th International Design week at Apeejay College of Fine Arts 23-28 February.

 

René Pijnenburg, Gé Smit and Fleur Swildens worked 6 days with more then 250 students. This year’s title: whynotmakeithappen

 

Addressing and researching challenges for improving city life was last year’s theme. This year we emphasized on developing concrete ideas and making them happen in cooperation with the industry of Jalandhar. At the kick-off all participating industries were present to interact with students. Our aim: creating design solutions with innovative social impact.

We re-framed 10 student topics of last year into questions like: whynot make green cities happen?  Or: whynot make safe cities happen? Through a ‘Jumbo’ lottery these questions were combined with one of the participating industries and a specific city context. Unexpected and challenging design briefs were born such as: whynot make feeding cities happen with the rubber industry at public transport stations? Or: whynot make green cities happen with the leather industry at the railways?

Each day a precise step was programmed: Come up with first ideas and select one. Develop design scenarios for today, tomorrow and future. Transfer one into a concrete design. Contact the industry for feedback, input and support. Make and test a prototype, an identity and a branding concept. Present the project with prototype, banner and a one-minute case movie.

The students presented some striking ideas with great social impact. To name a few:  a work and food program for the poor via waste recycling around public transport stations. Making cities green with the clean wastewater of the leather industry promoted with the railways. Replacing plastics bags at market places with bags made of textile waste. And the good thing: the industry loves to step in and some literally did. So next step: let’s make it really happen.

 

Three Whynot lectures were given as part of the program: Whynotmakeithappen, An Idea Please and Design & Social Innovation.

Workshops were given around: how to question ideas, how to evaluate results. And for the teaching staff we gave a special talk about new directions in design education and the changing role of the teacher.

 

After the design week we moved to Amritsar for a few days being invited to lecture and to conduct a workshop at the Department of Architecture of the Guru Nanak Dev University.

 

Again it was an exciting experience and a great trip with many new friends.

 

If you want to read more about this project go to our blog.

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